Hey There, May

We’re in that part of the school year where I really don’t know where the weeks go. It seems like it was March last week, and now somehow it’s May. I kind of feel like time is mocking me.

Okay. That might have been a tiny bit dramatic. But spring is no joke on the activity front, is it?

Plus – and I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not, so if I’m repeating myself, forgive me – but I’ve been recording the audio versions of all three books. We’ve mostly had to do the recording late in the afternoons and on the occasional non-lacrosse Saturday. We’ve finished the first two (in fact, A Little Salty… is available now), and I’m almost finished with Giddy Up, Eunice. At some point I’ll tell you about how the timing of re-reading the books has been sort of bittersweet (and you’ll also understand more about why if you read the new one), but I am very grateful to have been able to record the audio versions – for a whole bunch of reasons.

And probably the very best part of the audio stuff is getting to meet and hang out with Don, Betty, and Tyler at the studio where I’ve been recording. Don and Betty are both from Mississippi; they’re probably ten years younger than my parents, and they are the SWEETEST PEOPLE. Don sounds like DJs used to sound when I was growing up and everybody listened to their local DJ from 6-10 at night, and Betty is so sweet and fun and smart (she plays bridge a few times a week and loves to talk about current events). Tyler is a musician who also works at the studio, and LORD, BLESS HIM, for he has had to listen to way-too-many-stories about my family and my friends and my thoughts about television. Tyler also turns the AC down for me in the afternoons so that the room where I record can get nice and cool before we have to shut the door, so I am forever indebted to him for that act of service alone.

The only downside of the whole process is that it’s made me LOATHE the sound of my own voice even more than usual (I don’t have to hear myself EVER AGAIN, THANKS), but I’m gonna be sad when I’m finished, which will probably be in the next week or so.

I am also gonna be sad when this year’s seniors graduate at school, but we won’t talk about that right now because DENIAL. IT IS HELPFUL WITH THE FEELINGS.

(Last weekend I spoke at a luncheon for the senior girls.)

(To my credit, I only had to fight back tears twice and only cried openly once.)

(This was nothing short of miraculous.)

The other big development around here is that we very unexpectedly bought a new couch this past weekend. I mean, we had talked about how we’d like to get a new couch since the last one we bought – a gray one – turned out to be HORRIBLE in terms of fabric and construction quality, but we knew we were going to have to find a great deal because, well, sofas are expensive. There was definitely some tension between the gray sofa and me, though, because while our sixteen year-old sofa still looks great, that four year-old gray one looks like I attached the cushions to the back of a truck and dragged them down the street.

This was a simpler time for the gray sofa. It was also a less-frayed and less-worn time. And a time when the piping wasn't poking out of the sofa cushions.

This was a simpler time for the gray sofa. It was also a less-frayed and less-worn time. And a time when the piping wasn’t poking out of the sofa cushions.

So this past Saturday we went to my FAVORITE store in all of Birmingham so that I could pick out a birthday gift for my friend Kasey. The store is called At Home, and they have such a great selection of china and furniture and linens and basically all things decorative. They also have really great inexpensive jewelry, and it’s my favorite place to stock up on trendy bracelets / earrings / necklaces because their prices are so good. Anyway, I was with my fellas because we’d been at UAB graduation earlier that morning, so I asked if they wanted to run in the store with me.

Much to my surprise, they agreed.

When we walked in At Home, I made a beeline for the jewelry and accessories while David and Alex made a loop around the store. After about ten minutes David walked over to where I was in the jewelry section, and he said, “Hey – I think I’ve found a sofa? And I think it looks like our house? Will you come look at it?”

Almost nineteen years of marriage, y’all, and this was the first time my husband has asked me to look at a sofa. So I put down the jewelry I was looking at, and I high-tailed it over to that sofa. YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE I DID.

And oh my goodness – I loved it instantly. I could tell that the quality was really good just from the way the pillows and cushions looked, and when I sat on it? YES MA’AM. It was so comfortable, and while I thought it was a little unusual that it was all the same fabric – every single part of it covered in a paisley pattern that reminds me so much of my friend Laura’s living room sofa back in the 70s – I agreed with David that it would look great it our house.

About that time one of the ladies who works in At Home came over to talk to us, and she explained that the couch was supposed to be leather with pillows in the paisley, but somehow it got ordered wrong and ended up being paisley all over. She said they moved it out to the floor and priced it to sell, knowing that it would have to find the right family with the right kind of house (I realize, by the way, that this is turning into an epic tale, but this story makes me happy), and we explained to her that we live in a house built in 1974. Groovy can handle a whole lot of pattern, you know.

Well, at some point in all of our talking I noticed the price tag, and I honest-to-goodness thought that I was seeing it wrong. So I asked the salesperson about it, and she said that was really the price since it wasn’t what they’d intended to order. And get this: it was the exact same brand as the sofa we bought sixteen years ago – but the new sofa sales price was less than half of what we paid for sofa #1 way back in 2000. It was a DEAL.

After a few minutes of discussion / problem solving, we figured out that we could move the gray sofa into the den off of the kitchen (we sit in there all the time, so the gray sofa will still get lots of use). Then I looked at David, and he looked at me, and I said, “SOLD?”

He said, “SOLD.”

We were both so tickled – D because HE FOUND IT, and me because we both LOVED IT.

She came home today. She’s a lot of look but PERFECT in our living room. And for right now I’m calling her Kasey’s Birthday Sofa. Because thanks to Kasey’s birthday, we found the most comfortable piece of furniture we have ever owned.

You’ll be happy to know that I also found a birthday present for Kasey.

So see? That just all worked out beautifully.

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  1. How awesome!! Love it when everything comes together like that! We got a new sofa last year and while it’s great quality and was a good deal I don’t love it. It’s the first leather couch I’ve ever had and while it’s perfect for the dog who tends to think she owns the couch, I do not appreciate the noise it makes whenever I move nor do I care for how cold I always feel when in sitting on it. My husband loves it. Our dog loves it. I do not. 😭

  2. Melanie says:

    I love a good sofa story!

  3. Love your new sofa and your story!!

  4. What a great story! I love the paisley print, it is so fun but what I love the most is the nail head trim around the top! :)

  5. The new sofa looks great! I looooove At Home, too… the jewelry & purses get me every time I go in there. :)

  6. Nancy D says:

    Oh, I love this — the sofa and the story! I got so mad at my sofa for making me miserable every time I sat in it, that I finally called Habitat for Humanity to come pick it up. Now all we have to sit in to watch TV is a love seat. I’m longing and waiting for that love-at-first-sofa-sighting.

  7. Ashley says:

    The sofa was meant to be! I love that store!
    Do you know if your audiobooks will be available on Audible? Can’t wait to listen!

    • Sophie says:

      I think they will be…and the first one might be there already. :-)

  8. Jennifer S says:

    God is good all the time!

  9. Kay Stacy says:

    I love it…but I love that there’s your Vick’s right there close by even more…😂😂😂

  10. Karen d says:

    I spy some Mentholatum!

  11. BethA says:

    Is that some Mentholatum I see??

  12. Melissa says:

    In the market for new sofa- what brand is it??!!

    • Yes, please. We need a new sofa and I really want a comfy one this time.

    • Sophie says:

      It’s a Bernhardt. I think the model is called the Kantor – or maybe the Cantor. It is SO COMFORTABLE. And my friend Bubba texted me this AM to tell me that he recently bought the same sofa in Memphis, and he agrees: DREAMY.

  13. Melissa says:

    Beautiful! :-) We need a new couch, too.

  14. “A Sofa for Sophie” sounds like a chapter in your next book!

  15. Laura here!!! That IS an updated version of our couch– which you probably remember better than I do!! I do LOVE it!!! We need to replace our plaid couch that is slipcovered in a neutral brown tone, but that seems like SO much effort and money! How neat that an awesome couch fell into your laps!!! :-)

  16. I’m glad I’m not the only one that spotted the Mentholatum in that photo. The only reason I saw it was I enlarged the pic to see the print better. HAHA.

    And I totally laughed because I was in LA (Lower Alabama) last week and forgot my Mentholatum! I was happy when we were reunited on Sunday. Especially with all this sinus crud. I rub that stuff on and instantly I CAN BREATHE people! Amazing stuff.

  17. Littlelady66 says:

    I only teared up once during your couch story… ;) I love a good ‘look what found us’ story! I hope it continues to be perfect. Excited for the new book!!

  18. Stacey says:

    I love your stories..and the sofa is perfect.

  19. Rachel says:

    I love paisley! And, you’re right, April flew by! Now I’m ready to wrap up this school year and get ready to teach back in my hometown next year and for my baby to start Kindergarten!

  20. Brenda says:

    I think when you find good furniture, it’s like a God-wink.

  21. Jeanie says:

    I like it!

  22. Jennifer says:

    It’s like a Prince Tribute Sofa with all of that paisley. Glory!

  23. Melissa says:

    That is a fantastic story – and if my husband said you should look at (insert piece of furniture) for our house- I’d hurdle tall buildings to get to it. Can’t wait to hear the books read by you. I love your voice :-)

  24. Ho Sophie! You have peeked my curiosity about Hamilton. I just started to listen to a podcast called the Hamilcast. Not sure if you have heard about it but they will be discussing the book chapters and also are just so enthusiastic about the play.


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