Random Notes and Observations

*The leaves are now beginning to turn here in Southeastern Wisconsin. The red maples are starting, and within about 10 days or so they will be breathtaking. The leaves crunch under my feet on my walks. On Saturday, the sky was that deep, deep blue, and the air was absolutely still. A perfect autumn day.

*We have new neighbors. Both houses across the street were empty, one for a year and a half before it sold. We have two nice families, both with little ones, that have moved in. I’m going to take over some cookies and a note to say welcome like some neighbors did for us when we were new. In South Carolina, the neighbor boy came over when we had just moved in. The little guy stood there on our porch with his blond shock of hair standing on end and shouted, “Hi, Ma’am! Ya’ll must be the new neighbors. I’m Johnny!” It was a rousing welcome. I was new to the Southern habit of a lot of children calling adults “ma’am” and “sir.” A wonderful habit, I think.

*The last vestiges of childhood are bittersweet. Will and I were leaving Target today, after buying him some jeans that are long enough, when I felt his hand slip into mine for a moment. He looked up at me and grinned sheepishly. I squeezed that hand and let it go again, knowing that boys his age don’t like lingering for long, but it was a sweet/sad reminder that those days of childhood are really ending quickly. I’m so glad he doesn’t mind doing little things like that once in a while. It does a mother’s heart good.

*I found the Mrs. Tim books at the library today. Our library hasn’t yet discarded the lovely old books like so many have. The Mrs. Tim books are by D.E. Stevenson and are the fictional journals of a military wife in the era of WW2 and afterward. They detail all the happenings of a family with a husband stationed overseas while they stay behind in England. I read them years ago and am happy to find them again. They make for cozy fall reading. I really can’t stand most of the modern novels with which libraries are stocked today. There are exceptions, but so many are laced with sex and foul language that they aren’t fit for decent households. Why is it so many authors could be artists, like Elizabeth Goudge for example, without that? I find it terribly sad that so many wonderful books are being taken out of the library now as they go out of print. I get used copies of my favorites on eBay before they disappear into the mist forever.

*I’m starting to smell woodsmoke from fireplaces at night now as it dips into the high 40′s. Colder days are coming.

*O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good…His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations!


9 thoughts on “Random Notes and Observations

  1. I love the D. E. Stevenson books! As far as I know I’ve read them all, and would like to read them again. I think she is right up there with Miss Read! Many take place in Scotland. I love that atmosphere, as it stirs my ancestral roots.

    Also, the clip of Marion Anderson on the Slice website brought tears! I heard her in concert when I was 8 years old. She was singing at Lawrence College in Appleton, and it was Sunday, December 7th, 1941.

    Can you imagine the hush in that auditorium, as that woman sang on Pearl Harbor Day? Even though I was very young, I could sense something of the seriousness–and the beauty of Marian Anderson’s gift!

  2. Living in Southeast Texas, we don’t really get the whole fall leaves thing. We have some brown pine needles on the ground, does that count? I guess not. ;)

    I do love the change in the air. This is my favorite time of year. It gets me all nostalgic thinking of the times when my dad would go deer hunting with my brother after a big Thanksgiving dinner and it was just my mom, sister and I doing “girl stuff” for the long Thanksgiving weekend.

    Sometimes we would do a Christmas craft, sometimes shopping, sometimes just old movies and popcorn for three days. It was nice. Maybe I need to suggest that again for the women of the family this year.

  3. OK, I’m slow. I just realized Slice is yours as well. LOL Great! Double reading for me! LOL

    Over here there are quite a few Indian expats. In fact, one of the Boss’s friends is Indian and I love how he calls me Auntie. It’s so nice to hear a polite name roll so naturally off a child’s lips.

  4. Yes, Elizabeth Goudge is a great author as well. And Rumer Godden! I think Godden’s AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS is one of the most beautiful, poignant novels I’ve ever read!

  5. You love Rumer Godden as well! I have Episode of Sparrows on my shelf. These authors were artists really. My favorite Goudge book is, The Scent of Water, and second favorite is, A City of Bells. When she describes the grandfather walking home through the snow on Christmas Eve with the two children after service at Christmas Eve and saying the compline prayers at home, it was absolutely lovely.

  6. Thanks for the book recommendation! I too love Miss Read, whom you recommended earlier, and how wonderful to hear of others who love Rumer Godden. My mom and I continue to collect her books at used book sales. Episode of Sparrows is one of the best, and my girls love Miss Happiness & Miss Flower and Little Plum. In fact, we’ve found some little Japanese dolls on ebay and hope to build a Japanese dollhouse someday (with Daddy’s help!) just like the plans in the book.

    I am saving Elizabeth Goudge until they are just a bit older–we have The Little White Horse and Linnets & Valerians sitting on the shelf.

    I could talk about books all day… :-)

  7. Margaret,
    I can’t believe how wonderful it would have been for you to hear Marian Anderson in person on that unbelievable day in American history. Beauty juxtaposed against such barbarism in Pearl Harbor. It reminds me of a book I have called Marie Avinov: My Journey Through Hell which was the memoirs of a woman during the Stalin purges. She tells of being on a cattle car going to Siberia for some political “crime” of opposing Stalin and on the car was an opera singer also arrested by Stalin’s minions for being too artsy, I guess. The people were so thirsty they were in anguish. The guard told them that he’d let them have a drink if the opera singer would sing an aria. There they were traveling through the night like cattle, and this opera singer began singing one of the world’s great opera arias. Marie said that she would never forget hearing that beauty against a backdrop of such bestial cruelty. Good and evil. Beauty and ugliness. All contrasted against each other. Pearl Harbor and Marian Anderson. Wow.

  8. We’ll have our first below-50 night tonight in coastal NJ. As of yet, we don’t have a set family tradition to celebrate the arrival of cooler weather. But hot chocolate and a pseudo-log burning in the fireplace sound nice.

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