Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I have new books---five in all.   One for the first two-months-plus-one-year of LAWN TEA, (2008 and 2009), and one for each complete year since.

The first and longest, for in those days when I didn’t know how to post pictures, the posts were all words, and wordy they were.   This pink one with the Fleeing Fairy on the front must weigh five pounds.

I’d long dreamt of having the pages all in one book, then perhaps it might take two, and when I finally got it all keyed in and to the printer, there were FIVE.   They sent me tracking numbers, and I suppose I thought that the final message might jump right to “Out for delivery” on that very first day, for I signed in probably every twenty minutes for hours and hours, just to check the progress.  It was so silly, treating it like a baby due and overdue, and so long awaited that I was nagging the clock to spin.

The green one is a lot of Spring and Summer, with great excursions around blocks and parks, and long lawn-sprinkles and flower-waterings, with a special small yellow tub good for an afternoon’s play in the shade. 

Number Three is a lovely purple, with the same butterfly-and-thistle header photo I’ve had since Day One.  Chris made it on Kit’s birthday years ago, in a lovely park in Tennessee, as we awaited their arrival to celebrate with us.   The refreshments, oddly, were not Birthday Cake, but watermelon—--a plump beauty which Chris had “iced down” in a huge black garbage bag with ice from the hotel dispenser.   We ate dripping hunks of the juicy red on a big concrete picnic table, with whole eons of tiny plastic animals and reptiles and dinosaurs surrounding us in the shade.
I have a picture of Kit running toward me as she got out of the car, and neither of her feet is touching the ground.

And so they appeared at the door, those flat packages of mere cardboard and strap, with a heft to them of slick paper and purpose and WORDS.   I cannot imagine how many are IN there, and who on Earth must have sprayed all those tidbits and tomes out into the atmosphere.   It’s Family and times and travels, people and places, cooking and reading and gathering and just BEING, with their own “Diary App” in the mix, to chronicle our days and doings, as well as memories of other times.   

Number Four is the cheery yellow of a later Summer, another visit, when another birthday burgeoned castles and Princesses and a Dragon.   Which swallowed one of the young Royals, who was miraculously saved by Gracie, whose quick-thinking Heimlich burped Cinderella right out, to great cheers and requests for “Do it AGAIN!”

And Number Five, the last so far, is from this past year---smaller than the rest, for I was most remiss in posting for a great long while.  The picture was taken at our Christmas Tea in December, when Sweetpea and her Ganner had been out for the evening to see “FROZEN,” and returned just in time to help distribute all those dozens of cookies.   They had burst down the stairs with a cheery “We’re HOME!” and a swirl of cool air and rosy color.

Just a sample of the pages: 

All this smooth, bright-papered largesse was a Birthday Gift from Chris and Caro, and is such a present as I never expected, never imagined to happen.  But they’re here, and did not arrive squalling, but as happy to see me as I was to hold them.    It’s lovely to have them done at last, and to share the Happy with all of you.  


Patsy said...

Fried pie's and Hershey's fudge was a main treat in my childhood. "Do people make pie's and fudge any more?" I never could make the fried pies like my grandmother but I sure could make the fudge.
Your books are wonderful and I do love your comments on my blog.

harleygirl said...

Okay, I thought to myself, "I read the title of her post on the side of my blog this morning, and it said something else, I KNOW it did." And then I read the comment above mine and I see that I'm not totally crazy.

At any rate, these books are wonderful and such a great thing to be cherished for many, many years. Books alone are so fun; but these ones will be especially great for you all. :)

racheld said...


I think we G.R.I.T.S. girls grew up knowing the recipe off the Hershey's can. And thank you for the kind words about the books and comments.


racheld said...


The Fried Pies one was the one before this---getting into Halloween much too early, but I've been captivated by this cool weather, I think.

At first it WAS another title, something like "A Happy to Share," and I just HAD to get the word BOOKS in there. This has been a LONG process (mostly in the dreaming and the deciding and pondering to spend so much on such a vanity thing).

I so hope that the grandchildren may enjoy them someday. And it's lovely to have them in my hands at last.


Kim S. said...

So beautiful, my friend! And, if there were any smart folks left in publishing, the title page of each would say “Doubleday”! There really is nothing like the feel of a book in your hands, is there? And one with YOUR OWN words in it! I can’t imagine the thrill.

Chesapeake said...

Ah, Rachel, I can just see you sitting in the quiet late in the evening smoothing your hand across one of the books, then setting that one aside so it does not think it is your favorite and putting another in your lap to caress, and so on one at a time to dip into, to savor.

Congratulations on this giant step, my dear.

racheld said...

Oh, Dear Kim! Y'all are such staunch supporters and wonderful "fans"! It took a while, and manymany ponderings before I finally took that first step. The first one is next door right now, with my dear neighbor Honey, who asked immediately if I could spare one for her to see.

Just got the last one in yesterday---the cover is the same red one posted on here, but the insides were for 2012, like the yellow one before it. I must have hit the wrong buttons on the calendar of the application form.

Thank you SO much for being such a dear friend---it feels like a pep rally every time you comment.

love and,


racheld said...

Dear Miss Lil,

You and Ben have been such sweet commenters all this time, and such dear friends for always. I've known you just five months shorter of the time I've known Chris, so you're MY oldest friends from "his side."

You know me too well, for that's exactly what I did. I had the little brunch table all serene and tidy upstairs, and when each promising box arrived at Nine AYEM on the day promised, I just sat there, reveling in turning each slick, shiny page up there in the sunshine. It was a feeling from never before---not even when we had the two dozen printed years ago for family Christmas presents.

Thank you for all your love-all-this-time. My Fall cream and sugar await me each morning, along with the tiniest, daintiest of little rubber flamingo-girls.

love and,


Southern Lady said...

What an absolute treasure, my friend ... for you and your family ... for generations to come. That is quite an accomplishment, and I am so proud and happy for you. I know your loved ones will cherish each and every word ... and story ... and picture ... forever.