“Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago.”

imagesAt my house, we have been talking a lot about what it means to really savor the season. The conversation keeps winding back around to one thing: being mindful about how time is spent–and how it isn’t spent. Its amazing how refreshed I feel on the nights we put Christmas music and read in front of the fire, rather than putting on the TV. Reading is one of those activities that requires all of your attention. All of your focus. I think that is one of the reasons why it is so rewarding. It also allows you to wonder and imagine in a way that the Internet doesn’t. Of course, the Internet is on my top ten list of things I am thankful for. It is great to be able to search and find the answer to any question in the blink of an eye, and it is wonderful to learn about things far an wide from the comfort of your sofa, but it takes away time from seeing things with your mind’s eye.  Its good for the soul to just imagine, without having Google there to inform every nook and cranny of your thoughts.

I hope you find sometime to wonder and imagine and read. And so you don’t have to spend your unhurried moments looking for something to read, heres is one of my Christmas favorites: A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. It is complete with off-beat relatives, the sounds of jingly dimes, a dose of reality, a touch of politics and the joyful, expectant feeling of Christmas.  Without further adieu….

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. “Oh my,” she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!”The person to whom she is speaking is myself. I am seven; she is sixty-something, We are cousins, very distant ones, and we have lived together—well, as long as I can remember. Other people inhabit the house, relatives; and though they have power over us, and frequently make us cry, we are not, on the whole, too much aware of them. We are each other’s best friend. 

To keep reading, click here. 

Hot Cider and The Orchard

Spending the Afternoon in an apple orchard from the cozy of my couch.

Spending the Afternoon in an apple orchard from the cozy of my couch.

Speaking of not hurrying, let’s stop to celebrate Thanksgiving.

I spent part of today re reading a book that my friend Gail passed on to me. It is the kind of book you can wrap yourself in. It makes me crave apples, an old farm house, and a good day’s work.  The book is The Orchard: A Memoir by Adele Crockett Robertson.

I wonder if you could survive a winter on apples alone...

I wonder if you could survive a winter on apples alone…

The Orchard lets you into the world of a woman’s struggle to save her family farm in New England during the Depression. There is little to be depressed about in this book. Its amazing to follow along as Kitty changes from a young Radcliffe student to a dyed in the wool apple farmer, like her father. Just a girl and her dog, she survives broken machinery, overcomes debt, and shows her spunk and moxy like a good New Englander (just like my friend Gail, actually). There are instances of incredible kindness among neighbors and even a Thanksgiving that would warm Norman Rockwell’s heart.

If you look for it on Amazon (click here), you can read the beginning of the book right now…seize the moment, but don’t miss out on reading the whole book.

I am going to send my copy of the book to another friend who needs to have it. She is one of those selfless, hardworking New Englanders, too. I want to make sure she knows I admire those qualities in her and I am thankful for her friendship. When I am done with that I am going to work on warming my boyfriend up to the idea of getting a dog.

As an aside, so that I don’t paint an unrealistic picture, I should also mention that I had to go to the dentist today, so it wasn’t all falling leaves and warm drinks today. You take the good moments where you can get ‘um!