A Letter


When I drove that Chevy compact that could fit in your pocket, rocketing down Interstate 40 into the foothills of the North Carolina Appalachians, I didn’t know it’d be just like old times. Well, old times with a much spicier aroma—was that cardamom? The good thing about old friends is that it doesn’t take long to rekindle community. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

I was disappointed when you told me Ashley wasn’t coming. There are few women as salty as she, as salty as my fish and chips, as salty as the folk band with the bad drummer. Ashley’s one of the good wives—compliant enough to be biblical, defiant enough to be interesting. Kevin might describer her as “hoppy.”

There are things that aren’t worth saying out loud. Well, maybe they are, but you know them already. There are times when words are trite and even then only barely so. We skipped most of those pleasantries and caught up on life. We shared new stories about the broken, the redeemed, and the somewhere in between. You spoke miracles of your marriage, realities of your faith, volumes of honesty. You reminded me that with even just a little bit of wisdom comes great sorrow.

Great joy.

Great brotherhood.

And some pretty good beverages, too.

Thanks for driving to Hickory. I won’t long forget it.

Do you have a letter you need to write?

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5 Responses to A Letter

  1. Abbyleigh says:

    There is little better than a good letter. Something different happens when you set out to share separately from the act of listening. It doesn’t happen much in our over-connected lives. Thanks for sharing. I should get writing.

  2. sethhaines says:

    You are so right about letter format. I like them as creative pieces also because they leave little gaps for the reader to fill in (unless of course you are Matt and then you know what fits in the gaps).

    And pardon the typo. On the road and can’t fix it right now.

  3. Matt Brock says:

    Seeing you was very encouraging and simply fun. I wasn’t surprised by it being so comfortable for me, probably because i haven’t had that in so long. I would have felt stranger if it was weird. You said a lot of good stuff. True stuff.
    Your friendship is dear to me and part of my liking for you has to do with you understanding my wife. She is made of gold and too few people talk about it. It makes me happy to see good words for her because she deserves every one of them. Keep it coming.

  4. Um, can I just say that I went to Appalachian State in Boone, NC, and grew up in the wonderfully-appropriately-named town of Hickory?? Where my parents currently live and my dad pastored a church and I walked the mall like an insecure teenager?

    A fun connection and a place I miss.

    Enjoyed reading the letter. A good encouragement to the rest of us, to write what needs to be said, TO the people that directly need to hear it.

    Good stuff.

    • sethhaines says:

      That’s nuts (no pun intended). I’ve heard a lot about Boone. I was sorry I didn’t make it up that far during this trip. I’ve heard they have wild trout up there that would make me blush. There’s little better than a fly rod and river running.

      I’m glad you found this space, Laura. I hope you stick around. I’m hoping to do some interesting stuff here around the first of the year.

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