The Cotton is High – June 18

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime


“Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.”
                                   Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

I have changed the photograph for this third week of posts about summertime. I selected it from my Pinterest boards  because it reminds me of the architecture in Evanston, IL. where I grew up. The Dickens quote could have been written about Evanston too.

This series of posts has been like looking at a slide show of old photographs, slowly clicking by. I see myself walking beside my mother down Asbury Avenue to Davis street where the grocery once was. I recall the neighborhood children from several blocks around, some days incurring skinned knees from some escapade or another. I remember the used Hudson car I was given for my 16th birthday, and the high school friends that gathered that day for a surprise birthday party. Some of those precious friends are still woven into the tapestry of my life.

I read that the name, Stepheny, means ‘crowned one.’ Growing up when I did, a summer free child, I realize how blessed I was then and remain today. I may not celebrate summers in the fashion I once did, but the Dickens quote seems a perfect description of once upon a time, not so very long ago…and reminds me of the crown I have been given. My summer has been enriched by writing these posts. I hope they have helped you approach this summer more intentionally, and that you are having a great June.



About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
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9 Responses to The Cotton is High – June 18

  1. Birthdays are always good for reflection, and as today is mine, perhaps you’ll forgive me for being a touch maudlin.
    Memory can be a funny thing, particularly so childhood memory. When I remember a summer’s day from my childhood, how much of it is accurate, reliable memory; how much is seen through my own filters (I always remember good days, never bad days, save for those that contained the most traumatic events, and I certainly cannot recall ever sitting in the house looking out at rain); and how much is a replaying and claiming as my own memory, things that I have been told by my parents or others?

    • celticmama36 says:

      This is something that I ponder often myself. Some things I don’t know if I am really remembering them or if I am just remembering something that I was told.

      I remember very little, in the grand scheme of things, of my childhood. There was much trauma that I do remember. I can only imagine what traumas have been blocked out along with the good memories. Even now, I have a difficult time remembering the good things that have happened since I became an adult. With some things, I have to accept my husband’s memory of the event because I just don’t remember anymore…things like our first kiss, our wedding day…And this makes me feel very vulnerable. It seems that only the bad memories stay. I don’t want it to be this way, but do not know what to do about it. I am having more and more trouble remembering things and am afraid that the good I do still remember will soon be lost to me.

  2. dino0726 says:

    I love the new pic, Stepheny. The house I grew up in was built by my grandfather. It was a Sears Kit House. 🙂

  3. johnvic8 says:

    Your summer posts have enriched me as well. Old pictures help to bring back those memories.

  4. calensariel says:

    Lovely posts, Stepheny. They make me a little sad though when I think of how it was for me in the late 50’s early 60’s and how it is now for my grandkids. I doubt kids will ever know that freedom again.

    • Weren’t we fortunate to have this time in our lives when there was no such thing as “programming children.” It remains to be seen if my grandchildren who live a “booked” life will know how to entertain themselves in the years to come. Wish I could hear about your summers. Thanks for leaving this comment.

  5. celticmama36 says:

    I think that this is a great series, Stepheny. I have never seen this spelling of the name until you. 🙂

    My name means “Lily”, which works for me just as yours works for you. I love photographing flowers and other things in nature. Isn’t it great how we have grown into the names given to us at birth?

    Have a blessed day!

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