On Becoming Father Tim From Mitford

Years ago, in the midst of a difficult season I came across some books that saved my sanity, Jan Karon’s Mitford series. I call them vacation-in-a-book. The gentle perspective of an aging Episcopalian priest living in a fictitious small town in North Carolina brought peace and tranquility to my heart. Even though the protagonist, Father Tim, lives a far from a stress free life, the grace with which he lives it overcomes any turbulence he may experience.The true to life characters can be found in any parish, and the prospect of a romance for the never married sixty-something-year-old priest is intriguing.

Recently, I have been without a car, a predicament Father Tim prefers. My office is in the historic district of Tinley Park and I often find myself ambling along Oak Park Avenue visiting with small business owners while dodging red and yellow maple leaves from the trees.

I walk to the post office, while passing one of my participating churches and waving to the owners of Kernel Sweetooth.

I stop in to get my hair cut at the salon where they insist that I am much older than I am and continually give me a buffont.

I boost myself up onto a stool at an old fashioned ice cream parlor for a chocolate phosphate and talk about college with the handsome young man home for the summer.

My office door swings open to wonderful characters who make my life so much richer if not more complex. Finally, the mayor’s office calls me for information on an upcoming Love INC coat drive, and I pinch myself to ensure that I am not dreaming. When did I become Father Tim? When did I move to Mitford? How did I never notice? What a dream come true!

What book does your life emulate?

10 thoughts on “On Becoming Father Tim From Mitford

  1. Dearest… Having read some Mitford – surely by your prompt, I feel as if I just read a chapter. Your dodging leaves, bouffant and ice cream shop details let me walk the journey with you. Journey to Epiphany indeed. Love getting a glimpse into your life, your successes, your struggles and your ceaseless ability to see God’s hand in it all. Love you dearly…

  2. Loved this! Wish we could be walking together, we would have a grand time wouldn’t we? 🙂
    (I’m seeing many blessings in this post you could add to that journal 😉

  3. Either “Lost In Space” with rednecks instead of space creatures, or “Hiroshima”, just after the bomb dropped….. 😉
    Actually, just on a title’s basis, “Stranger In A Strange Land”. 😀
    (Sorry, I can’t recall a book about a big city WW2 historian chucked into a small town with a 100+-year-old house, 7 cats and a dog, and chronic health issues. Not complaining – just sayin’.)

  4. I love your story… and I’m going to read the Mitford series, BUT I’m going to “stretch” your question to include my favorite film based on a fabulous book…. Pride and Prejudice (1995). No, my life is in no way like that of Elizabeth Bennett… nor do I know anyone even remotely as debonair as Mr. Darcy, but two years ago on a trip to England with my older sister I asked for a special side-trip to visit Pemberly (Mr. Darcy’s estate)… in the real world it’s Chatsworth House. We went and believe me… it did not disappoint. Driving up to the amazing estate… past the miles of green manicured lawn and grazing sheep then turning a corner and seeing the estate… it was breathtaking. I’ll never forget it. I felt like Elizabeth Bennett… at least for a few hours.

    “They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House. It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place where nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in her admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!” Jane Austen (1813).

  5. I’m so happy to hear this season of your life may be the best one yet. My life story was probably written by Erma Bombeck. 🙂

  6. I’ve read the Mitford series over and over and over…a sweet escape. I’m a city dweller for the past 15 years and sometimes miss living in smaller towns like we did in years gone by when we pastored churches in smaller communities.

  7. Pingback: He Answers Me in Nehemiah 4 « Journey Towards Epiphany

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