On Sunday I drove up to Roosevelt State Park in Mississippi, where I was to meet a girl camper friend. Wouldn’t you know a severe storm front moved across Mississippi and Alabama on that day. I considered postponing my trip by a day, but I had the camper all loaded and was itching to go. I watched the weather app radar and decided storms would mostly be moved out by the afternoon. I was wrong.
Throughout all 200 miles of hauling the camper up here, I encountered periods of rain, some of it a veritable deluge and certainly nerve-wracking as I (and all drivers) slowed to a crawl. This was the first time for me hauling the camper through such rain. When I arrived safely and succeeded in backing the camper into the campsite with ease, I was one happy girl camper. The rain had passed, the skies had cleared, and Faith and I could take off on a walk in the woods. We both felt pretty satisfied with ourselves.
Yesterday I toured the Eudora Welty House and Gardens in Jackson Mississippi, something I’ve long wanted to do. What made the experience even more fun for me was that my friend Janice shares a passion for books, as well as knowledge of writer Eudora Welty, home construction, and gardens. We had a bang up time batting observations back and forth.
The house is kept almost exactly as it was when Welty lived there. Her books are everywhere–as it is in my home and in anyone’s home who loves books. The house gives evidence of a woman who valued books, family, the culture in which she lived, and simplicity and gumption to focus on these things.
As I followed the young tour guide through the house, I thought of the homes of my youth–my grandparents’ and great aunts and uncles, those I lived in as a child and even in my early married years, all similar to the Welty house. I felt a great admiration for Welty who had known early her gift and desire to write and had kept at it, set her course and never wavered. Her father encouraged her to take business courses in college, but she knew she wanted to be a writer. I smile now to think of all her books–I kept remarking, “Oh, she read Clyde Edgerton…and Dick Francis…and Ross MacDonald!” How I would have been able to talk books with her! I was reminded of all the things that have remained with me from the early years of my life–books, family, and the culture and traditions which seem bred in the bone.
If you are a writer and have the opportunity to visit Jackson, Mississippi, I encourage you to see the Eudora Welty House. You will be inspired and reminded of much you already know. You will be inspired to read and to write.
My personal favorite short story by Miss Welty is Why I Live at the P.O. If you read it, write me and let me know your thoughts on it.
Well, friends, the sun is shining, and the dog is stirring, looking at me with the questioning eye, as if to say, “Is it time to get out and walk again?” And so it is.