Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Have you noticed the date? One month til Christmas. I’m over here in denial still with leftover cranberry sauce in my fridge.
Actually, I’m in Texas writing from the super-cool NYLO Hotel at Legacy (Plano). Oh my goodness, I’m loving this modern, loft-style hotel. Two thumbs up from me!
But First, Thanksgiving
We all know someone who doesn’t like her mashed potatoes to touch her green beans and her mac and cheese must be in its own little ramekin. That’s not me. I mix my green beans and potatoes together and layer my Thanksgiving meal like a platter of nachos.
But I am that way with my holidays.
I think each should stand alone on the calendar. No fa-la-la-ing until the gobble-gobble is appropriately celebrated.
These days, this is a difficult thing, this keeping the holidays separate. Yes, I’ve already been to a Christmas parade and a couple of holiday open houses. But I don’t hang the first icicle until after Thanksgiving.
For me, as a farm girl, Thanksgiving represents the end of a long, tiresome harvest. This year in Arkansas, weather has plagued my farmer friends. Many are still working to get crops out. I remember on more than one occasion, we rode out to Coleman Lateral at sunset to deliver Daddy’s turkey and dressing to the field so he could eat while still cutting soybeans.
I’m thankful for our Arkansas farmers who played a big role in the food on our Thanksgiving table. I also give thanks for my own small backyard which works hard to provide a bounty of blessings throughout the year, from blossoms that bring pollinators to trees that provide homes to the woodpeckers and cardinals who visit my feeder every day.
Goddess on a Mountaintop
On Thanksgiving morning as I brewed coffee and whipped milk into a froth, I looked out the kitchen window to see a single bright star in the East. In early sunrise mode, the sky had just begun brightening and lightening over Mount Sequoyah. And the star was absolutely stunning, practically winking at me. I stopped what I was doing to take a picture with my iPhone.
Not the best picture, as it was taken through the kitchen window and into the still-dark sky, but the star itself seemed to pose and magnify between the branches of our trees.
I decided the star had to be a planet.
According to EarthSky, Venus will be a fixture of the morning sky until mid-August 2019. But it will shine at its brightest in late November and early December 2018, as the morning “star”.
It wasn’t my imagination, the brightness or the beauty. The tree branches seemed to hold her high, worship her, with arms raised. She is meant to be noticed, adored, loved.
I’ve always been enamored with the planets. I think it goes back to 8th (maybe 9th) grade science class when Mr. Ring had us record the position of the moon every night during fall. Standing in the back yard beneath heaven’s immense field, all those stars provided a feeling of permanence and magic.
Now, I stare at the stars and moon and Venus and feel time slipping away.
I saw Venus on Thanksgiving morning merely due to chance, because I was standing at the right spot at the right time. I often wonder about the things I miss, the things I don’t see while I sleep or have my nose stuck inside a book, or when I happen to be looking out a different window.
Carving Out Quiet
I consider myself lucky to live within walking distance of two independent bookstores—Nightbird Books and Dickson Street Bookstore.
Dickson Street is open late. After a hectic day, one of my favorite ways to decompress is to go for a night walk. This time of year, we can stroll to the Fayetteville Square to see the Christmas lights, then walk along Dickson Street, pop into the bookstore, and absorb the tranquilness emanating from the spines of thousands of stories.
Sometimes we go home with a new stack of used books.
Okay, often we go home with a new stack of used books.
First Comes Love
Our Thanksgiving was spent in Fayetteville. More of a Friendsgiving, actually. But yesterday, we drove to Texas for our daughter’s engagement dinner last night, a sort of meet-the-family-type event. All I can say is that with this bunch, 2019 is going to be such a fun year! And I think I already know what my one little word for next year will be…
Things Momma Says
80 bowl invitations? That’s pitiful! Football meant something when there were four bowls. Sugar. Orange. Cotton. Rose. That’s enough. Pitiful!
That’s it for this Sunday Letter. I know it’s a bit abbreviated.
I hope you had a fabulous turkey day.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.