Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
We so seldom write real letters these days. We dash off quick emails, or even worse, we text someone while we're in the middle of doing a million other things that simply must be done right that minute.
But there's such a joy in receiving a real letter–a letter that tells a personal story, a letter that helps you know the writer better, a letter reminding you that the writer really is your friend. A letter from a friend has a certain intimacy that an email, nah, it's just not there.
Life Happens: Enjoy the Ride by Rick Watson is a compilation of columns he's written for his local newspaper in Alabama. But as I read each one, I felt as if I had received a letter from Rick written just for me.
And every single letter made me happy because the letters provide me with a record of the happenings in the life of a close friend.
I've interviewed Rick the past two days (for Part I click HERE and for Part II click HERE), and in the interview he said his favorite column in the book is "A Family of Restless Spirits." I can see why that's his choice. It's so beautifully written. It starts like this:
This week I've spent time at Davis Cemetery, where my folks are buried. Decoration is the second Sunday in June, and it takes a while to get the old cemetery in shape.
It's a peaceful place most of the time. My mom, dad and brothers are buried at the top of the hill, close to the service road that encircles the graveyard. I was there one evening this week, sitting on the tailgate of my truck, giving them updates about what's happening in my life.
And that's exactly what Rick does in his columns. He gives us updates on his life. He doesn't rant and rave about politics or how much he hates this or that. He enjoys gardening, and he loves going fishing.
And he's quite often very funny. Like the time he and his wife Jilda checked into a hotel and the young man carrying their bags thought that Rick was Jilda's dad:
I heard him say, "I see you brought your dad with you." That would have been OK with me if he'd been trying to score some points with Jilda, but he was serious.
Jilda smiled as she looked back over her shoulder at me. When the bellhop looked back at me, I blazed him with a look that probably would have caused second degree burns on his face and neck had he been a step closer.
Once he unloaded the bags he lingered for a tip. I thought to myself, we'll find cures for cancer, heart disease, and stupidity before I give you a tip, sonny boy. Of course he probably could have taken early retirement with the tip Jilda gave him.
Rick doesn't go for the big guffaws. He's relaxed and understated. Life Happens is a great book to read at bedtime so you fall asleep knowing that God is in His Heaven and all's right with the world.
Life Happens by Rick Watson has The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. You can purchase it from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Life-Happens-Holler-Scholar-Volume/dp/0615677738.
I also recommend following Rick's blog, Life 101.
I have one more thing I want to say about Rick. Not too long ago I asked a favor of him. He didn't ask why. He didn't hesitate. He emailed back with "Sure thing, girlfren."
That's the kind of person Rick Watson is.
Infinities of love,
Rick sounds like the kind of person I would like to get to know. I have made a note of his blog and this book. Thank you, Janie.ReplyDelete
You'll enjoy Rick, Inger.Delete
I love the way Rick writes!!ReplyDelete
So do I!Delete
I am a follower of his blog and owner of his work- all of it good!ReplyDelete
Isn't his writing soothing?Delete
Dear Janie, the three-part introduction you've given us to Rick Watson has surely piqued my interest in his book. Thank you. Peace.ReplyDelete
Safe travels to you, dear Dee.Delete
I like written letters, too. It almost seems like a lost art.ReplyDelete
Just think of all the books of letters written by famous authors. Someday there won't be letters to publish.Delete
I jumped over to follow him and the book sound really good. The simple joys of life are what add up to make us happy.ReplyDelete
You have that right.Delete
Rick sounds like a great guy, in addition to being a good writer.ReplyDelete
He is a great guy, but so are you.Delete
What a very cool collection. I bet by the end of the book it feels like Rick is a real-life friend...which he is for lucky you. :)ReplyDelete
Because of blogging, I have lots of real-life friends I've never met -- including you.Delete
Hey Janie, I am honored and humbled by your review and the opportunity to do an interview for your blog. I appreciate you.ReplyDelete
I appreciate your writing.Delete
Another very intriguing recommendation. I love the start of that chapter. I will definitely be getting this book, as well.ReplyDelete
And I love that he is a no questions asked kind of guy :)
I have a feeling that if he gets angry, it passes in about five seconds.Delete
Thank you Janie for your kind words. I could hug your neck :)ReplyDelete
Hugging is fine, but no therapeutic spanking.Delete
I'm a new follower on his blog and hope to get to know him, too. :)ReplyDelete
You'll definitely get to know him through reading his blog, Rita. He is what he writes.Delete
You'll definitely get to know him by reading his blog. Some of his posts are shorter than others, but he's always there.Delete
I have read the book also, reviewed it and recommend it, wholeheartedly. Nice review Janie I'm sure Rick will be pleased.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Michael. The Rickster deserves positive reviews.Delete