Dear Sunday Letter friends,
It’s Father’s Day, and I’m thinking about all the strong men who influenced my life, helping to make me the crazy person I am – haha!
But seriously, today I would like to honor these men who were important in my world during my growing up years: my Daddy, Thomas Tate; both my grandfathers, Reven Creecy and Homer Tate; and three of my favorite uncles, Woodrow “Woody” Johnson, Ted Parnell, and Rex Creecy.
(I could devote several posts to other fathers who in some way influenced me—parents of my friends, men from Brinkley Chapel, male teachers—but today I’ll focus on kinfolk.)
Daddy and Papa Creecy were farmers who taught me a lot of things including the value of hard work and the satisfaction that comes from working the soil. I credit them both for my love of the land. Uncle Rex taught me that growing things can include not only row crops but also flowers and shrubs and trees. Papa Tate worked hard too, running the post office and grocery store in Victoria; he had a talent for adding a dose of snark and humor to every little thing. Uncle Ted (also a farmer) taught me that life is too short not to be having a whopping good time. Uncle Woody (yes, he too was a farmer) taught me the power of a well-told story.
Think about it, a good work ethic and a sense of humor—these are priceless things.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that’s true. So often we positively influence young ones without knowing it, simply by our behavior, a smile or laugh or kind word. So to everyone fathering someone or something, keep it up! The wider world needs you.
A Busload of Succulents!
Feast your eyes on this garden cuteness.
The Washington County Master Gardeners created these as centerpieces for the recent Arkansas Master Gardener state conference. Then, as a gift for being on the garden tour, they gave us one.
Well, I adore it.
I parked it in a prominent, sunny spot near our fire pit. Every time I see it (multiple times a day), I think of the Matchbox cars my sister and I loved to play with in the field back home. And the Tonka Trucks we had in the back yard sandbox. And I recall the wooden bus our family of Fisher Price Little People piled into when they were off to school or wherever our imaginations took them.
So basically, I view it as a grownup toy that combines my love of gardening with favorite memories.
Thank you Washington County gardening friends. And thank you Westwood Gardens for donating the succulents!
National Pollinator Week
Tomorrow launches the beginning of National Pollinator Week. And I swear, it’s like the butterflies and bees know! Thankfully, our flower bed buffets are ready with all-you-can-sip nectar. Coneflowers are in full bloom (purple and white and Ozark yellow) and our butterfly weed is vibrant. I can watch from most any window in our house and see a variety of pollinators floating and fluttering and skipping around over all the blossoms.
A few of the beauties I’ve captured the last few days:
Pollinators come in all shapes and sizes from the tiniest bee to large mammals like lemurs that stick their long snouts and tongues into tree flowers and transfer pollen to other flowers. (I’m pretty sure Gracie and Annabelle have pollinated lots of plants in our garden simply by being such busy schnauzers…) Of course, mostly we think of bees and butterflies because they accomplish most of the necessary pollinating work.
Look at this teeny insect. I believe it is a hover fly.
To kickoff National Pollinator Week, Project Wingspan is offering a FREE five-part on-line workshop about the ecology and biology of bees, habitat restoration, native plantings, and more. I’ve started watching and highly recommend what I’ve seen so far. When it’s too hot to do much in the garden, why not learn instead?
Click HERE for more information on the workshops from Project Wingspan.
I am over the moon about this handcrafted journal I received in the mail yesterday from a lady in Dallas who has been a faithful supporter of my writing since I first began blogging.
Beautifully handmade from vintage books, ephemera, and fabrics with lots of blank pages for writing and hidden pockets and places for tucking things inside.
It must have taken hours to make.
What a special gift.
I feel a little like Gracie Lee, you know, when she received her new journal.
“I placed my new journal on the bedside table
and realized it would be a long time
before I thought of something important enough to write.”
(The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee)
Actually, I know exactly what I will do with this special gift. I’ve always wanted to keep a garden journal, but I’ve never devoted a journal just to gardening. (Instead, I always scribble gardening ideas in whatever journal I’m recording all the other jumble in my brain.)
So this will be devoted to that.
There are all sorts of sweet surprises within the pages. Each page is a work of art.
Thank you, Carol!!! This truly made my week. Actually, my entire month.
Things Momma Says:
If you see me wearing a belt, you know I’ve lost weight.
Thanks for reading today’s Sunday Letter. As we move into the last part of June and the beginning days of summer, I wish you a Happy Father’s Day, Pollinator Week, Juneteenth, Pride Week, and whatever other occasion you are joyfully celebrating.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Donna Reed says
I would like to know where I could buy or order one of those journals. I have a friend that would love it, I really enjoy your Sunday Letters. ❤️
Carol Owen says
You can email me. [email protected]
Talya Tate Boerner says
Email Carol at [email protected]
Colene/Tom Chebuhar says
This is a lovely Sunday letter and ends with the perfect musical pairing! Happy Father’s Day to John as well.
Frances Creecy says
Thanks for your Sunday Letter today I needed that.
Carol Owen says
Great Sunday letter as usual. Love the succulent bus . So glad you’re using it as your harden journal!
Fay Smalling Guinn says
Enjoyed your letter. What a friend! I’ve got a couple of journals I bought at Lifeway Bookstore before they closed. I was going to give them as gifts but they’re so pretty . . . 🥴. Like Gracie Lee I’m waiting for something special to put in them😄
Barbara Tate says
Loved the song.