Dear Sunday Letter readers,
I didn’t write a Sunday Letter last weekend because I was in Eureka Springs. The significant thing about this isn’t that I was too busy to do it. The bigger deal for me is that I left my computer at home. Since I started writing, I always take my MacBook with me when I go out of town. We are tight that way. (Only one other time have I left him behind—Kelsey’s wedding weekend.)
I’ll admit I felt a little anxiety over leaving Mac home alone.
But if I’m being honest, after the panic subsided, it felt freeing.
We both survived. And today I’m back, writing from the Bat Cave—aka the farm in northeast Arkansas. Mac would really be upset if I didn’t take him to the farm.
And by the way, the smoke detector in my bedroom began shrieking at 1 a.m. this morning. WHY do they only do this in the wee hours?
Winter Came Early
Oh, for fig’s sake! How many times in July and August did I predict an early fall? So many times. Because I felt in my bones that would truly be the case.
Instead, winter rudely came early. Last week, a bone-chilling cold front brought plunging temperatures and a smorgasbord of weather to the entire country.
Monday, our Fayetteville weather included thunder, hail, sleet, freezing rain, and snow. Lots of wind too. As much as I love a good snowfall, I like my weather to come within the appropriate pages of the calendar. Ya know?
The icicles are pretty though.
This Year’s Figs
Not that we need further proof that 2019 has been a crazy weather year, but for the first time in the five years I’ve lived in Fayetteville, the figs ripened on the plant. Figs love long, hot summers. While our summer wasn’t particularly long, we had a blast of heat in September that likely helped them mature.
The moral of this story—there is always a bit of good, even during horrible-for-the-farmer weather years.
Have you ever heard this old saying—you can’t grow figs from thistles. It’s one of those true things old-timers say. And the root of this saying came from Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.
I don’t normally include a mini-Bible story in my Sunday Letter, but hey, it’s Sunday, and when the fig ripens I think I should…
(from King James which is my favorite version because it’s like reading Shakespeare in church.)
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 …20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Do with this what you will.
I had such a great time in Eureka Springs last weekend! A group of us stayed in an AirBNB on Spring Street, and we met up with friends who came for Five & Dime’s Fall Performance Series. Our friends, the McCullars, traveled all the way from Mesquite, Texas.
Seeing my play—Last Call at the Dairy Freeze—in production was likely more of a highlight for me than anyone else. Community theatre seems like it would be so much fun. Maybe I’ll dip my toe into that next… Probably not, but you never know.
Really, as I think back on it, the best thing about the entire weekend was having friends willing to support my efforts even when they don’t give one fig for live theatre… That’s a heartwarming thing. (You’ll be able to read my play soon as it will be published online by Ponder Review.)
Other weekend highlights included picture perfect weather + yummy food + lots of laughs with friends and family.
And I’m so grateful my Momma was there for the whole weekend.
Back in April, I wrote about Gracie Lee’s favorite tree on the farm. Do you remember? You should probably re-read it before continuing with this Sunday Letter.
Click HERE while I wait.
Well, it’s happened. Gracie’s tree has fallen. She died where she thrived all those years.
Friday night just before a glorious sunset, I went outside to pay my respects. With her roots pulled from the earth, her limbs nearly touching the house, she is done. And like the Giving Tree, I think of all the joy she gave us, my sister and me. We climbed her, tagged her as home base in games of Hide and Seek, dreamed underneath her, carefully mowed around her, tucked her pink blossoms behind our ears and pretended to be island princesses. When we were young…
In a yard of pecan trees, she was unique.
I wonder if the other trees mourn her. If the birds will remember her branches. If the bees will notice her absence next spring.
I think so.
Things Momma Says
I’m having a rigor.
Well, I just looked in the mirror and saw Reven Creecy. (her daddy)
Thanks for reading, Sunday Letter devotees. Now, onward to a new week.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Cathy Voight says
Such a diverse Sunday letter! I am sad about Gracie’s tree. All the trees at my childhood home are gone and it is always a bit of a shock.
Annette Pettit says
Do you feel the death of your tree there is symbolic of the end of some chapters of your lives, with your mom’s move and all? It is sad. My husband is a tree lover and plants so many everywhere we live that I call him Johnny (Appleseed), but he did cut down a mimosa tree in one yard that our girls loved. They do make great climbing trees for kids: not too tall, limbs close to the ground, open and welcoming arms. New life will spring in northeast Arkansas in that yard. Hopefully symbolic of new (and good) things ahead for your family in northwest Arkansas.
Talya Tate Boerner says
In a word, Yes…
Colene M Chebuhar says
I’m looking forward to reading Last Call at the Dairy Freeze! Sad about your Mimosa tree! As always, look forward to and enjoy your Sunday letter. Have a great week!
Sharon Collins says
Can’t wait to read your newest book!
Barbara Tate says
I really do miss our Climbing Tree. Gracie & Abby had a lot of fun climbing that tree. It shocks me when I see her lying down when I look out the living room windows. Sure enjoying being in NE Arkansas for a few days.
Lisa Pobst says
What a week you had! It got my heart to see Gracie Lee’s tree “expire” things from our youth..pull heartstrings when they leave us! Your mom gets my heart too..how sweet, funny and cute! Awaiting your new book! Book lover Lisa
Fay Guinn says
One of the imagery pieces I wrote at HP Retreat last week was about a persimmon tree. Eating them when they’re green?
Talya Tate Boerner says