…one true sentence

Manderley Reading

“But sometimes when I started a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’  So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that you knew or had seen or had heard someone say.” Ernest Hemingway- A Moveable Feast

I regret not keeping you all posted of our progress in these last months, but if I wrote during “Transition” it would have led you to cry a million tears, eat a pie, and go to bed. You would have seen a girl who lost her confidence, lost her identity, lost her relevance, and lost her cool way too many times.  A mother who had bear all her children’s doubts and fears. And a wife who had heaped too much blame on her husband for the tasks being too hard. With professional goals abandoned, creativity on hold, and distraction my new affect, I found it too difficult to document our journey. Who had time anyway?


I had no idea downsizing equalled a daily funeral for my “Memory Things”, because you see when you open a box of letters, ones saved from your dead grandparents, ones from your parents while you were away at college, and ones from your brother just because, and have to throw them all away because there is no room for them in Manderley Cottage, you cry a million tears, eat a pie, and go to bed. From Mammy on my one year old birthday card, “Gobs of Love,” from Papaw, “You are the only grandchild I have ever written, that means you’re special,” from Ma, “I made a new recipe today and it was yucky,” from Daddy while we were both in school, “I told you I would write if I found time, so I made time,” from my brother, “Don’t tell Ma I told you, but she cries every time we mention your name” (my first week at college my Freshman year).

Eastern HS Letterman Jacket

But here in transition, while I say farewell to my old friends and memories and Big Red Kitchen (the place), and before I make new friends and a life, I made a book friend. I wondered when I would write again. When it would make sense and flow. When it would write itself. Then my friend in the book said all I had to do was write one true sentence. So here it goes…

“And this, too, shall pass away.”

Hemingway's 6 -toed Cat

This Transition will give way to a new life and a new path for us, and although the journey was unbearable at times, I am reminded that this new life will pass away too. So like Mr. Hemingway who lived life large, I better start living a life worth writing about again.

*The photo above is Himself holding one of Mr. Hemingway’s famous 6-toed cats during our visit to the Hemingway House in August.

PS- We are at Manderley with still much to be done, but we are here and living well. Very well.


  1. Ellen W
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Keep your eyes on the prize.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

      So true!

  2. Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    Keep your chin up! 🙂

  3. Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    I can only imagine how difficult it is to trash your treasures. I would have had to rent a storage place I think.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

      We do have 2 units Larry. But with so many treasures, some have to go sadly. But the positive is that we feel so much more free!

  4. Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    I can only imagine how difficult this portion of the journey has been. Stay strong.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Jen- we are almost through it all, a bit more to go plus the sale of Big Red Kitchen would be the final hurrah.

  5. Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    I have been thinking of you a lot. It is hard….no other words for it. Hugs to you for pressing ahead. When I saw “A Moveable Feast” on your blog, I was so surprised. I have been wanting to reread this book since I just finished “The Paris Wife”, the historic novel of Hemingway’s life with his first wife, Hadley, who is also the main character in this book. Love the quote. Write when you can…one true sentence. It helps to clear the mind. Susan

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

      Susan, I think you may enjoy the Moveable Feast. He is a brilliant writer and after reading some one his verse I have to put the book down and think, or have a good cry. Wow can he write!

  6. Sharon
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    We moved a year ago. “I GET IT!” Enough said.
    :o) Sharon

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Sharon, you have been a wonderful support! It’s nice to know others who get it, it keeps me going. We only have a bit more to go and we notice life is wonderful already! Yay!

  7. Jenn
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    Life is full of things that pass away that we don’t even notice. It’s the stuff that passes through our hands that seems to be the most painful to separate ourselves from. I’m glad to hear you’ve begun to emerge into this new season. Be gentle with yourself–grace is for YOU too, girl!! Time will help you feel the sting less. Thanks for letting us know you’re still out there.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

      Yes we are emerging! I like that word. We are slowly finding our way:)

  8. Kal
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    Change is inevitably difficult. They say our momentos are the most difficult to let go of and I know this is true. We are a military family having moved many times over the last 27 years. In June, we took a page from your book and on a whim looked at a home in Annapolis, MD and made an offer. My husband hadn’t even seen it. It is half the size of our home “across town” but is ours and I am madly and deeply in love with the two acre woods even though it meant Operation Ruthless Downsizing and there STILL isn’t enough room. Memories are held fast in my head and my heart and I don’t need the “things” to recount them. Celebrate and savor all the moments bittersweet as they may be. Tomorrow is a new adventure!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

      You can do it Kal! Less stuff is very freeing!

  9. Posted September 9, 2014 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    I am so happy you got through this transition, as hard as it was. I look forward to your now new life! Gobs of love to you! Biz

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

      Gobs of love to you too!

  10. Kathy B
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Good to see you back. Sending you love and light!

  11. Judi
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    I was elated to see a post from you. I checked everyday and wondered how it was going. Sending peace and joy to you and your family

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

      Thank you Judi, it means a lot to mean that you have been checking in!

  12. Colleen
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    You did it! High fives! It has been almost a year from our downsize move. We were so pleased to have our big house sell – prepared to stay there had we not found the right buyer. And then the scramble to find a new home and finish the triage and packing on our buyers’ timetable. To find we had to move everything back out of the new home a month later (for a month) to replace all of the hardwood flooring on our first floor after learning we moved too fast to adequately assess cat urine damage. And then the flood last month that took many of the treasures that made the move – along with the guest bedroom (mattress, box spring and bedding), “my” new full bath (cabinetry and drywall), family room (hated the couch – glad to have it go, but so sad my mom’s Lazy Boy is gone too), furnace, water heater, washer, dryer and basement fridge. The horror of sanitary and storm waste projected from the toilet as a water feature! We’ve struggled 😉 But we unequivocally love – LOVE – our smaller life. The flood was a once in 100 years occurrence. I look at the downsize move that way, too. And am grateful for the people who bought our big house and helped us along the path of our dreams. Colleen

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

      Colleen what a story- I would have died to have gone through all of that plus a downsize. Our house up north is still on the market and we hope it sells soon so that we can have complete closure on this adventure. So far we love the smaller life but still have 2 storage units to go through and get rid of the stuff. It takes a long time! But a smaller house cleans up lickity split and off we go to do our thing. So nice! Thanks for sharing your saga and letting me know that it is good on the smaller side:)

  13. Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    You’re on the other side now. The loss will pass.

    BTW, what’s the color of your new kitchen??

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

      It’s a little blue kitchen. So much easier to clean than BRK!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All posts are moderated.


  • 10,080 Minutes - BRK Book The story of our dramatic lifestyle makeover and journey for living what matters.

    10,080 Minutes - Daniel and Robin Joss