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Lawrence and White corresponded for several decades. The two women discussed their gardens, their columns, their books, and their lives. In the early part of their correspondence, they often wrote each other by return mail. Toward the end of Katherine's life, the letters were few and far between as illness began to affect her movement and ability to see. In spite of their suffering, they continued to observe the world around them and relay how things were going in the garden-the latest blooms, the ravenous mice, the unexpected cold snap, the new greenhouse. Their words remind me of the hope and comfort women have long experienced when a letter from a loved one arrives. As my 87-year old aunt with whom I still correspond says, it doesn't matter what you write, the smallest thing matters.
The editor of this collection of letters Emily Wilson, quotes a librarian who remarked after having read the letters Elizabeth and Katherine wrote to each other, "I got a feeling of moral interdependence on a creative level. Somehow I had viewed the creativity of successful people as a strong force that perhaps needed channeling but not encouragement. Now, on this new-to-me-plane, I see again that no man is an island."
Marietta, a high school friend, asks Peaches to investigate the death of her brother Winston, who allegedly jumped off a cliff. Marietta insists her sibling would never venture near an overhang because he deeply feared heights. Money could be a motive as Winston and his relatives recently came into a $15 million inheritance each. On a trip to England, someone tries to kill Marietta, who immediately persuades Peaches to join her. On the luxurious return trip by sea, several other murder attempts occur, including one on the sleuth. Peaches knows she must identify the culprit rather quickly before someone else dies at the hands of the unknown assailant.
Elizabeth Daniels Squire has created a near perfect sleuth in Peaches. The middle aged person with a faulty memory refuses to allow her ailment to stop her activities. WHERE THERE'S A WILL is a who-done-it loaded with misdirection cleverly executed by the author. Anyone who reads this novel will search for the previous five books in this humorous series with a deep message.
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Having just bought a canoe last year, my wife and I have poured over these pages looking for new possible places to explore in this wonderful state of ours. A trip that we've taken the past few years is noted in incredible detail in this book. It includes notes on remote islands which we camp on to which rapids are worthy of portaging around. (We're amatuers!).
The author has done a wonderful job appealing to both rookies and more advanced paddlers by not taking anything for granted and explaining each bend and turn in superb detail. He also provides fascinating information on the history of the rivers and flowages he comments on.
Overall, I must say this is a must for serious (and not-so-serious) paddlers. A great gift. (Hint, hint mom! )
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She lived and gardened first in Raleigh, then in Charlotte (both Zone 8). The winters in Zone 7 were a bit colder, but many of the plants she recommended for Zone 8, survived in Zone 7 where my family lived and gardened. Given global warming, I think much of Zone 7, which extends right up the East Coast--almost to New England (?)--is now verging on becoming Zone 8 -- at least the part that lies east of the "fall line" on the coastal plain.
I have lived in Arlington, Virginia for a number of years, and have seen a decided shift in the climate in my area. Crepe Myrtles that used to live no futher north than Fredericksburg and die back to the ground in Arlington don't. And Catbirds, a real southerner are nesting in my yard. Both of these are Zone 8 transplants.
Even though I am technicaly in the lower edge of Zone 7, I can grow almost anything Miss Lawrence discusses in her book "A Southern Garden" in my garden. My house is on the "fall line" however, and just west of me the winters are a tad too cold for some things. But if you live in Zone 7, and like a plant try it. If it lives great, if not you've gained some wonderful experience.
Most importantly, pay attention to Miss Lawrence when she describes the 'old timey gardens' -- some say there is nothing new under the sun, and though that might not be entirely correct, many of the old plant forms she discusses are still extant.
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