• I was supposed to be on a plane to Ireland this morning.

    We were supposed to spend St. Patrick’s Day with our dear friends Heidi and Glenn outside of Belfast; catch AP’s concert in Newtownards; catch a […]

    • Oh, beauty and truth. Thank you for this encouragement and wider view.

    • I absolutely love your perspective. We are being given so many gifts in the midst of these days if we will only have eyes to see. Despite the many disappointments and cancellations, the slow pace, puzzles, music, books, and dancing in the kitchen have renewed our spirits. I believe this break from the crazy pace we have kept is the equivalent of a divinely appointed nap.

    • Oh Lanier, what a sad loss for you after all those years of hard work-my oh my. Thank you for turning your tears into this beautiful reminder, it is a balm to my soul.

    • I love this so much! It is the perfect summary of the hopeful spirit, and sincere introspection, that we all must carry forth today. Thank you!

    • Lanier, I am celebrating your academic achievement today. I am remembering all the views of Oxford golden stone I have seen in scenes of “Morse” I have been knitting through. I am drinking cups of Earl Grey Cream to your honor. You are celebrated, not just for what you have gained, but for what you brought back, within yourself, and are sharing. Thank you and many “Huzzah’s”!

  • 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, […]

  • “You must remember, garden catalogues are as big liars as house agents.”—Rumer Godden, China Court

    My love affair with gardening was tumultuous from day one, fraught with all the heights and depths of a […]

    • This is lovely! I have always wanted to be a gardener. I totally get your love of seed catalogs. I could spend hours in the local nursery dreaming.
      “What’s more, the thing the promise points to is real, and your effort to incarnate it in an orderly vegetable patch or a flowerbed of flaming color is to claim a bit of Eden on a weed-choked, hard-crusted old earth still dreaming of a beautiful past and a redeemed future.” This got me. It is so true. I haven’t figured out how to actually have time in this season of life to become the gardener I want, but love the hope of seeing my yard redeemed in that way eventually. Love the hope beautiful plants and flowers give me of the coming redemption. Thanks for reminding me of this hope!!

    • Thank you for writing. I now have a yard here south of Houston after living downtown Chicago for 9 years. You feed my soul with all the gardening talk. I loved this article. Part 2? 🤗

    • Oh, Lanier, how my heart sang when I read this article! Before I moved in to my current home, I had absolutely no experience with gardening When we moved in, we discovered gardens and hedges half-overrun with weeds and ruin, but also with beautiful perennials hidden among the tangle & chaos. I took it upon myself to tidy things up–or so I told myself. Little did I realize that my notions of order would manifest into full-fledged love of gardening.
      I’m still a relatively lazy gardener, and things aren’t entirely where I’d like them to be yet, but oh how different things look now. Our hedges are orderly, the gardens are brimming with pinks, whites, and and oranges of our beautiful perennials , and where we once had bare, weedkiller-poisoned soil around the base of our tree, I now have hostas beginning to grow. I just transplanted an armful of black-eyes Susans to another strip of land that was once completely overrun with weeds–including poison ivy! I’m praying they will thrive and claim that area for themselves.
      What a joy it has been to adopt these gardens & the yard as my own, and reclaim them from the ruin that they were before. Few things have given me more delight than the little joys discovered in my gardens. Bumblebees busying themselves among the beesbalm. Daffodils & hyacinth suddenly appearing one spring where weeds were before. (They were hidden deep beneath the weeds all along, of course, but not until I cleared the weeds out did they have room to grow again.) And especially catching glimpses of hummingbirds visiting the flowers!
      Thinking on my own garden failures & missteps, too, this especially resonated with me: “The trouble with gardening, however, is that once you’re in love—and I mean really in love—it’s for keeps. No amount of discouragement or unpropitious circumstance is going to uproot that mysterious tangle of delight and desire from your heart. Like all the great loves in history, love of gardening persists, often in the face of impossible odds.” It’s so true.
      I look forward to future installments of this series. And now I long even more for spring and the growing season.

    • Loved this! I have a fear of even attempting to plant anything as I have a genetic black thumb, but your post has inspired me to start small and enjoy the process. Thanks!

    • Oh my goodness, how this spoke to my heart! As I read your beautiful words I couldn’t help but apply them across so many areas of my life in which I fight “the weeds,” especially this: “You rejoice to find that neither drought, nor busyness, nor squash vine borers have power to snuff out that original spark, and that a seed catalogue, or a fleck of green on an otherwise dead-looking hydrangea cutting can still summon a quick rush of tears. Of all things.” Exactly what I needed as I await the promises fulfilled!

    • “A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!” 🙂 Your picket-fenced garden was the first beauty with which I fell in love many years ago at LaniersBooks.com, having googled “fairy roses” and “Tasha Tudor” and having tumbled into your enchanted garden, thereby. Someone passed in our immediate family and home this month, and the few early-purchased potted blooms and our very close bird-friends have been neglected for a month…and then…are we staying here or moving, now? Almost do thy waving, wandering, irrepressible moonflower tendrils sway me to stay and garden…one more year. And then…I have sometimes so missed “early Lanier,” whose heart was bound up in her garden, not so much in writer’s fame and French and Oxford, as in herbs and bees and lambs…earthsong, when writer’s fame was just a dream for which there was no time on sunny spring mornings…or afternoons or evenings. When our hearts were wholly given to God and nature and LMM, and our hours were free. And our affections simple and local and summery…a flowered dress…and few if any photos or written descriptions of the same. Or maybe the writing was squeezed in among and after the “home-sweets,” not the home-sweets after the writing…”and thank God for home-sweet things, a green and friendly hill, and red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.” (Having said all of that, don’t you DARE stop writing. 🙂 All so beautifully expressed. And I hope you are out today in that garden, Victoria Magazine overalls and wellies, straw hat and flowered canvas gloves.)

    • “A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!” 🙂 Your picket-fenced garden was the first beauty with which I fell in love many years ago at LaniersBooks.com, having googled “fairy roses” and “Tasha Tudor” and having tumbled into your enchanted garden, thereby. Someone passed in our immediate family and home this month, and the few early-purchased potted blooms and our bird-friends have been neglected for a month…and then…are we staying here or moving, now? Almost do thy waving, wandering, irrepressible moonflower tendrils sway me to stay and garden…one more year here. And then…I have sometimes so missed “early Lanier,” whose heart was bound up in her garden, not so much in writer’s fame, as in herbs and bees and lambs, when writer’s fame was just a dream for which there was no time on sunny spring mornings…afternoons or evenings. When our hearts were wholly given to God and nature and LMM, and our hours were free. And our affections simple and local and summery…a flowered dress…and few if any photos or written descriptions of the same. Or maybe the writing was squeezed in among and after the “home-sweets,” not the home-sweets after the writing…”and thank God for home-sweet things, a green and friendly hill, and red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.” (Having said all of that, don’t you DARE stop writing to us. 🙂 All so beautifully expressed. And I hope you are out today in that garden, Victoria Magazine overalls and wellies, straw hat and flowered canvas gloves.)

  • 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 the c […]

    • After living in Italy for 2 years (and being back in America for 8 now), this made my heart ache.

    • Lanier, I’m always captivated by your beautiful writing. I held my breath reading this one for numerous reasons–imagining myself as both the driver and passenger in that “white whale.”

  • 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 […]

    • This is beautiful, Lanier. I love the image of Jeremiah sounding the trumpet and gathering those spread out along the wall for fellowship. Such a wonderful way to take what you’ve received from the Rabbit Room community and share it with others.

  • 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.”

    She knew ex […]

  • 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: the leaders and the followers.

    “Then […]

  • 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 their creativity; a loving n […]

  • Lanier Ivester replied to the topic in the forum Lanier Ivester 4 years, 7 months ago

    <span class=”bbp-user-nicename”><span class=”handle-sign”>@</span>racheldonahue, I cannot think of a better destiny for my poem than to evoke a writerly response in someone else. I’m so honored to hear that. Blessings on your pen!
    </span>

  • 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 c […]

    • Thank you again for this series on Lucy Maud Montgomery. That she could write such beautiful words despite the darkness she experienced both within and without is such an inspiration to me to keep writing even when I don’t feel like it. Perhaps that’s the time when we need to keep going the most, to remind ourselves and our readers of the light that still shines.

  • In broad daylight, I like to say that I’ll bet that my barn is haunted.

    It makes sense. For over a century and-a-half, it’s been almost continuously occupied—give or take that 15 years or so before I came on th […]

    • The sign of an excellent writer is his or her ability to transport the reader to the location of the story, not just with matter-of-fact descriptions but more so with the infusion of the feeling of the moment. You are an excellent writer, and I find your work so appealing to the visually sensitive nature of what I do in visual art and photography. Really quite beautiful.

  • Thank you, friends. I’m grateful these words touched your hearts.

    And, oh, Breezy, I am so deeply sorry. I ache for you. I can imagine so much of what you’re feeling right now. I want you to know that you’re in my prayers. xx

  • (I wrote this last December, and while the circumstances are different this year, the sentiments are not. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.)

    I am so sick of death.

    It’s been a year of bereavement. Even before D […]

    • I feel like I’ve heard this before, “The opposite of joy is not sadness, but fear.” Maybe I read it in something you’ve written! Whatever the case, I needed the reminder. I remember a time a few years ago when I felt like I was living in a time of waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I was bracing myself against the possibility. I’m not there now, but I still have to practice turning to joy and away from fear.

    • Beautiful and… hard. But hopeful. Thank you for sharing. I really needed this this morning…

    • Oh, Lanier. Thank you.

    • Thank you, friends. I’m grateful these words touched your hearts.

      And, oh, Breezy, I am so deeply sorry. I ache for you. I can imagine so much of what you’re feeling right now. I want you to know that you’re in my prayers. xx

    • Lanier, I thought of so many people when I read this. I am so glad you shared it again. I posted it on Facebook for two of my widowed friends with young children. For my friend who is caring for her aging parents after her mother almost died, who is wishing to be back home to care for her husband with Parkinson’s. For my friend with three little girls who is in the last days of cancer, and for her husband who does all of her Facebooking for her.

      So many people were helped, and said so. The comments came in from people I didn’t even know were struggling with these dark things. Thank you so much for your beautiful, honest, thoughtful words. I have no doubt they will continue to reach and encourage people far beyond your knowing.

       

    • Lanier, this post makes me even more grateful to have been able to meet and talk with you last month! I’ve not had to deal with the death of an immediate family member yet, but through my life it’s seemed like anyone else has been fair game. God has taught me a lot through those trials and as a result this article speaks to me so deeply. The pain in this life is so real, and yet, by grace, I rejoice. Thanks so much for this.

    • “We will remember more lighthearted days, when we thought things would be like that forever, and we will smile at our beloved ghosts and thank God that those days have been.” 

      That brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for the reminder that to grieve is to love.

  • 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 […]

    • How wonderful that you found this book just at the right time, Lanier! It’s been on my to-read pile for ages, time to dig it out and have a read, methinks! Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  • Lanier Ivester started the topic in the forum 4 years, 12 months ago

    I just clicked through the gallery over on the Hutchmoot website (when I should be working on my HM sessions ;)) and it made me cry a little bit. Such a feast of good things!

    I just wanted to hop over here* and say that I’m SO looking forward to seeing all of you fine people (both old friends and friends yet-to-be-met) and raising a toast to the…[Read more]

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