Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Man After My Own Heart

Are RH and I some of the few who love storms?

Granted, we've never been hurt in a tornado and escaped to sunny Destin when Hurricane Matthew neared our home in Ponte Vedra Beach. 

Even the epic ice storm in Nashville of  1994 where we stood with Zack and Defee at the picture window and watched trees in the yard being snapped in two was so awesome (full of awe) that we weren't afraid, only mesmerized by the sight and sounds.

I am so glad that RH shares my love of storms and love of weather, all kinds of weather. We love every seasonal change.

Another man after my own heart is Jessamyn West's Jess, married to the Quaker minister, Eliza. In the movie Friendly Persuasion Jess is played by Gary Cooper and Eliza by Dorothy McGuire and I always pictured these two actors when I read West's Friendly Persuasion and Except for Me and Thee. 

Eliza liked weather herself: sun and a brisk wind on washday, warm weather when her Plymouth Rocks hatched...she liked to hear weather busy doing its duty; sending the windmill around, distributing a leisurely rain once the corn was in, snapping the nails in a hard frost when fall fruits needed a touch of cold for mellowing. But Jess relished weather, it seemed, for its own sake. Hailstones big as pullet eggs cutting the corn to shreds, and Jess in the thick of it gathering up buckets full like diamonds. The wind so strong the log cabin, low as it was, quivered like an old dog beat down to its haunches, and Jess out, hat off, mouth open, gulping down draughts of air like a doctor's prescribed medicine. 
Jessamyn West
Except for Me and Thee

I always loved Jess for this. And I love RH for this too!

And speaking of RH, he just yelled in the door to turn on the TV, there's a big storm approaching. Uh oh, five minutes until another front like this one above from the other day reaches us.

Got to go get some pictures and gulp down some rain fresh air--and pray we keep our electricity. RH is madly trying to finish cutting the grass.

He's a man after my own heart. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Scent of Water's Col. & Mrs. Adams

For years I have meant to review Elizabeth Goudge's The Scent of Water, especially after rereading it in the days following the loss of our twin dachshunds Milo and Otis in the fall of 2017. 

Night after night my reward for getting through the day was getting into bed with The Scent of Water. It was the courage and dignity of two minor characters in the book, Col. & Mrs. Adams who were living in necessary frugality in their Holly Cottage, who helped give me courage to face the next morning.

And so I will simply share with you here Goudge's words about this remarkable couple who I wish had a book of their own, themselves the main characters. 

Here are Elizabeth Goudge's Col. & Mrs. Adams:

They did not have supper, just cocoa and bread and butter when they went to bed, cocoa being cheap...

 The fact was that by the time they had done the work that had to be done in the cottage, cooked and eaten their frugal lunch and washed up afterwards, they were tired and couldn't do much more for the rest of the day except sit; out in the garden in warm weather, in front of the fire in winter.

Colonel Adams was eighty-two and crippled with arthritis. He had suffered with a grim and humorous heroism for many years though now the joints were fixed and he was in less pain; but it was difficult to get about on his two sticks. Mrs. Adams was younger, a little creature who hardly reached her husband's shoulder, but her physique had not been equal to the strain of bearing her four sons, losing three of them in the war and having the fourth turn out so disappointing. Then had been the perpetual planning and contriving that had been necessary with the cost of living ceaselessly rising and Service pensions staying where they were. And so now she was delicate...

But if life had been hard for Mrs. Adams it had never occurred to her to think so, and her soft face was serene as a kitten's. It had never occurred to the Colonel to complain either. His lean brown face, with bushy white eyebrows and white calvary mustache was wrinkled in lines of perpetual good humor...
Colonel Adams finished his tea and turned his chair around to the fire and lit his pipe. The little room was shabby and charming...remnants of a beautiful carpet...yellow curtains and chair covers were faded and darned but still pretty. There were books, photographs of their children, and a few bits of rare china that could not be sold because they were cracked...Outside the window the evening light was turning the garden to magic and in the wood the cuckoo was still calling.
 Elizabeth Goudge in The Scent of Water

While there were other wonderful characters in this book, and I have a personal fondness for another minor character, Mrs. Hepplewhite who most people avoid like the plague, Col. & Mrs. Adams really tugged at my heartstrings.  

The whole community where the book takes place wrapped itself around my heart and I even rejoiced when the Adam's selfish sponging son had his own redemption story. 

Many layers make up The Scent of Water, not to mention the title itself that contains hidden meanings.

Finally, "What is the scent of water?"

The answer: 

     "Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew." 

Have you read The Scent of Water? Did you enjoy it?

Any other Goudge fans out there?


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Trying to Swing Back Into Blogging

[ad from Ladies' Home Journal June 1951]

It's not easy getting back into blogging after being absent two months but I'm really trying to.

There's been a mental block going on in my head every time I sit down to click on New Post. 

Know what I mean?

But I've missed this little ole space and my friends who met me here so I'll be trying hard this week to do it in between visits to PT. 

I always was afraid to try to swing high when I was young, but it was exciting. I don't think I'm quite ready to let the swing get rusty. Not yet.

So see you soon?