Kiki and I agree on many things. One of them is that rainy days are something to be enjoyed, not endured. When I wake up to a rain tapping on the window, I think of books, a singing kettle, ironing, warm blankets, and baking. This morning was one of those times, and I was glad.
I was especially glad when the doorbell rang and it was the mailman with an Amazon delivery: Mrs. Appleyard's Year, by Louise Andrews Kent. My dear friend Kary, whom you all know from her blog My Farmhouse Kitchen, had recommended it to me a while back.
What a perfect day to get a new book! One look at the worn cover with a painting of the four seasons and I was smiling. Then I read the dedication and my heart beat quickened; apparantly I've found a new kindred spirit! "To E.T.A; Because while she and the author disagree about politics and the way to make lemonade, they like each other's families, hold the same strong views on shellac and asparagus fern, cherish curly maple bureaus with cats to match, and laugh at the same jokes-twice if necessary." How endearing! I thought immediately of the wonderful friends I have been lucky enough to make here, from all walks of life and all different opinions. It is truly the things people have in common which are most important, and being able to share simple joys and laughter.
The first few pages already have me chuckling to myself. I love this book, and I love Mrs. Appleyard! There's something so very satisfying about discovering books like this one. They usually don't even feature a photo when you order them on Amazon or AbeBooks. It always feels like something of a treasure when it arrives, tattered, worn, old, with that musty vintage smell I have grown to love. I think about the author, long gone, sitting at her type writer all those years ago, writing the words I am now reading. Words on paper are timeless, and it's a thrilling thought that you are reading what was in someone's mind before you were even born. I end up wondering about the author, about her home, about the desk at which she sat and wrote, and if they ever imagined that seventy years later there would be a curious girl reading their words on a rainy morning in the Austrian countryside. Probably not.
I want to thank Kary for recommending this gem of a book to me! As always, I appreciate book recommendations from you, my readers...rare, old, funny, heart-warming, country, home, nature, cooking, friendship, farming....those are the features I adore in a book.
Aren't these letters wonderful? They are vintage stencils