The real me is the woman in this window, manual typewriter in front of her but holding a pencil posed over paper. Deer nibble at shrubbery on snow-covered lawn, fodder both for her writing and for her life.
Or are they the same thing?
[Picture by illustrator Adrianne Blair in Faith Baldwin's Face Toward the Spring.]
I felt that I was "somewhere safe with somebody good" reading Jan Karon's latest and long-waited for novel about Father Tim and his wife Cynthia. In times when news about church leaders is not always good--and Karon tackles the very subject superbly in this book--Father Tim represents the many who year after year continue to serve God and their flock. Years ago I was reading a small book by Phyllis Nicholson, written in 1947, called Country Bouquet. I was reminded of Father Tim then when Nicholson wrote about the contribution a member of the clergy has on the village where they live, and even more so after reading Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. "How profoundly clergymen affect the parish in which they work, and how subtle are the secrets of their influence. To be good is not enough; goodness, without the backing of personality, seldom attracts or holds the interest of a mixed body of persons. What, then, does? A standard of living and appearance to command respect and invite imitation. Unfailing endeavor to put the crooked straight. You can't 'look up' to any individual who is carless in dress, or gobbles their soup and frowns upon black sheep. Almost everyone admires and responds to a practical attractive manner of living. They appreciate a well-cared-for home, good food, the kindness and understanding that lifts every day life from drabness into worthwhile experience."
From Phyllis Nicholson's Country Bouquet
Wow! That's a lot to live up to, isn't it? But fans of Karon's Mitford books probably all agree that Father Tim lives up to it, could be true of him, personifies him.
What? You say that Father Tim is not real, he's a fictional character? Not to me, he's not, not to a true Mitford books fan!
Although some Mitford residents do take objection to the sight of Father Tim running down Main Street in his summer jogging gear.
Well, nobody's perfect, are they? Not even the clergy. Why do we expect them to be?
Pretty scary, huh? I had fun with that mantel but it was a lot of work, especially finding just the right quotes for it.
I'm aiming for a simpler mantel this year, more of an Autumn mantel than Halloween. Maybe Sammi Gayle won't be scared of this one.
Here, Sammi, here Sammi. Don't be scared. This one's not creepy at all.
Now, isn't that better, Sammi?
That's a good kitty! There's a time for going all out--we've all done it--and a time to spritz a little windex and polish, put a few loved pieces out and call it a day.
This was the time to put up one little white pumpkin, the beautiful cross Christy gave me, a couple of sunflowers that were fading from her beautiful arrangement I showed in the last post, stuck in a white ceramic star Mom gave me that was in our home at Christmas when I was a little girl, and my favorite old platter.
I've had this platter at least 30 years. It's English Staffordshire by J. & G. Meakin and is part of the Country Life pattern. However, it is much older than most of what you find of that pattern on eBay. I've had a watch on it for years and never seen another one until this week. Unbelievably, it's beginning bid price is $15.
Here is a link to it, just in case anyone is interested. Mine is a beautiful piece with more vibrant colors and worth much more than what this one is listed for, but that seems like a low price anyway. And no, I'm not friends with the seller. At my age I simply do not need another platter. Bye for now.