Abandoned Building

I love old abandoned buildings, I know I’ve told you that before. We pass this all the time. I have no idea what was there at one time. It’s in town. I’ve tried to look around online and see if I could find something on it, but I’ve come up empty handed. There’s a fence so I couldn’t get near it to take pictures.

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No More Meadows

by: Monica Dickens   first published in 1953

No More MeadowsTimes are changed with him who marries; there are no more bypath meadows where you may innocently linger, but the road lies long and straight and dusty to the grave.’ So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. Christine feels bound to agree. ‘My wife can do anything,’ Vinson says. Struggling to comply with this statement, Christine has to adjust to life in America, whilst catering to Vinson’s idea of a good spouse. She must force a sycophantic smile for the wife of Admiral Hamer (who wears patent-leather shoes like bananas) in an effort to ease his promotion. There must be a cold Turkey and a cold ham at every party and she must suffer her ridiculous mother-in-law. Bitter arguments are relieved by bleak silences. As the realities of married life wash away her rosy dream of it, Christine begins to wonder if Vinson is really what she wants.

No More Meadows unravels the threads of a very real marriage. Full of her inimitable warmth and sense of idiosyncratic character, Monica Dickens explores Christine’s heart-warming – and at times heart-breaking – search for happiness.


My copy is a Mermaid Book, published by Michael Joseph/Purnell & Sons. I have three of these lovely little books, all Monica Dickens books. I’ve read Thursday Afternoons already and still have My Turn to Make the Tea to read. You can read about Mermaid Books here. They are small, laminated cardboard books, sometimes referred to as limpbacks.

I always enjoy Monica Dickens books. She writes characters very well, I’m always immediately invested in them. This story about an English girl who marries an American Navy Officer and moves to America shortly after the war, England still had rationing going on, was a nice look at some of our differences. Christine and Vinson were as different people as the US and England are as countries. She came from a gregarious, loving, argumentative family and a house full of animals. He came from a divorced family that wasn’t close at all, in fact went years without seeing each other. I’ve never read a book that had both such a sad and happy ending at the same time. I was taken by surprise at the ending of this one.

A Summer Place

IMG_7595The summer place from which Sloan Wilson‘s novel takes its title is an island off the coast of Maine. It is beautiful in summer. It is terrifying in winter – as though, when the summer people are away, their icy snobberies, their fears of committing social errors remain to haunt the empty beaches.

On this island, one summer, Ken Jorgenson and Sylvia Raymond meet. They are very young, and passionately attracted to each other. But both are outsiders, confused by the island’s rigid caste life. And in their confusion they part in anger.

The Story of what happens to them and to the people they marry and to their children, who years later meet on the island, is the central thread of a novel about how marriages are made on earth – some out of desperation. And some, when there is strength and self-knowledge, out of love.

In The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Sloan Wilson held up a mirror in which a whole generation saw the subtle interplay of its family and career problems. In his new book Mr. Wilson looks deep into the human heart and considers how love and happiness may be won or earned and how even the most terrible of mistakes – love unrecognized – can, with sufficient courage, be at last surmounted.


You know Maine is one of my favorite places to be and settings for novels. This one takes place in Maine, Buffalo NY and Florida. I saw the 1959 movie adaption with Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue years ago and remember liking it a lot. I was thrilled to finally read the book. It was Published in 1958, the year I was born. Now I’d like to see the movie again! The theme song to it is so beautiful. And it is so well acted.

I didn’t like any of the characters at first and almost gave up on it. Everyone was so snobby and worried about fitting in and what everyone else thought. The island was private owned and they had an association set up. You had to be approved by the association to build on the island. If you didn’t come up to their standards you were denied. But as Sylvia’s son John and Ken’s daughter Molly got older and became more of the focal point of the story I really did enjoy it. They were lovely young people caught in the web of lies and bad choices their parents made. Will they be able to find happiness with each other or will their parents pasts destroy them too? I really ended up liking Ken Jorgenson too. 

 

Theme from A Summer Place

Old Movies

First off I have to tell you my house smells so wonderful! I have this chicken and potato dish cooking in the slow cooker. Garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano! I can’t wait for dinner. And when its done you sprinkle parmesan cheese on it! Check out the recipe HERE.

Back to old movies… I adore old movies. The older I get and the crazier this world gets the more I think they are an escape for me. I’ve been picking up old movies and am getting a pretty good collect. I took a couple bags of books to trade in at McKay’s Used Book Store couple months back and instead of getting books I got a stack of old movies! One set is 50 classic mysteries! Earliest movie in the collection is 1931, Murder at Midnight. And the oldest is from 1954, Suddenly with Frank Sinatra! I LOVE him! There’s Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Moto, Mr. Wong, Dick Tracy, Philo Vance, Nancy Drew… It came with a nice booklet that gives a synopsis of each movie.

Also got Leading Men Collection, 20 movies featuring Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Fred Astaire, James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Ronald Reagan, Anthony Quinn, William Powell, Yul Brynner, Orson Welles…

A set of three musicals: Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof (one of my favorites!) and West Side Story. I’ve been wanting to watch West Side Story with my grandkids, they love musicals!

A 5 film collection of Frank Sinatra movies! A Frank Capra collection: American Madness, It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can’t Take it With You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. A TCM Greatest Classic Films collection: Casablanca, GiGi, An American in Paris (adore Gene Kelly!) and Mrs. Miniver. And a copy of the excellent war movie The Bridge on the River Kwai with William Holden and Alec Guinness.

And these four …

From Here to Eternity is probably one of my favorite classic movies! I have the book How Green Was My Valley. Should I read the book first or watch the movie? I love Maureen O’Hara.

I’m set for the rest of the winter! I prefer the romance and leaving something to the imagination of these old movies. There’s no romance in todays movies and TV shows, it’s all sex. They have sex and romance and love all mixed up. I just watched two seasons of Nothing Trivial, a New Zealand TV show. It was mind blowing how many times in an episode people were falling into bed and the amount of different partners! It was mind numbing! I can’t believe I sat and watched it all! The characters were pub quiz team. They meshed really well and you get caught up in their stories. Oh well, I think I’ll stick to Foyle’s War and Death in Paradise from now on.

So do you like classic movies and do you have a favorite?

On the Mend

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Ours was very quiet and lonely. BUT, everyone is on the mend now and past the contagious stage so we are looking forward to getting back to the business of living! I have a nagging cough that doesn’t want to go away. A tickle in my throat.

Donald is doing really well. Off oxygen and no more breathing treatments. He’s more his usual self, talkative at dinner and this morning I caught him being silly. He closes his bedroom door when he goes to the bathroom as his TV is so loud. Coming back into his bedroom I caught him knocking on his door as he opened it and smiling real big, so I said ‘Knock, Knock, who’s there?’ and he laughed. He’s back to whistling and listening to his talking books. It’s wonderful. We see the surgeon on January 13th to see about getting that gall bladder out and then he should be right as rain.

He gets digital books from the Tennessee Library for the Blind. Each state has one of these libraries. There are eight books on each disc. The disc looks like a little cassette and slides into a small player. The case has a card with his name and address and then we turn it over and it lists the books and authors that are on that disc. Then we remove the card and the address to the library is printed right on the case for him to send back. Its a really slick set up! He’s on book 7, Death By Committee by Alexis Morgan.

I managed to get two books read the last half of December, A Summer Place by Sloan Wilson and A Lesson in Dying by Ann Cleeves.

My family physician, a dear sweet excellent doctor, passed away December 28th in the wee small hours of the morning. He had Covid. He and his staff had it. They were faithful mask wearers and still got it. His wife found him unresponsive and did CPR to no avail. The word is he died of an aneurysm or a heart attack not the Covid. He did have underlying health issues. I know blood clots was one of them. Last spring he went for a hike and didn’t come home. They found him in the morning unconscious on the trail. He had multiple blood clots in the lungs and took a couple months off work. He didn’t look like his old self after that. Thinner and tired. The light seemed to go out of his eyes. He will be missed. He was my age.

The Boyo is on his way to Iowa now for a couple of days and then home. He’s been gone just over two weeks now. They’ve been to TX, Southern CA, up north of San Francisco CA. Moab Utah, Delta CO, Greely Co. and now on to Iowa. I’m sure he’s getting anxious to get home, but what an adventure they’ve had. They drove through a snow storm in Utah on mountain roads with no guard rails towing a huge trailer. I’m told Boyo has more gray hair to prove it! They sent me pictures along the way and FaceTimed me in CA so I could see the glorious sunset with them. Boyo is learning a lot about airplanes!

Well its dinner time and I need to go get it cooking. Hope your having something good at your house!

Ghost Church

We are looking for property to build a house. Want something closer to the mountains, out of town more and 3-5 acres. Would like to have enough that both the boyo’s could build if they want. It’s a slow process. We came across this lovely old church on one of our searches. I have no idea of its history, but I love old abandon buildings.

I see the kids running around in the churchyard and the old men sitting on the porch in Sunday’s finest chewing the fat. There might be daffodils growing along the porch. Maybe it’s a church picnic day and there are tables in the yard full of food and the ladies in their Sunday go to meetin’ dresses are getting the food ready to serve. The sky is gorgeous blue and a gentle breeze is blowin’. The pastor is coming out now to say the blessing over the food. They all feel so blessed.

Or maybe Anna May and George just got married and everyone is lined up ready to throw rice as they come out of the church! So many stories these walls could tell…

UPDATE: Per a comment left, this building is not a church but a one room school house! Now we can come up with all new stories and imaginings!