Hey, hey, Sunday Letter friends! Today I’m writing from our farm in Mississippi County. It’s great to be home, and the good news so far is that we’ve had no snake sightings at the Bat Cave. ???
KNOCK ON WOOD.
In case you are new to Grace Grits and Gardening, let me explain. The Bat Cave is what we call our house on the farm, the place where I grew up (and Gracie Lee, too). We call it the Bat Cave because Momma’s initials are BAT. Plus, some of the rooms are dark with wood paneling, i.e. cave-like. (You can read more about the Bat Cave HERE, if you so desire.)
With respect to the snake reference, we’ve had a couple of freaky issues with snakes inside the house. Most recently, the last time I was home a long black rat snake slithered out from underneath the main chair in the den. Yes, I know rat snakes are the “good” snakes. They eat rodents. Seriously, who cares when one is in the den? I high-tailed it out of the cave and just now returned.
One snake probably has friends.
A few weeks after my sighting, a five-foot snakeskin was found inside the house. Yesterday, we found another snakeskin on the back porch. I tell myself he left his skin as he slithered on back to the field (not vice versa).
Bat Cave Treasures
Often when I speak at book clubs, people ask me how I am able to channel a ten-year-old’s voice so authentically. I believe part of my secret is our farm. It’s a time capsule. The treasures inside the house (#BatCave) make my memories all the more clear. Clear memories translate into a more authentic voice.
Jacks. The jacks my sister and I played with are displayed like a decoration inside a glass bowl. It’s amazing how much fun could be had from a handful of jacks tossed across the kitchen floor.
By the way, you think stepping on a Lego is bad? Real metal jacks hurt like the devil if you accidentally stepped on one.
Look at these sweet guys. These Little People have been part of our family for over fifty years. I love that. And I love that we once had imaginations so expansive we could spend hours playing with these cuties. Such personality!
All along the Ozark highways, the serviceberries are in full bloom. From a distance, people often mistake these early white blooms as dogwoods. Up close you can see the blossoms are completely different from dogwoods.
A fascinating bit of tree history… back in the day, our northern-most neighbors couldn’t bury their dead during winter because the ground was frozen solid. Folks waited until the serviceberries bloomed to have their funerals. (What they did with the deceased, I don’t know.) Anyway, the first serviceberry blooms were a sign the ground had thawed and graves could be dug. Also, the blossoms were used in the funeral services.
These beauties are also called shadbush, shad blow, sarvisberry, juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum, wild-plum, and chuckley pear. Whew.
Yesterday, Momma and I visited the new and improved Hampson Museum in Wilson which recently reopened on the square directly across from the Wilson Cafe. Home to an impressive collection of lower Mississippian artifacts from the Nodena site, the museum is a must-see when you visit Mississippi County, Arkansas.
Here at the Bat Cave, we have our own mini-museum of local indigenous artifacts. Daddy found these pieces (just a sampling) through the years while plowing the fields. If you visit the Bat Cave (while we are in residence), we’ll give you a tour. It’ll be short yet interesting nonetheless.
Really, there’s so much history here. Inside and all around the Bat Cave.
(Note to would-be robbers... the Bat Cave is a fortress with not only guard snakes but also a serious alarm system and various booby traps.)
I found a four-leaf clover last week. Crimson. Extra lucky.
Things Momma Says
Oh my word, there have been so many Momma nuggets over the past two days, I’ve had a hard time choosing! Today’s gem:
Let’s watch the news and see who got killed in Memphis today.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. This Sunday Letter might be considered a Bat Cave miracle as Wi-Fi is non-existent and, well, this almost didn’t happen. So maybe read it twice. Or share it❣ That’d be cool.
Cathy Voight says
Oh such a perfect Sunday letter. The snake sightings are something I hope not to see.
I am so amazed you still have your childhood jacks!
A cup of coffee and a smile as the Sunday letter was up when I sat down down this morning for my blog reads, with yours being my favorite! My friends from my former life in Wyoming are often jealous when I describe the warmer AR temps and the “true Spring” we have…until I get to the bugs and snakes then they kind of wonder what I was thinking.
And children’s use of imagination took me back not only to my childhood and my love of plastic animals but the day I observed my then 6 year old son playing with a dried up sunflower head in the backyard (don’t worry he had plenty of “real” toys) for 45 minutes. I was so happy as I recognized the value of imagination and was so glad to see it’s presence!
Home sweet home! With or without snakes I’m sure it’s always a good feeling to get back to your roots.
Talya Tate Boerner says
Yes, it’s great. Especially without snakes.
Am wanting to eat lunch in Wilson. Is it possible to drive by your home and see it? We are coming from Paragould. We are still waiting on your new book to come out. Hoping to have you visit us in Paragould with our book club when we have read it. I know you visited at Anita Stafford’s when her school book club read Gracie’s book. She is now apart of our group and we are hoping you can come. We will take you to lunch and entertain you in downtown Paragould.
Talya Tate Boerner says
I would love to attend your bookclub when my next book comes out! Yes, Anita Stafford’s Paragould bookclub was so much fun. And I’m so happy for Anita’s book, too. You will love the Wilson Cafe. The pie is to die for!
Dorothy Johnson says
Loved this letter! I have some old jacks and a couple of artifacts from Will’s and my childhood that stir memories, too. Hopefully, the snakes are back on the prowl outdoors now that spring has come. Yikes! they scare me. Serviceberries are completely new to me, but I think my dad probably called them wild plum or pear. I think I saw lots of them when we came back from Atlanta in March. The profusion of dogwoods look like lacework in our neighborhood. They are glorious this year.
Talya Tate Boerner says
Thanks, Dorothy! The Fayetteville dogwoods should be blooming soon in our neighborhood. They always look so beautiful!
Enjoyed the musical pairing. I was not familiar with Vance Joy. However, after checking him out, I discovered that I DO know one of his other songs, which I love… “Riptide.”
Talya Tate Boerner says
Thanks for listening! Sometimes I wonder if anyone notices the musical pairing:)
Lois Watson says
Exactly what were the finds in the fields that your Daddy found? just looks like clumps of rock and dirt. I am sure there is a meaning to them all. Thanks.