Amanda Bridger and her cousin Maggie were not raised together, and are perhaps eight years apart in age. They lived in separate towns, with Amanda remaining in Paxton, and Maggie’s family moving to a much larger town before she was born; Maggie now lives in a large city WAY farther North. Their gettings-together through their childhoods were mostly on weekends or just Sunday visits to their mutual Mammaw’s little pink house, but they bonded from the first, and remain close in spirit. They meet seldom, any more, but will ever be Heart-Sisters. Their correspondence is also sporadic, but is always comfortable, like waking in the morning to a loving, familiar face, or picking up a well-loved book.
From Maggie to Amanda, not long ago:
Well, as my MewMaw used to say--"this is a fine howdy do". I've been sitting over here daydreaming-- unable to concentrate much on work. We've been back and forth to Paxton for several week-ends now, helping one of my Treasures (Hubby Fernando’s Aunt Rosine) move her things from her house in Jackson. She's been living with the other aunt there in Paxton for over a year now and has just recently sold her house in Jackson.
And so I spent a few week-ends down there staying with the older Treasure, Aunt Ursula (90+ years young) while Hubby helped box and pack things in Jackson (I always thought that was UR-sa-la when I saw it in books---that was usually a rich lady’s name---but you know they pronounce it Ur-soo-la). Fernando has such a love for Paxton, where folks still drop by for coffee and sit a spell, where sidewalks lead to the town square with art shops and antiques, a little book store, and a big old Courthouse; where folks still leave a basket of tomatoes on your back porch and bring over peach pies for sharing.
It seems rather like heaven to me---these sidewalks and big front porches---these visits and love shared where Y’all grew up. I've never lived in a town that small where everybody knows your name. I'm sure it must have its downfalls; but, in the meantime, I've dreamed up a life there.
I'm attaching a little daydream of mine---about a Yellow House.
Hope you like the little story.
Love you as many as the sands by the sea
From Amanda in return:
Oh, Sweetpea!!! That just takes my heart!! I cannot tell you how sweet and inspiring this is!!!
I just love this story---it is magical and loving and romantic and would appeal to the cooks and the gardeners and anybody who loves a sweet moment in time. I hope you'll let me print it as is, and let my friends see what a sweetie I'm KIN TO! It's just what I need right now---it's just so hot and dry and ugly outside.
Do think about letting me print this on my blog!!
Love tall and wide,
So glad you liked my little yellow house story. Living in the suburbs of a larger city where neighbors never come outside just makes me long for a different life. I'm not sure I want to grow much older living without folks coming over for the first cup or dropping by a bag of tomatoes and sitting a spell. It's just too lonesome--this life here. Of course, Fernando is my very best friend and best I could ever dream or hope for but every time I go to Paxton, I want the sidewalk neighborhood where everybody knows your name. Was it really like that when you grew up? Was it the dreams I dream of small town living?
I sent all the little pictures for the story over in separate e-mails. I am just sooooo challenged when it comes to computer things and didn't know how to send all at the same time. Well, you know me, I still like the old Underwood typewriter.
Have dough rising on the back porch for tomorrow's bread, and pickle juice boiling for puttin up sweet pickles. Orange, yellow, and red tomatoes ripening on the back porch also. It's that busy, busy time of year again.
So good, to hear from you, as always.
And, of course, you can use the story. I'm delighted you liked it.
Do love you as sweet as the gallons of sugar I've put in these pickles.
From me to Maggie on Monday:
I can just SMELL those pickles!!! That was the sweetest letter (no pun intended), for I could smell the scents and feel the kitchen heat, and just the aura of a loaf rising out on the porch---I cannot imagine a better morning.
That was just the dearest story---I've read and re-read, and when Chris gets home tomorrow, I'll have him get all the pictures sized and put in my album so I can use them on the blog. You think YOU'RE Underwood---I still have my slate and chalk!
It's 82 today, It's Eighty-Two to-DAY!! Now you'll be singing the Howdy Doody song to yourself all day.
I'm looking forward to using your sweet story---I love your writing style and your dear way with words---the love just shines through. And parts of our e-mails would go beautifully in the post, as well, if you don't mind if I work them in.
much, much sweet love to you all, like bubbles in yeast,
And from Maggie, yesterday:
WHAT A DAY!!! This has been just an awful day. I fell asleep on the couch with the ballpoint pen in my head (just carry it around either in the back ponytail or behind the ear all day long) and woke up with the couch just covered in circles and circles of black ink. And the worst thing is that I haven't had the couch very long. Everyone said try hairspray and I sprayed and blotted and re-blotted for what seemed like an eternity and the ink just sat there.
And the raccoon came in the screen porch sometime in the middle of the night and took bites out of my tomatoes sitting out there ripening. When Fernando came downstairs, I was standing at the kitchen sink weeping and told him about my big ole mess and he said it wasn't anything that important. It was just a thing that could be replaced and please don't cry anymore. I was still upset and said that so many things had gone wrong already this morning that if the bread on the back porch didn't rise, it would just be the life of me.
He laughed and said----
"THE BREAD DIDN'T RISE. HERE SHE LIES." And that set me off to laughing so hard, the tears fell from sheer laughter.
And the Lord looked down and said, "Isn't it good. Isn't it very good to be married to someone who acts so Christlike. So full of grace?" And I said, "Yes Lord, it is indeed very good."
Well the bread did rise and I'm still alive (ha). But I do need me a whole day of lying around just reading before I do any more damage.
Do love you so
A to M, that afternoon:
What an EPITAPH!!! No wonder you "died" laughing!! Look for the Little Yellow House story tomorrow.