TGIF | Late February.

Hello friends and hello last Friday of February … I know this isn’t the case for many of y’all, but it feels like this month has flown by and ushered in early signs of spring.

on our walk this afternoon

Thinking about … Wendell Berry. It’s always interesting to me when something I’m paying attention to starts to show up in multiple places. First, Katie suggested that What Are People For might be a good follow-up to this month’s Marilynne Robinson (What Are We Doing Here?) I just happened to have that book – unread! – on my shelf and I’m in! Next, Juliann told me about a Lenten devotion featuring Berry’s Sabbath poetry. I have one of his Sabbath collections (Timbered Choir; blogged in 2016) and it’s beautiful. I couldn’t resist spending Lent with more of that. and finally, this morning, I saw that On Being’s new episode was an interview with Nick Offerman, who has a special relationship with Berry. Offerman recorded the audio for Berry’s 2022 book The Need to Be Whole … which I downloaded this afternoon after listening to the podcast. Paying attention pays off!

Grateful for … afternoon naps. Lucy’s company. connecting with friends & family. new jeans that fit! gmail archives. intentional early mornings – time to read, exercise, and journal.

Inspired by … re-reading. I wouldn’t consider myself a big re-reader, but this month I re-read five books (one third of what I finished!) – The Night Watchman; The Luminaries; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Patron Saint of Liars; and Little Women. Only one (Lion, Witch, Wardrobe) disappointed (I last read it in 2018, an Advent study with my small group and I loved it. On this re-read, I couldn’t get past the atonement theme and I think the book might be spoiled for me); the other four are wow! I first read The Night Watchman just a few years ago, when it came out, and found even more to love now that I’m familiar with Erdrich and the plot. This time, I was able to focus on the characters, and how she tells – and writes the story. I first read The Luminaries in 2015 and know I simply did not get the whole astrological “thing”. I missed so much! (like what makes this book amazing!) I don’t remember much about Patron Saint of Liars, except “home for unwed pregnant girls” and “Ann Patchett debut”. First published in 1992 (30 years ago!), it still holds up. This is well-written family drama at its best and I’d recommend it. Finally, Little Women. I have a complicated relationship with this one. I last read it in 1994(?) before seeing the Winona Ryder/Susan Sarandon remake. I didn’t love it; the morality of the second half just didn’t sit right. This time, though, I’m loving every bit of it. I’m savoring a few pages before bed every night and the 19th century good-heartedness feels … nice. I’m thinking Greta Gerwig’s 2020 adaptation helped remake that message a little for me, and I find myself cheering for Amy (yep, I’m surprised too).

I’m planning to re-read a few of Barbara Kingsolver’s books this year, including lifetime favorite The Poisonwood Bible. I hope it’s a good experience.

Fun … our second Go-to Dinners is Sunday. My sister is hosting and planning the mussels; I’m simply showing up (because I hosted last month); and everyone else is filling out the rest of the menu … a salad, two sides, and a dessert (my mom jokingly suggested Katie make the easy chocolate mousse again and I don’t think any of us would be disappointed with that do-over). I’ll report back…

In the meantime, wishing everyone a weekend of rest, good food, laughter, and at least a little sunshine. What good food might your weekend hold?

a bigger view of the flowers where Lucy and I walked this afternoon

9 thoughts on “TGIF | Late February.

  1. I LOVE that you’re thinking about Wendell Berry. I managed to listen to half of the Nick Offerman interview today and found myself weeping. Wendell Berry moves my soul – I can’t help it!! I’m looking forward to What Are People For in March. And I want to become a Wendell Berry expert, so I must get to reading everything else he has written!

    Thank you for the daffodil pictures. They energize me!

  2. I love when something (or someone) keeps popping up in unexpected ways. Usually that’s a sign that it/they should be the focus of a bit more attention.

    Even though we’re back in freezing temperatures here, it certainly does feel like spring is well on its way! I saw the first blooming daffodils yesterday, and the flowering trees in the neighborhood are starting to put out those fuzzy bits that come out first. Most exciting, I saw some green leaves popping up on one of my hydrangeas!

  3. I love the serendipity of Wendell Berry showing up for you in multiple places. I have two collections of his poems. “This Day,” if I recall correctly is a collection of his Sabbath poems. I also have an older collection of essays, The Art of the Commonplace. I felt conflicted reading the essays, as I disagreed with some of his thoughts. Either way, he is a good writer and poet. I love the bright daffodils. Little Lucy is darling. I loved her cameo appearance on today’s Zoom.

  4. What a lovely profusion of daffodils you have! My crocus and snowdrops have just blossomed but it looks like despite this being the winter of no snow, some is finally predicted for next week. My good food this weekend has been baking loaves of English muffin bread and I’ve got cinnamon swirl bread rising now. Enjoy your go-to dinner!

  5. Looking forward (of course) to hearing (and seeing??) all about your dinner on Sunday. I was just looking at some of my Kingsolver books. I love her early books (Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams and – of course – The Poisonwood Bible), but am not a fan of her later works. She has become too “preachy” for me. And, ironically, I was just thinking about “The Timbered Choir” which I have upstairs…I may need to pull that out again. Happy Spring!!

  6. I loved that we were discussing more food while eating the amazing food in front of us. Seeing all of the daffodils are really making me happy right now too!

  7. I just love when synchronicity happens. Or, like you put it, when paying attention pays off!
    Can’t wait to hear about those mussels and mousse! Mussels are a favorite of mine…we used to have a fabulous French restaurant that served moules and frites, with so many broth options you could hardly pick. (I had 3 favorites!) What a fun project for all of you.

  8. My weekend held the beauty of connection with friends (you!) both bookish, knitting, and some family thrown in at the end of the day. Plus,a little sun for an afternoon walk with Mylo. Friends and family connection is continuing on through today, too!

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