I started circling sentences I loved and before long the whole dang book was circled.
For instance, "Miss Maisie's barley-water breath traveled the length of the scarred mahogany table arriving well before her reprimand."
"Miss Maisie's smile wobbled in her pasty face."
"He felt the wings of freedom sprouting at his shoulders."
And it's funny.
"I don't like danger," said Bimmy. "It's too dangerous."
"Her sit-upon especially ached."
The descriptive details are luscious.
"...the scent of the desert about him."
"...the gray flannel afternoon sky.."
The word choices are perfection.
and a darn good yarn.
There's a character named Mrs. O'Connor who was named after me! (But that in no way influenced my opinion of this lovely book - but might have made me love Kirby Larson a SQUINCH more than I did before, if that's possible.)
So, I've been pretty absent from this blog lately.
But there's been a lot going on.
After 26 years in New England, my husband and I are heading back to my beloved South....right there at the edge of the Smoky Mountains, my heart's home.
Specifically, to Asheville, North Carolina...one of the most beautiful and coolest places ever.
So hard to say goodbye to things and places and PEOPLE I love dearly.
Starting with my house.
My son grew up here.
We have 26 years worth of amazing memories.
My husband's hippie carpenter friend came out from Arizona to help us build our screened porch:
Where we spent so many magical summer nights:
We built a swimming pool:
My son on the right
Which brought us lots of happy times:
With my dearest pal, Gucci, who shared almost daily walks and talks with me. (And sewed for me and picked me up when I wrecked my cars and was always there for me and on and on and on. BFFs forever.)
In the cement beside the pool
There is still chewed woodwork in our house caused by puppies who grew into gray-faced old dogs.
Murphy, the first puppy we brought to this house. (She lived to be 14) Son on the left.
There are guinea pigs buried in the
backyard, where neighborhood children held somber-faced funerals and
left wilted clover flowers.
My son brought a chestnut home from the cemetery beside our church when he was very small. It was in a paper cup. We said he could plant it anywhere he wanted to, never dreaming it would become this beauty:
This is the gate between my yard and my neighbor's, who is also the dearest of friends one could ever want. That friend who GETS me. On countless summer nights, she came through that gate to dance to disco music with me under the moonlight or listen to owls in the Adirondack chairs in the yard (snuggled together under a quilt like little girls instead of grown women), or laugh and cry and gossip on the porch. (Because that's what you do with your besties.) Pool Girl, you know I love you.
A gift she gave me. Perfect
So, yeah, lots of memories in that house
I'll miss my gardens.
I'll miss my summer writing office:
So on this Things I Love Thursday, I'm loving my house.
And loving my dear, dear friends here, including:
Janet Zade (left), so wise and honest and punctual (three of the greatest traits of a friend, I think.) How lucky am I? Thank you, Janet.
My writers' group (There is no greater treasure for a writer than a group like this. We've been up, down, and all around together.)
BUT I'm looking forward to making new friends and building memories in a new house in a new place. Turning the page. New chapter.
So, by the way, school teachers and librarians of the Carolinas, I'll be ready to come to YOUR school this fall. (I know, buzz kill, right?) And, now, I'll close with a song that makes me cry Every Single Time