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a letter to friends

graveside-1I come out of this season while away knowing a few things for sure:

Final goodbyes are the most painful sort

They become no less so with repetition

Four feels too many

Little girls – and little boys – mend hearts

Sky and earth make good medicine

 so do rainy streets






Dear friends,

I never dreamed that I would be away from this space for so long. For us, this has been a season to remember. Maybe it has been for you too.

We’ve suffered painful losses, I’ve returned to school, we’ve found sky and earth in the Highlands of Scotland, we’ve celebrated beginnings and we’ve loved.

I’ve missed a great deal here – and I’ve missed you.  Still, I know this time away has been necessary – and for this, it’s been good.

I’ll bring food to you later this week. For the coming season, simple food – sink-your-teeth-into, wrap-your-heart-around, simple, good food.

Wishing everyone well, and hello again!




49 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love these images and these words. Yes, you’ve been living all of life. Welcome back!

    October 1, 2013
    • Thank you Ashley! All of life can be a lot can’t it? We all know.

      October 1, 2013
  2. Denise Snow #

    Spree, I was thinking about you just a few minutes ago, as I translated into Spanish, your delicious Sri Lankan Fish Stew. Then you suddenly appeared! There are no coincidences.

    This is a meal that helps to soothe some of those painful losses, one that our dear friend, Jack, loved. He also loved a whole chicken, baked in a clay baking dish with lots of vegetables. Ask his daughter, CP, for the recipe. Another of my favorites…so comforting.

    October 1, 2013
    • Thank you Denise! You offering me comfort food – what a sweet thing! I’ve heard all about C’s chicken in a clay pot with veggies – that dish has quite a reputation for bringing deep and soulful comfort!

      October 1, 2013
  3. I was only thinking about you the other day and meant to drop you an email. So it’s wonderful to hear from you, although I know you’ve had a hard summer it’s still wonderful to see you back here in blogland.
    I was looking at the photos and thinking those are not taken in N America ! It looks beautiful and I wonder where they were taken?
    take care my friend x

    October 1, 2013
    • Claire, I’ve missed you friend. So nice to see your smiling face ! The photos were taken in Scotland. The city and first graveyard in Edinburgh, The others in the highlands around Inverness. I’ll head over to your promenade soon! x

      October 1, 2013
  4. Lovely to hear your words, sad to remember you’ve had a tough few months, smiling to see beautiful Scotland…sending all good wishes 🙂

    October 1, 2013
    • Thank you very much friend. And this was our first trip to Scotland and I’m so in love with her!! (MacIntosh in me blood an’ all!) Trying to talk my man into a kilt…I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂

      October 1, 2013
      • There’s something so very dashing about a man in a kilt! A pal of mine has just bought a second hand one for a family wedding (he’s a very Scottish Scotsman!) but it needs altering so that wil be quite a challenge for me 🙂

        October 1, 2013
        • VERY dashing! (What IS it anyway?) 🙂 Altering a kilt would be a challenge for sure, but ironing in the new pleats, that would undo me completely I think!

          October 1, 2013
  5. Just yesterday I was thinking about you, and here you are today. So glad to see you back. The circle of life has its difficult parts. I’m sorry to hear you’ve experienced so many of those lately, but rejoice with you in all that is good and beautiful and joyful.

    October 1, 2013
    • Mar, I just saw your face over at Smidge’s! Was lovely to see the two of you together! Those hard parts hit us hard, but we’ve a lot to take joy in and we DO – having others hopping on to share with us makes it all the better! Thank you Mar for that and your kind words!!

      October 1, 2013
      • It was lovely to meet Smidge, and maybe one day I’ll get the chance to meet you in person too! In the meantime, it’s so nice to share our blogging camaraderie. Much in life to rejoice about … today it was apple picking with my young granddaughters. So sweet!

        October 5, 2013
  6. You have encapsulated life in a few profound photographs, from those who preceded us ages ago to the newest who will survive us and make the world a better place. Who can view those beautiful beaming faces and not believe in an enhanced future for the human race? Amidst the melancholy that comes with saying goodbye, we can still appreciate all that elicits joy and happiness in the amazing world that we live in.

    October 1, 2013
    • Very well spoken. Whenever I despair (which isn’t often), I have only to look their way. Thanks Joseph.

      October 2, 2013
    • If you ever again are in need of a quick pick-me-up, I guarantee this 5 minute video will do it. While watching, I totally feel as one with those participating in this performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and I can barely suppress my own “Tears of Joy” as I experience both the music and the audience’s reactions I think you would probably also agree that, from a technical standpoint, the camera work is masterful. No matter how many times I watch, this video always evokes an empathetic emotional response.

      October 2, 2013
      • yes, love this for all the reasons you speak of! thanks again, Joe.

        October 3, 2013
  7. I missed you and am so happy that you’re back! Welcome home.

    October 1, 2013
    • Something about those words Ronnie…”welcome home”…it must have been that! Or maybe being missed. Whatever it was, the words came at the right time, and I do thank you for them!

      October 2, 2013
  8. spree.. sweet friend, I was sad to read of your difficult months away. Bless your family and I only hope the year ends well for you all. Your little babes are just so beautiful, what joy that must bring to your lives! I’m so glad you are here.. with us.. welcome back spree!

    October 1, 2013
    • You, my sweet friend, have been sorely missed! Thank you for tender thoughts and blessings. It feels quite lovely to have come home and I’m so happy to see you here! xo

      October 2, 2013
  9. Clearly I’m not the only one who’s missed you, dear Antoinette. Sad for your sorrows along the way, I send you heartfelt wishes for deep comfort and healing. I know that your beautiful spirit and the loved ones surrounding you will lift you back to the heights of Spree-dom soon enough. In the meantime, it’s a joy to have you back ‘in our midst’ here and I welcome the chance to have new visits and send you cyber hugs galore.

    October 1, 2013
    • You are one gracious and lovely soul Kathryn. I’m so happy to be back in your company!

      October 3, 2013
  10. Ali #

    Can’t tell you how happy it made me to see cooking spree in my inbox today. Beautiful photos and words, as always. Miss you!!

    October 1, 2013
    • Thank you my dear girl!

      October 3, 2013
  11. kelly loggan #

    Oh My Dearest… To see your Post made my Heart Leap. You have been on my mind so very much and I’ve been about ready to send a VM update plus inquire how you are and then some adversarial setback has occurred. I just “Knew” and have keenly “Felt” where you’ve been (in my Spirit) and I, too, have traveled a road a bit bumpy but God is providing in amazing ways. I loved the synchronicity of this today with how much I’ve known you must be going through. Very happy for your return to this part of your “Wonderful Life” expression. I know you’ve worked hard. Much Love to you and All God’s Grace circling you and my Warm Heart Hug, too. Your Kelly

    October 1, 2013
    • Dear friend, it’s time you sent a VM update! As always Kelly your compassionate heart runs deep And I so appreciate your warmth and love. Please let me know what’s going on in your life Kelly, and I send back hugs and love to you.

      October 7, 2013
  12. Good to see you back. Sounds like you’ve been on a roller coaster.

    October 2, 2013
    • Thank you, Roger. The hards have sure been hard this year, but happy to be back.

      October 3, 2013
  13. Sending you a pocketful of sprinkles and a bucket of best wishes…

    October 2, 2013
    • Sprinkles received, and your good wishes straight to their target! Thank you “Movita”!

      October 3, 2013
  14. Deb schneider #

    Such a lovely, heartfelt comeback :). Your story and photos – all beautiful.

    October 2, 2013
    • Thank you Deb, dear friend.

      October 3, 2013
  15. So glad to hear from you, Antoinette, though sorry to learn Life tossed some curve balls your way. I hope things have settled a bit for you and I look forward to seeing your posts in my inbox once again.

    October 3, 2013
    • John, I’ve wanted to write you all summer long. I’ve missed keeping up with a few of my blogging friends, of whom you are one of those at the top of my favorites list. It was pretty much a “clean break” for this past season as life was really demanding attention go elsewhere. I’m happy to be back though I’ll still need to be less involved for a while than I had been. Thanks for your thoughts friend. I’ll see you soon!

      October 3, 2013
  16. It is so lovely to have you back. Hopefully all that was hard in your life is over and that only good things are waiting in the future.

    October 4, 2013
    • I appreciate that very much Karen, and thank you !

      October 7, 2013
  17. settleandchase #

    Lovely to see you back – I’m sorry to read things have been hard for you – we have had an out of sorts season here too.. its great to be thinking ahead now to a new one..Autumn is a quieter time and good for recovering, reflecting, and feeling at home.. can’t wait to read your posts again!

    October 6, 2013
    • Cath, you’re one of the friends I’ve missed while away. What a gift it is to us humans that seasons come and seasons go. I’m so hoping the one we’re entering into brings you the very sort of quiet and renewal you need after this past one. Take gentle care of you!

      October 7, 2013
  18. Reading a comment from you today made my day and now I couldn’t be happier to see that you are back to posting
    So sorry for your losses Ani and I do hope the new beginning brings you joy

    October 7, 2013
    • Oh dear Sawsan, I only just now found your very kind comment. Thank you so!!!

      October 20, 2013
  19. From across the world Spree… the coffee pot is on, the cake has been cut and there is a soft warm breeze coming in the window with the afternoon sun. Anytime lovely, anytime…

    October 7, 2013
    • Dear Brydie, I apologize – only just discovered your most beautiful, welcome warming comment. Wish I had the words to tell you just how dear to me that are!!!

      October 20, 2013
  20. In birth and death, you never fail to inspire. Welcome home.

    October 17, 2013
  21. Welcome back indeed xXx

    October 19, 2013
    • Hi Lesley…not fully back, but to the degree I am, I’m happy to be! Xo

      October 20, 2013
      • one beautiful step at a time x

        October 21, 2013

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