Hey, hey my Sunday Letter friends,
I’ve been absent the last few Sundays, but I’m back with more random Sunday Letter ramblings. After a week at the lake, I returned home to a butterfly nursery. Our milkweed and spicebush plants are CRAWLING with monarch and spicebush caterpillars. A variety of full-grown butterflies dance around every afternoon (hopefully laying more eggs).
It truly is amazing what a difference a week can make, not only in the physical space we return to, but also in the mental space we occupy.
Oh, the Pain!
So I broke my rib while trying to paddle board the last day of our lake trip. No, I didn’t really break anything, but the agony I feel nine days later is what I imagine a fractured rib to feel like.
Yes, I’m being a little dramatic. Really, I think I tore some rib cartilage. I felt it when it happened, and it was like grinding a rib into the board. My sister did the same thing last year at the lake (different circumstance), so evidently we are prone to this ridiculousness. And it took her injury six weeks to heal.
It hurts to bend, twist, cough, breathe, sleep. Other than that, I’m fine.
About the Lake
We’ve been returning to Lake Norfork year after year our whole lives. My sister and I were practically baptized in her clear waters. And our kids, the same. As infants, we strapped them into life jackets and taught them to nap to the creak of the dock. Momma began going there when she was a teenager.
Although the lake always holds surprises and looks different based on weather and water levels, it’s so familiar to me, the trees, the coves, the shoreline, the way the birds circle overhead.
This year, in particular, the lake felt like salvation, to be able to escape the news and social media, to swim and laugh and ride the waves by day, to gather with family underneath the stars each night.
I think it’s good for us to return there each year. It isn’t a fancy place, and we certainly aren’t spending a week in luxury while there. Rather, it’s a spot in this world that never really changes; a tiny sliver of heaven that provides a sense of permanence, allows clearing of the mind. Plenty of nature and quiet slip back in, and that, for me, is luxury.
We Have a House Guest
House guests have been few and far between during this pandemic, but we have a guest this weekend. He’s kind and entertaining and never complains.
His name is Alvin.
Alvin has visited us before, but it has been a while. Even so, he remembered where we keep the dog toys. His favorite thing to do is to scatter them in the yard, carrying the toys one at a time from the house to the grass. Then later, he collects them like Easter eggs, carrying them back inside the house.
A busy boy.
Annabelle isn’t sure what to think, but I believe she’s enamored.
She also ate some of Alvin’s wet dog food—her first taste of a wet variety—and she went a little crazy, likely wondering where such a yummy thing has been hiding her whole life.
Alvin’s human came to visit too. It has been pretty fun to see him as well.
If you’ve read my newest book, Gene, Everywhere, you know Gene was my father-in-law. After Gene’s funeral, John and I ended up with this peace lily from all the potted plants that were given in his memory.
Over the past few years, it has grown and grown! We have repotted it a couple of times.
And now it is blooming.
Isn’t it amazing?
It truly does provide peace. It reminds me of Gene and how he helped set my life on a different path.
John moves it inside each winter, but if it gets much larger, we’ll have to rearrange furniture to accommodate it.
And we are okay with that.
I’m almost 5’8″. It’s catching me!
Things Momma Says:
I’m too good for my own good.
See you next time Sunday Letter friends.
Play nice and be safe. Remember, everyone has a different story.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.