In 2017, my husband and I suffered a devastating house fire, which meant, among other things, a year-long exile to a camper in the backyard during the restoration. It was a painful, exhausting, overwhelming, rewarding, and ultimately beautiful journey back home. But this time last year I was anticipating the unbelievable joy of celebrating the holidays in our own place once more—of cramming the rooms with beloved people and stuffing the freezers, fridges, and larder with good things for them to eat. I wrote this piece after Thanksgiving, reflecting on some blessedly obvious but all-too-forgettable truths. And while grief and loss may have thrown these truths into sharper focus, I need their reminder every bit as much today as I did then.Read More ›
“You must remember, garden catalogues are as big liars as house agents.”
—Rumer Godden, China Court
[The Molehill, Vol. 5 will be officially released on July 9th, but because Chris Thiessen, our intrepid manager of sales, is on the ball, books are already shipping out to readers. Here’s a little taste of what’s inside. This essay of Lanier’s was the first of hers I ever read, and it remains as good now as it was when I first encountered it nearly a decade ago. Enjoy. –Pete Peterson] Read More ›
I had forgotten how Europe smells, that sweetly acrid bouquet of flowers and cigarette smoke, men’s cologne and diesel fumes. I had forgotten the song of unknown tongues filling the air around me, and Read More ›
Back in 2010, my husband and I attended our first (and the first!) Hutchmoot. It was exciting, and a little surreal, to contemplate a face-to-face gathering of a fellowship that had formerly been confined to my computer screen. Read More ›
In October 1949, a brassy New Yorker named Helene Hanff wrote a letter to a staid London bookseller named Frank Doel.
“I am a poor writer,” she told him, “with an antiquarian taste in books.” Read More ›
An artist friend and I had a long talk a while back about the types of people that make up the human race.
According to him, most people fall into one of two camps: Read More ›
Jennifer Trafton’s much-anticipated Henry and the Chalk Dragon is a romp through the “what ifs” of an imagination run wild. It’s a companion for children feeling self-conscious about Read More ›
In this final installment, I want to say a few words about Lucy Maud’s personal challenges as a writer. Even a casual perusal of her journals reveals the fact that Maud was a creature of intense, sometimes crippling moods. I don’t think anyone could be capable of communicating the full scope of human joys and sorrows like she did without being intimately acquainted with both the heights and the depths. Read More ›
In broad daylight, I like to say that I’ll bet that my barn is haunted. Read More ›
I gave in to a cold a few weeks ago. It had been pursuing me for days, ever since we got home from Hutchmoot, but it finally caught up with me. This meant, among other things, that we did not go to the boat for the weekend, and we did not Read More ›