Dear Sunday Letter friends,
This past week, I spent most of my time working on behind-the-scenes things associated with writing. (This means I don’t have much to show for my time…)
One thing that happened—I heard from the director of my play, Last Call at the Dairy Freeze. He said rehearsals are going well, and the cast is fantastic. Honestly, the idea that my play has a director and a cast astounds me. And to my friends who are planning to attend, you astound me too!
No idea what I’m talking about? Well, I wrote my first play, and it will be performed soon in Eureka Springs as part of Five & Dime Drama Collective’s Fall Performance Series. Click HERE for more details. Yes, I’ll probably be talking about this at least until it happens November 8-10, and maybe afterwards too.?
This time of year, during harvest, I always notice the small rural cemeteries in fields throughout Arkansas. The combines and cotton pickers move through the fields providing a sure sign of changing seasons. After soybeans are threshed and bolls are picked clean, these old cemeteries are easier to see, stark against the sky. Winter is coming whether we like it or not; the circle closes on another year. Old tombstones, some dated before the Civil War, provide a sort of permanence, a reminder that life will continue, one way or another.
I like to think of these markers as guardian angels.
These old cemeteries also remind me that no matter how things seem in the moment, the folks laid to rest at the edge of a cotton field or on a riverbank had hard, exhausting lives with none of the luxuries, freedoms, advantages we enjoy (and often forget we have).
A few years ago, I wrote a post on Angels in the fields of Arkansas which you can read by clicking HERE. It’s one of my favorite posts and always provides a trip back home for me.
Black Walnut Missiles
We have two huge black walnut trees, one on either side of our yard. This time of year, walking down the driveway or around to the side gate means dodging black walnuts that drop like missiles.
Taking the garbage out can be treacherous during fall.
And believe me, black walnuts are extra plentiful this year. Our mighty busy squirrels try to hoard most of them, stopping to eat a few which leaves a nasty trail of a mess everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong, our black walnut trees provide great shade. But I wouldn’t be sad if they were pecan trees instead. Bottom line, it’s easy to slip on one of these baseball-sized walnuts and twist an ankle, or worse, get bonked on the noggin with zero warning.
We pick them up by the bucketfuls and then two days later, the yard is covered again. (And by we, I mean John.)
Not kidding—when one falls against our neighbor’s tin shed, the sound is like a gunshot.
I tell you this to say… if John and I go missing for any period of time, someone check our back yard to see if we’ve been knocked out by black walnut missiles (and ravaged by wild squirrels).
It could happen.
Y’all the Razorback football team is so sad this year. I know not everyone who reads my Sunday Letter gives one hoot about football in general or the Razorbacks in particular. But college football is a tradition for our family. Yesterday, we watched the game on television. John has this hope-springs-eternal attitude when it comes to his Razorbacks. This sets him up for a major letdown. I expected a complete shut out and was pleasantly surprised.
When the game finally ended, we took Lucy and Annabelle for a walk and saw the stream of cars leaving Fayetteville as they drove right through our neighborhood, fans looking beat down and deflated.
I fear this car flag we saw on the side of the road pretty much sums the rest of the Razorback football season.
Hopefully the flag fell off a car and wasn’t thrown away in disgust. At the beginning of the season, we easily get caught up in the excitement and forget it’s just a game. In fact, perhaps the reason football exists is to keep us humble. (Except in the case of Alabamans who must find humility somewhere else.)
Since I graduated from Baylor, I probably don’t have to remind you of our crazy high and embarrassingly low years.
The highs sure are more fun.
Halloween will be knocking on our doors in 11 days.
When we lived in Dallas, we bought bags and bags and BAGS of candy because we had carload after CARLOAD of trick or treaters who came to our neighborhood seeking chocolate.
Here in Fayetteville, we also have lots of trick or treaters. It seems we prefer to live in Halloween-popular neighborhoods.
Finally, we have learned to stop buying candy early. Because you know what happens. Someone opens the bag several weeks before Halloween and then—BAM—it gradually begins to disappear, mostly at night when the television is on.
You know what’s bad? Being reminded of last night’s sinfulness in the form of an empty candy wrapper glinting on the coffee table.
Okay, confession, we do usually have a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on hand year around because it’s our favorite. And we have convinced ourselves that since a main ingredient is peanut butter (and peanut butter includes nuts and nuts are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals), they are practically healthy.
See? We can justify most anything.
And by the way, if you love chocolate and baking and you’ve never taken a look at the Hershey’s Recipe Website, oh~my~word, do it today. There are so many amazing recipes, and you can filter by your favorite candy and holiday. Warning: this can be a big time waster because if you are like me, you’ll want to search different category combinations just for fun. For example, I searched Halloween + Almond Joy and found a recipe for Almond Joy cupcakes that looks out of this world. When I searched Thanksgiving + Heath Bar I found a Giant Toffee Gingerbread Cookie which I will be making. (Although I see no need to wait until Thanksgiving.)
I apologize for going on and on about chocolate. I swear, normally I’m not a huge dessert eater. But chocolate and fall seem to go together.
I blame Halloween. And lost football games which can sometimes lead to chocolate consolation.
Things Momma Says
I lost my appetite after I got hit in the head last year.
Momma has possibly shared this factoid already, but since October marks the one year anniversary of her accident (when she ended up with 9 stitches in her forehead), I suppose a repeat is justified.
Have a great week, Sunday Letter friends.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.