Paul’s Letter to the Colossians

Let your conversation be always full of grace, ‘seasoned with salt’,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

‘Salt’ is one of the most significant words in the whole Bible. We usually hear it in reference to God’s people – ‘salt of the earth’. Because of salt’s preservative nature, Christians, generation after
generation, preserve His name. Also, salt was hard to come by and expensive; Christ’s followers are rare and priceless to Him as He is to us. The words of God give us balance and purify our life as does
salt, as it balances the taste of food, bringing out all the subtle elements which make a flavor more delicate, synchronized, and desirable. Salt is also a necessary nutritional element to life itself; God is also—if only to enjoy in full capacity your life here on earth. Paul is saying here that when we speak, we should have a
little of this good salt on our lips or at least peace, love, and understanding, a balance, a purity. It will make difficult things
easier to say, and it will give mundane conversations life. Because I think to ‘live’ is to recognize that every day is a significant opportunity to cultivate a greater understanding of life, and share
the conundrum of its complexities with one another using the salt on our lips to do so. And in that, even discussing the weather will have as much significance as giving birth to life itself.

The Man Without a Country by Edward Everett Hale

A Man Without a Country by Edward Everett Hale is a story about a man accused of treason as accomplice to Aaron Burr. In the courtroom he announces that he wishes to never hear of the United States again. The judge grants him his wish, and he is sentenced to spend the rest of his life at sea. He creates for himself a cozy little room where he paints (I think) and reads, but no one is to mention any news from the United States. On his death bed he asks a young man to recount for him events in U. S. from 1807 on. This character enchanted me and stayed with me for years so that I based the protagonist from my most recent novella on him. I would encourage you to read it. It would only take a day or so. It is available online through free google books.

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This story first appeared in an 1863 issue of The Atlantic and was later printed in books. This copy is from 1920. I was drawn to its beautiful patriotic design. It’s considered a children’s military book but I remember liking it very much. .

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Taking a look at a very old post about Chattanooga.

“The more one gardens, the more one learns; and the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows. I suppose the whole of life is like that: the endless complications, the endless difficulties, the endless fight against one thing or another, whether it be green-fly on the roses or the complexity of human relationships.”

-Vita Sackville-West
A Joy of Gardening; 1958

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Back in 2017 for about a year I wrote a garden blog based on the garden writings of Vita Sackville-West. She owned Sissinghurst Castle and was a lover and friend of Virginia Woolf. I loved writing and photographing my garden, and it got me through some tough times. Something about the garden is very healing. This particular post of mine, however, was entitled “What Books Can Do”, which talks of my journey to the Chattanooga Battlefield. I thought it might interest some of you. Link:https://vintagehousebooks.com/2017/03/24/what-books-can-do/ At least you can browse through some of the photographs if you’re bored. I apologize if you encounter any of those nasty advertisements. 🤗

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The Book of Numbers

*I have no authority to teach you lessons from the Bible, I only hope you will find something useful. You might disagree with my interpretation and that’s OK!

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“When you cross the Jordan in to Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.” –Numbers 33:51

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OK verses such as the above are what gives God a bad rap. It sounds violent and scary and seems to advertise war. But I will tell you that you must not look at the surface for the meaning in scripture, people that do often miss the truth and can interpret wrongly. Go deeper and this verse takes on a different shape entirely: Before your spirit can settle in peace with God and with yourself, drive out all things that are holding you back from a true and pure existence—all that you consider an ‘idol’ should be destroyed. For me, for a long time, my ‘idol’ getting traditionally published. I prayed and prayed for this to happen. But it wasn’t until I read this verse and saw my own folly in holding that goal on a pedestal of importance over many other things, and asking myself exactly WHY I wanted my books out there (was it for selfish reasons, or was my goal to help people?), that I was able to give up the idea and decide instead to be happy no matter what happened to all my books, poems, essays and dedicate my writing to the purpose of GOOD. Once I did this I found a publisher. Call that whatever you like, but I know where this gift came from. Have faith and hope that God will show you the way, but we must be patient and trust Him with all our hearts. That’s what I think anyway.

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Lower Than Angels by Walter Karig

Lower than Angels by Walter Karig. Finished this book late last night and so promptly took these pictures while in bed. I couldn’t put this coming of age story down. Walter Karig displays the life of Marvin Lang at the turn of the last century. Every chapter is a different year of his life starting in 1900 up through 1919. At times it was vulgar, as Marvin does like the ladies, and I’m a total prude, but it is a story which kept me interested and reading to the point of distraction. This doesn’t happen often. It was fun to be completely swept up. .

.Pictured is an out of shape 1945 edition completed with a disclaimer about the paper conservation orders of the War Production Board. .

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For the Bride: Today is our Wedding Anniversary

For The Bride: A scrapbook for brides from 1920’s. My mother gave me this as a sort of joke on my anniversary one year along with a book called, The Silent Hostess, also another inside joke. .

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My husband and I were married 14 years ago today. I was 22 years old. It was 70 degrees in Michigan, and the leaves were still brilliantly colored on all the trees. We were indeed blessed. It was before everyone got really creative with wedding pics. Ours are very standard and professionally posed. Nothing fancy like people all jumping at the same time or pictures of shoes and rings, etc. Some details I remember: Our photographer had been hit by a car that day and had managed to limp his way to our wedding despite this. There were ladybugs flying all over the place, got themselves caught in my veil, on my gown, in the hair of bridesmaids and groomsmen. My uncle Jack flew in from California to surprise me on this day, and my dad asked if I was nervous before he walked me down the aisle. I denied being nervous but hummed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture because I WAS nervous (and because I’m a weirdo). I couldn’t find Bryan for most of the event, and everyone kept asking if I was pregnant. 😂 .

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Here’s to all the brides out there!

Cheers 🥂 .

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Inside the Detroit Public Library

Spent yesterday going through the archives in the Detroit Public Library’s Burton Historical Collection. What a beautiful library! It’s what I would like my personal library to look like, and what it’ll have to look like if I keep buying books! 😂 The interior is so vintage—late 1950’s, early 1960’s I’m guessing. 🥰

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Poetry & Prose by Edgar Allan Poe

Who’s ready for Halloween?? 🎃 I think I’ll cozy up under the covers and read some Poe tonight. Love the poem of his entitled, ‘Alone’. Give it a read and tell me what you think!

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.Pictured is a 1951 Modern Library edition set inside an old clock my artist neighbor gutted and I snagged from her garbage. 😬 I do that a lot. Your garbage is my treasure. Behind it is a table I refinished. .

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Desert Islands by Walter de la Mare

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If any of you would like to read an interesting book (which I’m sure you do), please try Walter de la Mare’s Desert Islands. I have a rule to buy any work of Walter de la Mare’s that I don’t already have; I like him a lot.

Desert Islands is sort of a collection of essays (that’s what I would call it because no two chapters seem to flow together) that not only examine themes of isolation in stories like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, but also Mare documents accounts of isolation in stages of Morphine-induced hallucinations from famous writers and letters written by scholars on the subject. It was a wonderful discovery. Every page was like a candle lit in some dark corner of a history forgotten. I can’t imagine there is another book quite like it out there.

This hard cover copy is a 1930 illustrated edition set against an old 1909 postcard and some shells and sand from California.

The book of Leviticus

*Disclaimer: Again, I have no authority to teach you, if you disagree with my thinking that’s OK!

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It’s Friday which means I’m sharing our next book of the Bible! I will say Leviticus and Numbers (I will talk about Numbers in two weeks) are two of the hardest books to get through because they, to me, are a bit boring. But the book of Leviticus, written by Moses, shares with us one of the most important and relevant verses. One which speaks profoundly to our present time and political atmosphere:

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” –Leviticus 19:33-34

Not only can this be applied to our own U.S. border, but also to when you get introduced to your future in-laws, or a newcomer in the neighborhood, workplace, or religious organization. It is one of two important verses I have noted from this book. Most of the book is filled with strict instruction on how to keep the sabbath holy and ourselves holy. It feels very primitive to me. Some might find this interesting, but I was rather bored. Yet I see where it is an incredibly important addition to the Bible itself. Next week I’ll share thoughts on Galatians.

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