Literature Lust Love Letter #6
I hope this Saturday morning finds you safe and well. In my Midwestern neck of the woods, the trees are losing their leaves, the temperature is dropping, and the days are getting shorter. I’m a little sad because I’m a summer-time girl, thriving in hot temperatures and intense sunlight. While I associate fall with the loss of warmth and the inevitable arrival of winter, I remind myself that with cool temperatures and long, dark evenings, I have more time inside to read and write.
A lot of people are talking about the changes in Medium. I dislike the loss of curation which was an affirmation of the quality of my writing and which I think helped people find me. But since I rarely make more than $50.00 a month on Medium and don’t have thousands of followers, I’ll roll with whatever Medium does. The changes they make aren’t important. Nothing squashes my need to write and my need for a platform that delivers my work. …
My sister handed me a bag filled with the collected ephemera decades old.
“I swore I wouldn’t do to my kids what Mother did to us,” Melanie said, “so I’m purging now.”
I knew what she meant. Our mother, bless her heart, wouldn’t throw one thing away. Nothing, no matter how unimportant it was, could be pitched. She and my dad had lived in the same house for almost fifty years and they never discarded anything.
When my sisters and I had to clean out their house after our parents’ death, we were overwhelmed with the detritus of a sixty-two-year marriage and two people who had lived into their late eighties and held onto everything. Mother blamed her hoarding obsession on the fact she was a Depression-era child and learned not to be wasteful. She just couldn’t throw anything away. Not only was she ultra-conservative, but she was also super sentimental. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, held some kind of emotional significance for her, making it impossible for her to dispose of anything. …
My dad planted a small blue spruce fir tree in our yard when we moved into the house in 1963. After a few years, my older sister, Melanie, could take a running leap and clear that tree which was about three feet tall. All these years later, the massive tree stands more than fifty feet high and has a trunk almost two feet in circumference.
Daddy also planted a pair of holly trees at the same time, one male and one female. (Yes, trees have sexes, depending on which one can produce berries.) The female tree in the corner of our backyard grew so humongous that Daddy felt compelled to cut it into three topiary balls, making it look like a prickly, red, and green snowman. …