Did you think you’d never see another Sunday Letter? Oh my goodness, I’ve put lots of miles on Betty White driving way down into the deep south and back. I’ve put lots of thoughts on paper too. Some of these thoughts might even make it into my next book.
That’s the plan anyway.
After a trip, it takes me some time to settle back into a routine. And it takes some time to process all the goodness that comes from travel—I’m not sure I’ve completely done that yet. Within a week’s time, I went from strolling on the beach, to walking the farm turnrow, to treading the city sidewalks of Fayetteville, dog leashes in hand.
Three things: 1) A change of scenery is a powerful thing; 2) Every place provides its own special magic; 3) said magic becomes more potent after having been away a while.
My time away at Story Camp on St. George Island absolutely exceeded my expectations. I headed there with a couple of writing goals in mind, and yay for accomplishing them! The best writer retreats happen when a few key elements come together—a strong facilitator, attendees that mesh, an environment conducive to creativity.
With Story Camp, we had all that plus more!
This group. Wow. I left inspired and grateful and filled to the brim with joy. The power of an ocean setting with quiet, uninterrupted time = the perfect scenario when trying to uncover a new story.
I can’t wait to see these ladies (hopefully) next spring. Yes, Story Camp will be an annual trip if at all possible.
There is definitely a unique synergy that comes with spending time around other creatives. I highly recommend this type of writer experience.
My cup is still full from the experience.
This meme on Facebook still has me laughing out loud.
I don’t think I’ve ever truly been indifferent to birds, but compared to now, maybe I was.
What makes most things funny is a truth element delivered with perfect timing. I read this nugget just after straining my eyes to find the Summer Tanager my birding app identified in the tree canopy. Just after installing reflectors on our kitchen windows to keep the birds from striking them. Just after making a special trip to the bird store for safflower seed.
Real life can truly be hilarious if you open your eyes to it.
Credit to the Arkansas Birders Facebook page for sharing the meme. That I am a proud member of said group 100% proves its point.
For the Birds
But seriously, our kitchen windows are sometimes a hazard for birds, especially when they are super clean.
Clean windows? What’s this nonsense? I know, I know. Bird collisions provide motivation enough for me to leave a coating of pollen on them. But my husband has mad skills when it comes to making glass sparkle (lucky for me, not so lucky for the birds). Unable to distinguish outside from inside, birds will collide into the glass thinking they can fly right through.
It doesn’t happen often, but a few times a year is too many for my bird-loving soul. Window collisions are one of the leading direct human causes of bird mortality. And because of this, last week I installed reflectors on our two problematic kitchen windows, those with the most wide open views.
A package of 48 frosted 1.8″ round decals cost $22 on Amazon. I placed them randomly on the upper portion of the glass; the lower windows have enough surrounding shrubbery to keep birds from colliding. Peace of mind for me + a more safe environment for the birds = yay!
Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day began as a way to honor those who died in the Civil War. Over time, it has become a day to honor all American veterans who gave their lives in sacrifice to our nation. For most of us (fortunately), it’s easy to slip into the fun of Memorial Day and celebrate the weekend as the unofficial start to summer. School’s out, the weather has warmed, farmers hopefully have a good stand on their cotton and soybeans, roses are blooming, and if you listen closely, you might already hear the splash of kids jumping into the city pools.
But take a moment to sit with the reality and real reason for Memorial Day. So many lives have been given in service to our country.
Dessert + art!
So hard to choose.
You’ve not had a macaron until you’ve had one from Alchemy in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Each pillowy-soft bite IS true alchemy. And the classic egg dish showcases each variety of color and flavor.
What’s Blooming and Growing this Week?
Here are a few of my favorites.
Things Momma Says:
It’s been a long time since a man gave me his phone number.
Thanks for being here and thanks for understanding when I miss a Sunday Letter or two. Juggling all the things is sometimes tricky.
Happy Memorial Day weekend from my home to yours.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.