Candice Ransom

Candice Ransom

One green thing I wish every­one would do: 

Give up plas­tic bags. It’s hard, I know, to remem­ber to car­ry a bag into a store. I wish we could give up oth­er forms of plas­tic, like the blis­ter packs encas­ing every­thing from Bar­bie dolls to Bic pens. Back in the days of five and ten stores, it was so nice to sim­ply pick an item out of a bin or off a shelf, pay for it, and not wres­tle with tin snips to get it open.

The best way to stay fit:

I am the Goldilocks of exer­cise. It can’t be too hot, too cold. too windy, too damp or rain­ing. I don’t like to sweat or run (unless it’s to Dunkin’ Donuts), play any kind of ball, or be on a team. It took me years to find the exer­cise that suits me: Jazzer­cise. Yes, that 50-year-old aer­o­bic dance pro­gram. I love to dance! I also like to walk as long as it’s not too hot, too cold, etc. The best way to stay fit is to find some­thing you love and stay with it. I’ve been Jazzer­cis­ing 28 years!

One thing no one can do bet­ter than I can: 

Whine and com­plain. It’s hered­i­tary, I’m afraid, so I come by it nat­u­ral­ly. If Whin­ing were an Olympic sport, I’d bring home the gold.

My mom was right about: 

Every­thing. Don’t brag. Work hard. To start the day right, make your bed imme­di­ate­ly unless you’re in child­birth or dead. You can’t turn a pear into a peach (refer­ring to my wish to be pret­ty like my sis­ter). And most impor­tant: nev­er use the word “hate,” which was my mother’s way of say­ing don’t be a hater.

I’m cur­rent­ly reading: 

Ves­per Flights ​by Helen Mac­don­ald and ​The Splen­did and the Vile​ by Erik Lar­son, both thought­ful and inspi­ra­tional but a bit slow-going. Instead I’m tear­ing through books like ​Princess Elizabeth’s Spy,​ and any­thing by Dou­glas Pre­ston and Lin­coln Child because it’s Octo­ber 2020 and I have the atten­tion span of a new­born gnat.

No one knows that I:

Talk to myself. And answer myself. All the time. I might as well since nobody else lis­tens to me, espe­cial­ly our two cats (lookin’ at you Faulkn­er and Edison).

Candice Ransom book crib

What’s on my nightstand: 

Books on my night­stand change too fre­quent­ly to men­tion. But next to my night­stand is a hand­made doll cra­dle and in it are my touch­stone books: Rebec­ca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Get­ting Lost​ , ​The Far­away Nearby​, and ​Wan­der­lust: A His­to­ry of Walking​ ; Bar­bara Kingsolver’s ​Small Won­der: Essays​, and ​High Tide in Tuc­son: Essays from Now or Never​; Amer­i­can Prim­i­tive by Mary Oliv­er; ​The Immense Journey​ by Loren Eise­ley; ​H.D. Thore­au: A Writer’s Journal​, and ​The Echo­ing Green: Poems of Fields, Mead­ows, and Grasses​. All won­der­ful books to dip into and repair a tat­tered soul.

My heroes are: 

Hen­ry David Thore­au, for liv­ing the life he need­ed, not the life that was expect­ed of him. His jour­nals keep me con­nect­ed to what’s impor­tant. Thomas Jef­fer­son, for his love of home and Vir­ginia, the sub­ject of the only book he wrote, and his bound­less curios­i­ty. Rachel Car­son, for her love of nature, her book ​Silent Spring​, and her self­less care of her moth­er, nieces, and great-nephew when she her­self was in poor health. Ter­ry Tem­pest Williams, who has been called the mod­ern day Hen­ry Thore­au and Rachel Car­son, for her envi­ron­men­tal writ­ing and activism.

My favorite hol­i­day tradition: 

East­er is my favorite hol­i­day — spring, flow­ers, birds, and you don’t have to do anything​ . How­ev­er, I love putting togeth­er East­er bas­kets. For more than 40 years, I’ve filled a huge 100-year-old wil­low bas­ket with can­dy, books, col­or­ful eggs, and a stuffed rab­bit. Every­one needs a new bun­ny! The bas­ket is swathed in two col­ors of tulle, and tied with satin rib­bon and silk flow­ers. My hus­band looks for­ward to this beau­ti­ful bas­ket each year. I eat all the candy.

CheerwineGuilti­est pleasure: 

Mag­a­zines. Some­times I buy a half a dozen. When the weath­er is nice, I’ll sit on the porch with a Cheer­wine (soft drink, anoth­er guilty plea­sure), Maui Sweet Onion chips (dit­to), and leaf through brand-new mag­a­zines. These days I buy British mag­a­zines – worth the price. No 4‑page phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ads, plus lush pho­tog­ra­phy and real con­tent, not sound bites.

The piece of cloth­ing in my clos­et I can’t let go: 

A black var­si­ty-style jack­et with ​Walt Dis­ney Studios​ embroi­dered on the back in red. I bought the jack­et from the Dis­ney Store in 1989. It spoke to the four­teen-year-old Can­dice who want­ed so much to be an ani­ma­tor for Walt Dis­ney Studios.

What I do when I want to feel joy: 

I step out­side. Joy for me isn’t a big immer­sive expe­ri­ence like a week at Dis­ney­land or a trip to the Grand Canyon. It’s lit­tle inter­ludes, some­times only a few sec­onds. That’s long enough to hear the plain­tive cry of a red-shoul­dered hawk, notice a jew­el-like orchard spi­der tend­ing her tiny web, spot a skink dart­ing under the steps. These small moments remind me that we ​share​ this plan­et and that nature is always present. I don’t need pur­ple moun­tains majesty or icon­ic wildlife to lift my spir­its. Our back­yard with its parade of every­day vis­i­tors does the job nicely.

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3 years ago

This repur­posed doll cra­dle idea is won­der­ful! I might just steal it!

candice ransom
Reply to  melanie
3 years ago

My step­fa­ther made me that cra­dle. I’ve repaint­ed it a dozen times. My grand­fa­ther made me a doll crib that I’ve had 65 years. I keep books in that, too!

David LaRochelle
3 years ago

What a great inter­view! And I sec­ond Melanie’s com­ment about the repur­posed doll cra­dle — what a clever idea!

candice ransom
Reply to  David LaRochelle
3 years ago

David, I have so many books and only so much wall space. I have books tucked in the strangest things, like an old tele­phone “con­ver­sa­tion” table in a bathroom!

Connie Van Hoven
Connie Van Hoven
3 years ago

Cheer­wine and mag­a­zines on the porch… Sounds delight­ful, even though I have no clue what cheer­wine is!

candice ransom
Reply to  Connie Van Hoven
3 years ago

Help is com­ing in the form of an image of Cheer­wine! It’s a soft drink only made in North Car­oli­na, black cher­ry fla­vor with extra car­bon­a­tion. It’s addictive!