Number 54
3.12.23, 8:15 am, Cats Mountain

Sometimes it be's that way.

FOR A WEEK I've been giddy over the chance for a couple of days of snow on this mountain. It seems strange to even write that—there's been such an early Spring all over the South (the dogwood beside our driveway in South Carolina was in full bloom when we left home on March 4th. . .MARCH 4TH!!!). And it has been gorgeous on this North Carolina mountain all week. Still the forecast promised snow beginning in the night and as I write this, the weather app swears we're in the midst of "heavy snow showers" right this very minute with the white precipitation continuing through lunchtime.

Alas—it is 33 degrees and raining. Raining, raining, raining.

So close, and yet so far away. Or to borrow a phrase from my SW Virginia childhood: Sometimes it be's that way. Right? Against the odds, against conventional wisdom, in spite of what may be your own dreams and wishes, things don't go as planned and there's nothing to be done but sigh, shrug, and then carry on.

IT'S A LESSON that seems particularly poignant at the moment since Tim and are prepping for an epic Westward Ho! road trip. In celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary (which was actually last year), we've rented a small RV and will be setting out—Stella, our dog, in tow—intent on making a 6500-mile, 14-state and 14-National Park-plus-one-Ghost Town journey. We're beside ourselves with anticipation and—as neither of us has ever done anything like this before—readying our hearts and countenances for every Sometimes it be's that way moment when our lack of experience and/or dang set of circumstances requires that we accept, adjust, and cheerfully carry on.

(I think I'll be chronicling the trip if you'd care to follow along on The Daily Grace blog, when time and internet accessibility allow. Certainly I'll be posting photos via Facebook and Instagram feeds.)

Speaking of the blog. In late November I launched a 30 Days of Joy series to help me honor and celebrate the holiday season. I'm not always a stickler for carrying on with such things, particularly when I've let things stretch long and the effort begins to feel silly. But with three posts to go and a belief that finding the joy can be a daily practice, I pledge to you to be a completist on this one!

I'm so happy you're here. Thanks for being a subscriber to The Daily Grace, for reading posts over on the blog, for spending a moment with me when from time to time I send out these newsletters. Your emails and comments mean the world. And if you know someone you think might enjoy these dispatches from my little corner of the internet, I'd be honored if you forwarded this email.
image: Apple tv+
Shrinking, on Apple TV+
I mean. Jason Segal and Harrison Ford? Plus Jessica Williams, who is a marvel! A grieving therapist starts to break the rules by telling his clients exactly what he thinks. This series is smart, funny, poignant. Love!
Ran Into You, by Mitch Rossel and Trisha Yearwood
Spotify served it up, and I hit repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
So far, 2023 has been an incredibly great reading year for me. I'll do a post on the blog soon with the list and more details, but for the moment I have to highlight this masterpiece that I believe should be required reading for every human on earth.
Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
I do believe this is the best book I've ever read even if I can't say it's my favorite book ever. The distinction between the two matters. Demon Copperhead is finely crafted with an incredible story SO WELL TOLD, a voice that required I underline sentence after sentence, highlight paragraph after paragraph, repeat to myself over and over how did she do that???? A literary masterpiece. But this is not an easy book to read. The themes are difficult and rendered with such unflinching honesty it is, as my friend, Michael warned me, "brutal." Trigger warnings abound. But if you are a reader who can handle such things, and if you love a deep read that will change you, change your perspective, divide your life into a "before" and "after," get your hands on Demon Copperhead.

Per the publisher: Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

via Bookshop
via Amazon
Image: Recipe-Diaries

Turkey Black Bean Chili, by Jenni at Recipe-Diaries

This is a WW-friendly recipe but you wouldn't know it to taste it. A cinch to throw together, plus bland, boring ground turkey is transformed with the heat of chipotle peppers. A perfect lunch or easy peasy dinner!

recently on THE DAILY GRACE

What's Saving My Life Right Now

There's so much to love about this comfy, cozy time of year—and still the winter blues can grab a hard hold. If you're looking for something to shake loose your joy, here's a list of things bringing me "happy" right now.
3.7.23, 7:03 pm, #catsmountain
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