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Popular Questions from Gentle Readers…Why Mitford is Everywhere

Jan Karon, author of the Mitford Years Novels, answers readers questions about herself and her beloved fictional town of Mitford in The Mitford Bedside Companion.

It’s been some years since I picked up any of Karon’s novels, but after a recent conversation with my mom where she reminded me of the various comical characters that just get stuck inside your heart and memories…I thought now is a good time to revisit this quaint and heartwarming town.

After all, who doesn’t need an emotional pick-me-up mid-winter?

In hopes that Karon’s reply to her gentle readers will make you smile on this gloomy winter morning…here is a brief excerpt from The Mitford Bedside Companion.

Is Mitford real?
Darn right it is.

If it’s so real you may ask, where is it?

It’s everywhere.
And here are ten surefire ways to find it.

Bake a pie (or cookies or banana bread), and take it to someone.
Give somebody a hug. (Don’t be afraid to do this.)
Express appreciation to someone in your family. Express appreciation to someone outside your family.
Remember to savor the seemingly minor, everyday incidents of simple decency and good humor.
Pray for someone you don’t like. Come on, you can do it.
Ask God to open your eyes to someone’s unspoken need.
Brag on your kids. To them.
Stroll somewhere. Don’t hurry, take your time. I give you permission.
Forgive someone. And here’s the hard part: let them know it. Equally important: ask someone to forgive you.
Volunteer. Start simply, perhaps by visiting an assisted care unit. Pretend it’s Hope House in Mitford, where absolutely everyone there will be thrilled to see you. Pat a hand, kiss a cheek, share a smile, give a compliment. Too shy to do this alone? Take a friend. The opportunities for volunteerism are as endless as God’s blessings in your life and mine. Find time to give back, and you will find Mitford as real as the beating of your heart.

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3 thoughts on “Popular Questions from Gentle Readers…Why Mitford is Everywhere

  1. Oh! I just love Mitford. It really is everywhere. So sweet that you and your mom were discussing the characters as if they were old friends. I am reading the “Little House on the Prairie” series with my daughter (9), and I plan to introduce her to Heidi this weekend. I hope she and I will be discussing books for years to come.

    1. I like to think that the Mitford books are the grown-up version of the Little House series which I read aloud to my kids when they were in elementary school (several times over.) Enjoy those precious reading moments with your little girl!

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