In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



Happy Birthday Jack

. . . our beloved friend, author and brother-in-Christ, C. S. Lewis.
November 29, 1898 - November 22, 1963
endlessly quotable,
tremendously helpful,
who gave us Narnia and so many other memorable things. . .

Nonny Nonny
Chris Rice

Summer warm and lazy
Lemon sun and hazy
Popsicle red on my chin
Bikes and plastic army men
And no sign of September
Something in my seven years was telling me
To thank the Author of such a biography

Nonny Nonny Odle'ee
River washes over me
Up for air and carry me away
Nonny Nonny Odle'igh
Run the earth and watch the sky
Praying hard and waiting for the day
Nonny Nonny Odle'ay

My adolescent 70's
Reads just like the Pevensies
'Cause every perfect now and then
I cought a glimpse of Aslan's mane
And I longed for His treasure
Something in His mystery was drawing me
To love the Author of my own biography

Nonny Nonny Odle'ee
River washes over me
Up for air and carry me away
Nonny Nonny Odle'igh
Run the earth and watch the sky
Praying hard and waiting for the day
Nonny Nonny Odle'ay

All grown up and living fine
Biographies all intertwined
With billions
And soon He turns the final page
We'll look the Author in the face
Then the book really begins
'Cause something tells me all these years of memories
Are only the first sentence of eternity

Nonny Nonny Odle'ee
River washes over me
Up for air and carry me away
Nonny Nonny Odle'igh
Run the earth and watch the sky
Praying hard and waiting for the day
...Nonny Nonny Odle'ay


' [Willy Sloper] always referred to the furnace as "She." "I got her wide open," he'd tell you on a cold night, or "Say, Cuffy, she'll be needing a couple tons stove coal tomorra, next day, tella Boss." Or oftener still with a knock on Father's study door, "Say, Mr. Melendy, the furnace, she's on the fritz again." This would be followed by an exasperated sound from Father. Once he said, "Okay, Willy. Call in Mr. Yellen. But the next time she acts up I'm going to replace her with a good dependable oil furnace; maybe gas. This way it's like being married to an Italian opera singer. Tell her I said so." '
The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright
This I quote not only because I love Elizabeth Enright's wit, and furnaces have been very necessary recently (it was 8 degrees this morning), but also because it reminds me of the temperament of one of the other machines in our house. Our computer, which always makes a pathetic groan when we ask it to do something, has now resorted to grunting like a pig, clicking at odd intervals, and generally acting like it is about to die. It also lost some pictures, and shut down unexpectedly, so uploading pictures was more trouble, and therefore, unduly procrastinated. All that to say, I finally did it, and am very glad I did. I hope you enjoy them.

The most delicious picture books. . .
Christmas in the Country
Nana's Birthday Party
Bravo Maurice
Peter Spire's Christmas
Seven Silly Eaters
Gingerbread, to put it simply, deep with ginger and lemon. . .
winter fog. . . entirely delightful.
Lovely friends of ours enjoying games and chatter. . .Baby Josiah . . .
and experiencing the bitter cold.
Everything is iced over,
~out walking with Natalie~The haybarn is a wonderful place to take refuge from the cold.

So are the lanes between the haystacks.

And the reward of braving the cold winter's day is seeing eight deer from close range just as dusk is falling.

There were many happy hours around the sink and kitchen table. . . love you guys!

"He Shall Reign Forever and Ever"

On October 30th, 650 people from different chorus groups infiltrated the Philadelphia Macy's as shoppers, and at 12 noon, burst into the Hallelujah Chorus. You must see it. And as it will not properly go on my blog, I refer you to Justin's blog, where Mother found it this morning.

The Joyous Season

The air is chilly, but not yet bitter. The trees are bare of leaves, and not yet laden with snow. We've had our first snow, but drifts won't come for a while. The ground is brownish, the air not as clear as in October. The ancient sky not so bright.

Some people think that this is a dreary time of year, but they don't know the secret. It seems no one has told them that . . . . Christmas has begun!

Its cheer has been kindled, its lights have been lit, the music is playing. Our decorating commenced on deer hunting opener, as usual, and we are taking our time with it.
Because, you see, Christmas is a rushed season . . . by very nature, it seems. And if you don't start now, there is no time to savor it. How much nicer to be able to enjoy cooking, baking, and present-making under a festive glimmer of lights.

We're celebrating the Light of the World . . . and though His birthday does not come for a little while yet, we should take time to think about His coming, and His life, and His coming again. And become anxious in the waiting for His consolation, like Simeon did.

There's also something winterish and celebratory that we have come to call Christmas that simply has to do with snowflakes, and orange spice, and smooth jazz. It is winter coziness. To me, lighted trees and colored balls, expectation, and baking are all a part of that coziness, and should not be confined to a few days. Let the feasting begin!

Take time to find all your favorite holiday quotes in your books. Read "Shepherds Abiding" by Jan Karon again. (I listen to it on CD every year.) Learn new festive recipes (maybe with cranberries in it) and eat them now. You don't have to wait until Christmas day to make and enjoy them. Christmas is a Season, as well as a day.

A season to rejoice in, because God came down . . .

Down here with us . . .

Immanuel . . .

The assembly of our tree is a lengthy and often hilarious time.
Ben and I were the elfs this year
The little tree gets Charlie Brown lights
and 'candy' garlands
decidedly cozy. . .
And the cabin-y ornaments
untangling. . .
and stringing
with the 'Holiday Inn' soundtrack on,
And of course I had to add more twinkly lights to my bedroom. . .
. . . and balls

. . . and candles.

The Staggit Eve*

The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
And deep his midnight lair had made
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
But, when the sun his beacon red
Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
The deep-mouth'd bloodhound's heavy bay
Resounded up the rocky way,
And faint, from farther distance borne,
Were heard the clanging hoof and horn.
As Chief, who hears his warder call,
"To arms! the foemen storm the wall,"
The antler'd monarch of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste.
But, ere his fleet career he took,
The dewdrops from his flanks he shook;
Like crested leader proud and high,
Toss'd his beam'd frontlet to the sky;
A moment listen'd to the cry,
That thicken's as the chase drew nigh;
Then, as the headmost foes appear'd,
With one brave bound the copse he clear'd,
And, stretching forward free and far,
Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.
Yell'd on the view the opening pack;
Rock, glen, and cavern, paid them back;
To many a mingled sound at once
The awaken'd mountain gave response.
A hundred dogs bayed deep and strong,
Clattered in hundred steeds along,
Their peal the merry horns rung out,
A hundred voices join'd the shout;
With hark and whoop and wild halloo,
No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew.
Far from the tumult fled the roe,
Close in her covert cower'd the doe,
The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wondering eye,
Till far beyond her piercing ken
The hurricane had swept the glen.
Faint and more faint, its failing din
Return'd from cavern, cliff, and linn,
And silence settled, wide and still,
On the lone wood and mighty hill.
Less loud the sounds of sylvan war
Disturb'd the heights of Uam-Var
And roused the cavern, where 'tis told,
A giant made his den of old;
For ere that steep ascent was won,
High in his pathway hung the sun,
And many a gallant, stay'd perforce,
Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
And of the trackers of the deer,
Scarce half the lessening pack was near,
So shrewdly on the mountain side
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.
The noble stag was pausing now,
Upon the mountain's southern brow,
Where broad extended, far beneath,
The varied realms of fair Menteith.
With anxious eye he wander'd o'er
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor,
And ponder'd refuge from his toil,
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle.
But nearer was the copsewood grey,
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray,
And mingled with the pinetrees blue
On the bold cliffs of Benvenue.
Fresh vigour with the hope return'd
With flying foot the heath he spurn'd,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.
:~: Sir Walter Scott :~:
excerpt from: The Lady of the Lake, Canto First

*See Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher