Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Is there anything more exciting than the last day of school? When I was a kid, being out of school for summer brought a magical sort of excitement. Today, even though I’m no longer a schoolgirl, and my kids have left the nest, I still feel the same way. Memorial Day weekend kicks off the celebration.
A few days ago, I saw the cutest boy riding his bicycle in the neighborhood. He exuded that “school’s out” joyfulness not only in the way he peddled down the street, racing with his siblings, but also in his whimsical outfit. He was wearing what looked like a brand-spanking new life jacket and an old-fashioned, plastic Halloween mask. Bugs Bunny, I think.
It was the most adorable thing.
Hopscotch, playing in the waterhose, catching lightning bugs, wishing on shooting stars—I don’t know if kids still do the summer things that fill my memory, but I hope so.
One thing I do know… they still ride bikes with great enthusiasm.
The mind is a crazy thing sometimes. Mine is, anyway. Take for instance, last Wednesday. Somehow I convinced myself I couldn’t write another single solitary word until I satiated my ice cream craving.
Typically, I don’t have a sweet tooth. But occasionally, ice cream in particular calls out to me, practically jars me until I have no choice but to stop what I’m doing and partake. Until recently, I could walk one block to the local grocery store and buy a carton of Blue Bell. Sadly, our store has closed.
Smudgies Dessert Lab opened at the corner of Dickson and College. Has anyone in Fayetteville tried it?
Thank you, ice cream gods.
The menu is unique with Smudgies, Sludgies and Softies. I can’t explain the difference in these sinful concoctions because I didn’t hear a word after the guy behind the counter explained a Smudgie is like ice cream sandwich, only the sandwich part is a fresh donut.
Another thing I know for sure… I do not need to start eating donuts with my ice cream.
I ordered a small cup of strawberry cheesecake ice cream with no toppings. I’m a purist that way. The serving was plenty for me and tasted oh so delicious with partially frozen, smashed berries and crumbly cake parts.
In the Garden
Just as kids empty from schools and explode into backyards and city parks, the garden celebrates, too. This week, our daylilies erupted in blooms. Our first purple coneflower is leading the way for a bumper crop. I’m waiting for happy bees and butterflies to follow.
Can we talk about the rain? As of late, a thunderstorm rolls over Northwest Arkansas and dumps half an inch of rain nearly every afternoon. I believe if I sat on the porch, I could see stems growing taller, reaching for the sky. The whole neighborhood is lush. It’s as though we live in the tropics.
One Year Later
This time last year, John and I were in Iceland. I had been accepted into a writing program. While there we tacked on additional time to see the incredible sites.
If you’ve ever thought about going to Iceland, DO IT!
Seeing the memory of Iceland pop up on Facebook reminded me that I was working on Book Two when I was there.
I’m still working on Book Two. Even though I’ve made great progress in the manuscript since then (I’ve lost count of the rounds of edits I’ve done), I’m disappointed that I haven’t already finished it.
While in Iceland, I did a reading at the Icelandic Poetry Center. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that exactly one year later, KUAR’s Arts & Letters would feature The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee in a beautiful episode with music that would absolutely bring the Delta and my story alive.
I know, I know, I know. I’m still talking about the radio show that aired Friday. I can’t help myself. Talk about wishing on shooting stars… Grace Lee Eudora Abbott (the name of the episode) exceeded my expectations.
If you didn’t get a chance to hear it, now would be the perfect time to listen online by clicking HERE.
School Kitchen Tip
We must all like, or learn to like, and eat every kind of wholesome food; then we will all like to work and play, to study and think, and will be kind and pleasant. But if we eat too much or too little of any one kind of food stuff, we will be lazy, stupid, and irritable. (The School Kitchen Textbook, Mary J. Lincoln, 1917, Lesson II, Food Stuffs)
Sunday Letter friends… I hate to end on sad news, but sometimes that happens. A local hometown man from Osceola unexpectedly passed away a couple of days ago. He was well-known and beloved, a retired farmer, only sixty years old… Once again, I am reminded that even this afternoon isn’t promised to us.
Eat the ice cream.
Go to Iceland.
Write that book.
Play with your kids any time you can.
Do all the things and stop beating yourself up about the things you don’t accomplish.
This weekend especially, take time to honor those who served our country.
RIP Scott Stanford.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Norman Greenbaum Spirit in the Sky ( Rare Original Footage French TV 1970 )
Did you miss my blog posts from Iceland? Read them by clicking on the links below.