Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Moss, and not the Kate kind

Today's Wonder of the World is...Moss!

We live near a very old graveyard, and for some reason last week I decided to take a five minute graveyard stroll. (Yes, I had other more productive things to do, but the graveyard was so pretty!)

Don't call me Lily Munster. I just thought it looked inviting.

Just so you know, most old cemeteries in South Carolina do not come equipped with a jungle gym. This one is behind an old church, hence the play equipment.
I spent a few minutes looking at the graves because old graves always interest me. But then I saw the moss.

Ah, moss.
Moss is a Wonder of the World.
I love how it squishes under my feet.
But then the moss turned on me. It whispered to my subconscious to dredge up an old poem from high school. The one by Emily Dickinson.
I died for Beauty -- but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining room --

He questioned softly "Why I failed"?
"For Beauty", I replied --
"And I -- for Truth -- Them self are One --
We Brethren, are", He said --

And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night --
We talked between the Rooms --
Until the moss had reached our lips --
And covered up -- our names --
Okay, so now I was completely creeped out, so I had to leave the cemetery.
I like the idea of truth and beauty being buddies, and I love Emily Dickinson, but you must admit, sometimes she had a thing for the macabre.

So I rushed right home and tried to get cemeteries and that creepy poem out of my head, although I did enjoy the moss.
And then I thought of it!
An un-creepy moss memory!
Here it is!

No, that's not it. That's a French gargoyle with moss creeping up its back and out its nose.
(On a side note, did you know the French word for moss is mousse? Yes, the same as in mousse au chocolat! Interessant, n'est ce pas?)
Try again for an un-creepy moss memory...

Here it is!

Have you read Miss Suzy? No? You must read it! Go to ebay and get a copy. (Update: I just checked amazon and they have it too! So maybe your local bookstore does as well. Hurray! Miss Suzy is making a comeback!)

Miss Suzy is one of my favorite books from my childhood. I brainwashed each of my three children into loving it too, but that wasn't hard. Sarah loved it because Miss Suzy is a squirrel and has a moss carpet and drinks out of acorn cups, and must live in a doll house for a while after a gang of evil red squirrels throws her out of her very own tree house. Who wouldn't want to live in a doll house? Miss Suzy liked it for a while, but then she missed her moss carpet.

Ben and Sam loved the book because at the climax, toy soldiers march into Miss Suzy's house and say to the red squirrels, "Will you leave peaceably or MUST WE FIGHT?"
And of course they fight. (Update#2: Upon further thought, I'm not sure that they do fight. I might be remembering Ben when he was four, pretending to fight the red squirrels. I need to look that up.) Red squirrels are always itching to rumble.

But they do love moss.
Here's proof.

One more thing, if you like moss as I do and feel like being a queen or king for a day, check out the crowns here. Miss Suzy would wear one, I'm sure of it.


Rhondi said...

Hi Rebecca
I am so glad you stopped by my blog and left a comment, so I was able to find your blog. I don't know that book but I am going to get it for my grandaughter. She would love it!
Rhondi xo

Terri and Bob said...

Ok, I am hooked on your blog. You had me at "moss."

Thanks for your sweet comment about Dakota. We miss her so much.

Miss Susie said...

Good morning Miss Becky! Wouldn't you know that Miss Suzy was one of my favorite books too! Kevin and I both have our childhood copies! Did you like Two Bad MIce too? How I enjoy your wandering thoughts leading me through a graveyard only to end at Miss Suzy's house!

Lidian said...

Hi Rebecca -

I love your blog already, just reading this...I am also a mom/writer, working slowly on a Victorian mystery. The blogging is cutting into this, but I will persevere.

Congrats to you on your book coming out! What an achievement that is - you must be over the moon...I am really happy for you and I hope you blog about it some more (you probably have, I just need to read your archives)

And I love old cemeteries too. I transcribed a little on on Cape Cod when I was a teen, just because I loved it so much.

I blog about cemeteries, old photos, old ads and genealogy stuff, BTW, over at


Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hi Rhondi, I hope your sweetie loves the book. I bet she will!

Terri and Bob, I like your blog too! And if you scroll through my previous posts, you're sure to meet our Tanner. I know how a doggy can be such a part of the family.

Miss Susie, I must hear about Two Bad Mice. I don't know that one. But I did love The Sun Shone on The Elephant. It's another favorite. Do you know that book?

Your blog is hilarious. I must find you at the other site you gave. Thanks for your sweet comment!

willzmom said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment, and for visiting me. I will come back and check out your site often, and add it to my list of favorite places to visit!

La Belette Rouge said...

I cannot believe you have and have read Miss Suzy. I still have my childhood copy. It is one of my favorites. My all time favorite is "Never Tease a Weasel." have you read that it?
And, I love cemetery walks. I think it a great place to go to enhance our existenital awareness.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You're welcome, Willzmom, and bienvenue to the blog!

La Belette, so we are both (along with Miss Susie above) members of the Miss Suzy fan club! It's good to meet another squirrel in an apron lover. And no, I haven't read Never Tease a Weasel, but it sounds like fun. Being La Belette, it's perfect for you! Is that where you got the name of your blog?

Sherri @ Life As I Live It said...

Hey there!
I just came across your blog and I want to say that I love moss and old cemetaries as well..no,I don't go around dressed all in black(well unless I'm trying to look slimmer,ha ha)...or having rituals on the grounds. I just like to look at the 100 year old headstones. I noticed that you live in Greer.I live in Alabama but my in-laws live in Gray Court.I still feel like you're a neighbor,lol.

Sherri @ Life As I Live It said...

yep,it's me again,ha ha...I just scrolled down and saw your hometown post...it's funny,we were in Greer (I believe the first time for myself although the in laws have gone to or through lots of times)a few months ago and I said the exact same thing about Mayberry.It is true,it does remind you of it...maybe I'll look for Otis the next time I go through :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Sherri, Hi neighbor! Glad to meet you! I just hopped over to your blog--it's great! That yummy cornbread-chicken-cheese thing has me itching to raid the kitchen! Gosh that looks good.

And you're too funny about the slimming powers of black!

liquidambar said...

I love moss too--nature's velvet.

If you want to see some serious moss, try the Pacific Northwest. I travel there as often as I can.

Jenn H.

La Belette Rouge said...

Rebecca: No, well, maybe in part. But, He-weasel started calling me La Belette as he thinks I am very resourceful(I am not sure if it is true:-). Weasel's are wily, clever and persistent.

Ever since I got the nickname I have been working on
changing the meaning of weasel
to a more positive one. The French, as you know, use belette as a term of endearment. And, I got the rouge as I am a redhead---
hence, I am la Belette Rouge.

Even if I wasn't a weasel lover I would highly recommend the . Hope you give it a try.

Gina2424 said...

Love your blog! I would like to link it on mine if you don't mind?! It is so nice to read a well-written blog, and you write about two of my favorite places: South Carolina and France. Thanks for visiting. If there is a review copy of your book, I would be glad to review it on www.vintageindie.com where I write "Off the Shelf."

JaxPop said...

Hi Rebecca - Your blog continues to be awesome & your town is soooo southern cool & your dog.... well, he slobbers & needs to be more selective about useless caloric intake but cool just the same. On another note - I love cemeteries (sick as that may sound) & stroll through them here in my town every chance I get. There are a couple that have 'guests' from the late 1500's! Adding to that - you commented on my post about my 'Pop' & the story about the painting, very weird overlap - his last name was Moss. Should I be freaked out??? Have a great night.

Adaora A. said...

LOL Rebecca. Talk about tales from the crypt.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hi Jenn, I've heard about the moss and all the green out there. I hope I'll get to see it one day.

La Belette, I will definitely check that book out. There's a new edition out, according to amazon, with a different illustrator. I'll have to see if I can find either.

Gina2424, welcome to the blog, and yes, feel free to link to it! I'm glad to have you!

Jaxpop, no need to freak out. Or maybe you have a talent for sneaking things into my subconscious! Sounds like I'm the one who should be freaking out!

Hi Adaora. Yep. Spooky. :)

La Belette Rouge said...

Rebecca: If you can, try and get the original version. The illustrations are so much better.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Great post! I love moss and old cemetaries - we have one and I love to walk through in with the stoller- it reminds me of Paris cause the minute you are inside it gets quite even though the highway is in view.
Such a post and based on MOSS no less. I love it.

May Vanderbilt said...

I love how you're like, Look! Here's proof that squirrels love moss! hahaha

I never read this story but it sounds very much like something I would have loved. I was obsessed with the Rats of NIMH and The Borrowers. It's just something about clever vermin living like humans I guess.

Please tell me you're still up and watching this primary...

Anonymous said...

Although the Pacific Northwest is famous for moss, I don't see it too often in the cemetary I used to live by. I did, however, see a roster running about.

Kalynne Pudner said...

Please don't tell me you retyped that Dickinson from memory.

In re kids' books: Enid Blyton's Hoo Hoo's Party (no, it's an OWL! Really, people!) features a clever squirrel. No moss, though.

rochambeau said...

Dear Rebecca,
Like you I'm MAD for moss too! I like to stroll in cemeteries too. It's good on many levels. I've never read Miss Suzy, but will look into it.

Hope your day will be filled with happiness.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

La Belette, okey doke. I will seek out the original. Maybe Sam's school library has it.

Hey Parisienne Farmgirl and Rochambeau! Glad to know y'all are fellow moss lovers!

May, The Borrowers is still one of my favorites! I LOVE those little guys! And if you could see the dark circles under my eyes this morning, you'd know I stayed up!

A rooster in the cemetery, f.o.t.? Wow. That'd be something to see. But I can imagine why he'd like it--lots of grass, quiet to hear himself crow.

Kalynne, no I cut and pasted the poem to make sure I got it right. But that kind of poem is one to stick in your head. Strangely beautiful with the moss creeping over your lips and over the name on your tombstone.
Uh oh. I'm getting creeped out again.
Must find Miss Suzy...

julie (jane's apron) said...

I just had a flashback on the Miss Suzy book...I must have had that book...too cute

TattingChic said...

You really DO like to loll about graveyards taking pictures of moss. I thought you were just making some witty statement. What is it about moss? It's like nature's green lace. I am a fan of Emily Dickenson and had no idea she could be so morose...maybe I did and just subconsciously stayed away from those poems.