Dear Sunday Letter friends,
This morning my heart is full of gratefulness, and I want to share it with you.
I just returned from a weekend nature-writing retreat at Rockvale Writers’ Colony in middle Tennessee. What a fabulous three days! I’ll probably write more about my experiences there, but for now I’ll just say I came home with a big dose of Vitamin N (Vitamin Nature). The owner of the colony referred to the experience as soul-keeping, and that’s exactly what it was, taking a little time to tend to myself, to immerse myself in nature, to just be.
You know, we go to the doctor to get our bodies tuned up. We try to eat right and get a little physical exercise, but how often do we do those things that really soothe our minds and souls?
Well, I intend to do a better job of it.
Now, as we approach Thanksgiving, I am ever-so-thankful for the way fall came on slowly this year, so slowly I worried we wouldn’t see fall color at all. And, as the leaves began to turn, they kept turning and turning until the landscape around our house truly became glorious. The color may even hang on until Thanksgiving.
The silver tea service on our buffet once belonged to my Nana. It’s mostly decoration today. Some would view it as impractical; it’s not like we observe high tea or serve coffee at book club (well, sometimes I do serve coffee, but I perk it and serve it quickly without taking the time to transfer it into the silver coffeepot).
During the months leading up to Halloween, I let it tarnish to nearly black. For a Halloween party, the coffeepot makes a spooky vase for blood-red roses. But before Thanksgiving (and again before Easter), I polish each piece. And when I polish, I always think of Nana.
Nana used her tea service regularly for WMU meetings or gatherings of the Sunshine Club ladies. I imagine how she poured coffee into porcelain cups balanced on saucers. I imagine the polishing she did. (She never let the service tarnish for Halloween.)
I remember exactly where it lived in her house in Keiser.
As I buff the blackness away, I know my hands touch the places her hands once touched. And I feel connected to her, still, after so much time has passed.
Fallen Leaf Art
Today’s fallen leaf art is Mr. Tom Turkey.
I’m not sure I got his body completely right, but I love his feet!
Not Yet, Santa!
This is the time of year I feel myself locking Santa outside on the porch while telling him, “Hold your horses, big guy, you can’t come in yet!” Is it just me or does Christmas come earlier and earlier every year?
When I was a kid, Momma never let us get a Christmas tree until mid-December. Evidently, her practice became my practice— not because I don’t love Christmas (because I do!)—but because I believe Thanksgiving deserves its time in the autumn sun.
Everyone has different traditions, and I’m certainly not one to criticize your merry-making. In fact, if leaving your decorated tree up all year brings you joy, I say go for it. But, at our house, November belongs to Thanksgiving and December belongs to Christmas. I want to savor each holiday individually.
(Yes, I did attend the Fayetteville Christmas parade on Friday night—I’m not going to miss a parade if I can help it. Still, I consider Christmas to be on the horizon after a proper day of feasting on turkey and pie.
So, I’ve pulled my cornucopia from the closet and filled it with squashes and gourds and a stalk of cotton from Mississippi County; I’ve placed my small collection of turkeys here and there, and I’ve collected a few pinecones and beautiful fall leaves to scatter on the table. And for this week, we will celebrate being together with family, the bounty of harvest, and all the past year’s many, many blessings.
I’m trying to decide what desserts to make for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law is bringing chocolate-pecan pie. My sister is making a pumpkin pie and brownies.
The dessert I make most often for Thanksgiving is my Buttermilk Pie. (Click here for the recipe.) I appreciate the simplicity of it.
But really, I’m a fruit pie sort of girl. And of all the fruit pies, cherry ranks right at the top for me.
I’m thinking this Cherry Crumb Pie from The Pioneer Woman would be a great addition to our sugar load. There’s nothing better than a scoop of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream melting into warm cherry pie.
What do you think? Is there a must-have dessert you associate with Thanksgiving?
Things Momma Says:
Me: Do you want to go with us to the parade tomorrow night?
Momma: Will they have corn dogs?
Thanks for being here, friends. It’s hard to believe our Sunday Letters are winding down for the year. Have a peaceful, safe, and yummy Thanksgiving celebrating in whatever way makes your heart happiest.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.