Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Hello dearest,

I was just writing to you when I saw you e-mail.  I absolutely LOVE getting mail from you.  Even though we haven’t seen each other in years and years, I feel like you are the sweetest, most adorable kindred spirit and I want to steal you from  your Sis and have you as my very own sister.  I do so wish you lived close by.  PLEASE, if you ever get near Birmingham, come and sit a spell and, as Your Daddy always said to me, let’s go out on the porch and tell lies (ha).

Hooray for the kitchen project almost done.  Know you are going to love it. 

Are you ever at a loss for words?  I absolutely love your writing.   Thought about you this afternoon when I ordered a couple of Gladys Turnbull’s books and planned on sending a note as soon as I sat down.  Was thinking how much I would love to be able to write like you.  I’m totally at a loss for words lately and can’t seem to think of a thing to write about.  When I first retired, I started writing little “ morning papers” and the words just seem to flow.  But lately, NOTHING.     I started re-reading the journal from last year and wondered where all those words came from.  It’s like prayers for me.  Sometimes I say a prayer and know for sure that it didn’t come from me but from Him who is always nearer than my very breath. 

Let’s do stay in touch.  I love you so.

Sweet dreams 


And from me to Maggie, just now, pouring out random thoughts like a burst dam:

Oh, Sweetpea!   What a wonderful message from you!  You just say the dearest things, and have the sweetest, purest spirit of any adult I've ever known.   There's a wonderful innocence to your brilliant mind, a childlike faith and wonder at the simplest things---I remember your words about bread, about lavender, a Summer breeze, kneeling to receive The Cup, the little creek as it flows---plums and a fresh-ironed cloth whisked onto a table for supper, the gathering of your Loves around that table, growing young together.

Indeed, you DO have words---absolutely reams and scores of them, speaking of only the best of things, the sweetest parts, the simplest, deepest gentle murmurs of the way things should be, as you see them.   You have a way of portraying life as we'd all like to live it, in a simple, slow grace of BEING that we forget could be, or that we've never given a thought in our busy, moving, on-call, duty-filled, get-it-done lives.   You MAKE us think about those things---those better ways, those spirit-filled moments, those days of Grace lived in shade and sun, walking gently where we're impelled to run, to get things over with, to get on with it, instead of enjoying the simple charm of the NOW.

SO love to hear from you---would that it were every day, every hour.   I could read and read your words, drinking in those slaking words, filling up entire with the feeling of beautiful and pure.  

Remember we loved that "simple" book several years ago---Beth Breathnach, was it?   We all seized upon it as a mantra of sorts, a missal for the church of the everyday stuff---likening a dull morning to a garden ripe with delights, or a chore to a gift to our nearies and selves.  It was a wonderful, fulfilling read, propped in the arbor in the Summer shade.   We thought we could be JUST LIKE THAT, accepting the goods and the simples and the smalls.   Just NOTICING them was a great blessing; having them pointed out was a lovely gift, and would that it had lasted forever, for we drift, we allow, we succumb to the leaving off of things, the dusts of the days, the pilings of THINGS and STUFF and debris of shoppings and hoardings and receivings, stored up in their outlived, useless selves, merely on the possibility of their later use.  

 Oh.  My.   I have to get OUT of that track.   We were Yard Salers, Goodwillers, Thrift Store browsers, picking up a plate here, a set of dishes there, two cloths and an abandoned craft-basket filled with ninety-nine kinds of ribbon and wire, channeling Martha Stewart because we saw exactly THAT PLATTER in the magazine and who knows what entertaining marvels would ensue if I had one of my own??

Mine's all geared to nesting, I've found---home stuff and kitchen stuff and house things---and except for two china cabinets, our La-Z-Boys, and the computer and TV, every single thing we own came from Goodwill.   Piles and drawers of tablecloths and coverlets and curtains for windows I'll never own, with so few things costing more than a dollar or two---can't pass up that twenty-foot Battenburg banquet set, even though our biggest table is eight feet.  

So I'm divesting.   Giving away with abandon, pressing goodies upon unsuspecting guests, survey-takers, delivery people who go their way with arms heaped and stunned expressions.  

I'm verging away to the silly now, but life has been such ridiculous DEPTHS lately, of such a surfeit of things to walk over and trip over, that my mind is dropping to the level of those maze-rats---you can change course around blind ends and blank walls just SO MANY TIMES before you forget where and who and WHY you are.   I've lost my words into the ether so much lately, but now that the actual building is completed,  I don't weep so much for the losing of the words as I have of late in my usual self.  

Last night two lovely men came to install the last cabinet---we had passed on having the store do the demolition, and a friend of Caro's offered to take down all the cabinets just for taking them off our hands.    Great joy and delight, and the day they demolished, we did them a lovely brunch.    Last night, with all done but that one big heavy shelf, they came back to attach it to the wall; we'd invited wife-and-mother, and the little grandson came as well.    It was a lively, raucous table of almost- strangers, eating and talking like old friends on the same tracks and interests and thoughts.   Great fun, and Caro did a fabulous good old southern supper for us.    But I found myself blurting out the RIGHT words, the witty and the smart puns and anecdotes and answers, and it was a joyous revelation and relief.    These past few days of an immaculate counter (though much doing on my part left to be done) and days of quiet and slow accomplishment of tasks, with only Jack Reacher as my spoken companion---I'm regaining some of my brain cells, I think.

So YES.   I Have lost my words,   And that's just what I've called it.   I can pretty well type anything, as the stream comes from my brain, but sometimes I have to stop and think "Now what is that A-word that I'm looking for?"   or "Do I really mean Accumulation or Assimilation?"   Or I've even gone so far as to offer a guest a cup of cigarette without missing a beat, though not a soul in the room smokes.  

Heading now for a bite of those GOOD snap beans from last night, over a bit of crisp cold head-lettuce with little cucumber slices and some homemade bleu cheese dressing.   Chris is in AL (I swear if I'd come along, I'd have called and asked to take refuge with YOU while he went down to visit.   He's been cooking for 27 this week, and I'd have been right there in the kitchen day and night with him, as is usual when we visit.   Everybody "comes to see us" and stays for every meal.  Just couldn't bear the idea of such a crowded, busy, hectic place, in this clutter-mind I've lived with since March, anyway, even though three of our dearest GRANDS were there for the weekend).   He'll be coming back through GA to visit three of the other chillum and the GRANDS, and be home tomorrow. 

I love you, faraway Sister-Girl.   Sisters of the Spirit---yours "rubs off" in the most lovely sense on me, and I just hope to send you some of the reassurance of your worth and kindness and so-enviable way of living life that I try to pattern and live.   I lived Serene for a long, long time, and the past few years have been beyond NOT.   You're keeping me centered on that sweet focusing-point of Grace and The Moment.

Love and,



GSL said...

I would pay good hard earned money to sit in the dark and listen to you two share memories on stage...think about it!

Patsy said...

Hay Racheld: I bet Dr. Pepper would work just fine in the cake. Its all about the sugar in it any way I think. When we lived in Tennessee and had a big old fig tree.
the Bennie made fig jam with strawberry Jello in it and you would have thought it was real strawberrys and looked like it to.

Jeanne said...

Hello Rachel, Thanks for the "I win" comment. That made me laugh. Yes, the cow or what ever... was such an interesting photo op.

Bill is doing well and on his way to no pain when walking. Thank you for your well wishes dear Rachel.

I absolutely enjoyed the communication from Maggie and you. What a shame we don't write to each other the way we used to. I always looked forward to the mail years ago. Now it is mostly junk and bills. Your friendship with Maggie is very special and it is clear that you have a love of writing in common together. Lovely in every way.

Have a wonderful week. I can't wait to see your kitchen "DONE."


Kim S. said...

What an absolute delight to have a friend like you. How lucky we all are to have you in our lives. Reading your words is like having a soothing cool hand to stroke your forehead when you are tired and fractious. Love you, my dear, DEAR friend.