Number 52
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For Love of College Football

IT'S THE FIRST SATURDAY of September, the screen door that opens to 🍂 with all its promise and glory. I won't even mention everything 🎃 of which I happen to be an unabashed fan. I will, however, mention college football—the real reward for making it through another blistering summer.

There are, of course, my beloved Clemson Tigers. But there is also just the college football season itself, with so many baked-in joys it's like a hot apple pie so filled as to bubble over with oozing goodness. There's the anticipation, the competition, the surprise wins and losses. There's the great gathering of friends, be it in front of a television or in a hot (or cold!) tailgating parking lot—with that delicious buzz of energy only found on college campuses! There's the food, the drink—I MEAN does one ever consider a calorie when it comes to football food I THINK NOT. And you know what else? There are the sounds of college football, with crowds and cheers and bands, and if you're watching on TV (which I like to have it on in the background even if it is a game I don't care about and that works well since my husband will watch any game, any time and will suddenly be wildly invested). Plus the announcers. Can we just talk about college football announcers, most of whom are so full of giddy you can't help but be infected with the thrill of it all!!! I have my faves which are Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit—gentlemen, scholars—who pull from every play I KID YOU NOT significance and poetry. The mere sound of their voices makes me believe that people are good and rivalry is good and in spite of whatever other #*%$# is going on in the world everything really is okay.

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that time we traveled to Texas A&M for a game, just because that sounded fun
And so Sportsfans and not-so-Sportsfans, my hope for you this day and this season is that whatever you love, whatever brings comfort, whatever brings life and joy and a reason to look forward with anticipation—I hope you have it in spades!

It's fall, y'all!
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image: IMBD
Friends recommended this one, and I'm so glad they did. Tim and I devoured, and we're thrilled to know Season 4 is in the works. Promo copy says: In an alternative version of 1969, the Soviet Union beats the United States to the Moon, and the space race continues on for decades with still grander challenges and goals. It's one of those dramas that feels so real you worry about the characters in random thoughts throughout the day. And now with Artemis set to launch? It IS hard to separate fact and fiction!
Speaking of, how thrilling it is that we have our first-ever female Launch Director for NASA's Artemis mission to the moon! Not only that, she's South Carolina native and Clemson grad Charlie-Blackwell Thompson. Here's a link to a swell profile in Garden & Gun.
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This has been a joy! A neighbor mentioned he has been working on a list of his 100 All-Time Favorite Songs, and you know I took that bait. What fun it has been to revisit, reconsider, add on and mark-off. He was adamant one must actually limit the list to 100—the narrowing down is the point. I'll get there! My current list weighs in at 154 (I keep trying to convince myself I can do 100 Greatest plus the Eagles but I know that's not playing fair.) I'll keep working. If you're interested, I'm building mine via a playlist I've shared on Spotify. Oh, and I've decided. Show Tunes and Christmas Songs get their own separate lists.
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I am not a re-reader, typically. I mean, how can you be when there are so many fabulous books you'll never get to? Still this summer I re-read The Shell Seekers. I love Rosamunde Pilcher; it's on my Favorite Books of All Times list; I probably first read the beloved novel in 1987, the year it was released. That means it has been 35 years (yikes!) since I first fell for this one, and I wanted to see if it holds up.

It does.

Promo copy reads: Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father's painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.

I haven't tried this yet but it sounds so easy and reliable I'm passing it on anyway! The 3-ingredient Trick That Makes a Michelin-Star-Worthy Fruit Salad, from Epicurious

recently on THE DAILY GRACE

When It Floods and You Are In It

I was attending the Appalachian Writers' Workshop in Hindman, Kentucky, when we awoke to horrific flooding. I was on high ground and never in danger, but facing the devastation, and trying to find a safe way home, was one of the scariest experiences of my life. So many people lost so much, and my travails pale in comparison. Still the impact, to me, feels important, and I'm glad to have written it down. I'd be humbled should you care to read it.
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