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« Beet It | Main | After-Dinner Storm »

May 26, 2012



Wow...what a perfect story. Enchanted...delightful and totally there! Our little old lady was Essie Beeler.


Thank you


What a wonderful story! I remember the days when it was relatively safe to play outside until dark. It's nice that you all respected her privacy.


That was a fairytale! Is the house still there? Did you want me to go check!!?? Oh, send me the address, I'll take pictures!


I love when you tell a nice xo


I could just picture that so vividly and got the willies when she called you over! Creepy, big black scissors!!

I have always adored peonies and in the small middle TN town I lived in as a child, the most gorgeous peonies grew in a cemetary. It had a long winding drive that snaked up a hill and everywhere you looked were massive quantities of peonies. Gorgeous, huge ones in every shade of pink imaginable, and of course white. People would drive through the cemetary every year just to see them. "Honey, load up the kids, it's time to drive up to the graveyard!"

Loving the stack of fabric...


Lovely story

Tuesday K

Wow, I immensely enjoyed reading this memory. Thanks so much for sharing!


Such a beautiful tale, I can conjure up the imagary easily and it reminded me of myself playing out as a child. My own children don't play out often like I did which is quite sad, but also quite common unfortunately these days. There aren't so many children where we live and we are quite a way from their school friends. It's sad that they don't get to experience the same sense of freedom that we had. On a happier note, I think I am going to have to dash out and pick up some peonies, they sound just right for filling up my new garden. Hopefully they can tolerate this gloomy UK climate (although it has been a balmy 28 degrees here today!)

Pamela S.

I love, love, love your story as peonies are my favorite flower. I wait patiently through our snowy Maine winter and hesitant spring for them to bloom. My favorite variety is "Pillow Talk", a very light shell pink.

Kathy McDonald

Oh, Alicia, what a perfect story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I will never look at peonies again without remembering your story.


Alicia, I always love this blog, but these stories/essays of yours are my absolute favorite bits of it. This is so, so wonderful.


Wonderful, delightful, charming, enchanting, mystical . . . I was it there with you, playing Kick the Can . . . new to Acorn Wars though. I imagine Mrs. Schleeter watched many a time from her windows, behind her curtains. . . . and then she felt drawn to give! Or mabe she needed her peonies trimmed . . .

You my dear are a writer, story teller . . . I loved this!

Val Reaves

I too remember playing outside after dinner...our rule also was to come home when the street lights came on... Oh, it takes me back. Thank you for bringing the memories back to me...


This is a beautiful and special memory, I truly love that you shared it with us! :-)


So loved the story today ;) My childhood years were the 60's, but so much the same. Playing outside till the streetlights came on, hadn't thought of that in so long. Laughed so hard a few times in your story. I live in MI and my peonies just started to open today. I have 1- white, 1-pink and 1- burgundy and the smell is wonderful!! Thank you for sharing with us thoughts of years gone by........


Peonies are my absolute favorite....I don't know how the new owners could have eliminated them!


What a beautiful, charming story. I was pulled right in to your street watching it all and I could swear, swear that I could smell peonies... Thank you, Alicia.


I had tears in my eyes reading this story, and just retold it to my youngest son. I also told him how my sisters and I threw seed cones at kids from the other end of our long street. These kids wouldn't let us up their end of the street so we collected the small pine cones and bombarded them from behind our small fence. The road would be covered in them, no-one got hit, but I remember feeling very naughty, but the wait was exciting. I hope my kids will remember selling their drawings to the neighborhood older residents and getting dressed for Halloween, some of the older residents wait all year for this as there are very few children in this block.

Lisa G.

What a lovely memory. And you have such a way of telling it.

I have memories of older folkses homes, too; I wonder if I'd feel the same if I saw the places now. Probably not quite.
There was a Mrs. Forster whose place I loved to go - my father gave her organ lessons, and she'd have us over for a picnic sometimes. She had a beautiful collie. She also had knick knacks everywhere - glass of every color! I was sure I wanted the same in my house when I grew up. I wasn't thinking of dusting, just beautiful light through colored glass.

Thanks for sharing.

Michelle Kiel

Oh Alicia, that was just wonderful. Every summer we would take turns sleeping in each others yards, there would be anywhere from 5 to 12 of us, just a huge tarp and our sleeping bags! What wonderful innocent days those were!! Bless you. Michelle


Ahhhh, the things we remember :)


What a wonderful story.... I enjoyed this immensely! I had a magical childhood peony experience, too. The fragrance of a peony blossom will take me right back to Anoka, Minnesota and the summer of my 12th year. Pure heaven! :)


What a great childhood memory.

I love peonies, but it doesn't get cold enough here (Auckland NZ) to grow them.

sharon from sharon stanley writes

beautiful memory, beautiful story. it's odd the things we remember...and when the memories come back. vividly told and very much enjoyed.

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