Monday, May 27, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
In the “middle room” the darkness took over the ceiling above the single-bulb-on-a-dangly-cord, and the loss of that six feet of upper wall made it as if the house squatted shorter every night, hunkering down to rest til dawn.
This relic weighs about two pounds, is painted in shiny enamel, and could use a good going-over with a toothbrush. But I refrain, for the accumulated grime of the years is part of its charm (besides, I watch Antiques Roadshow). Its sockets are lined with what looks like cardboard---unless it’s some form of asbestos (and the long-lost withered cord was also wrapped in layers of paperish stuff), it seems as if it would have been a terrible fire hazard. Nevertheless, it hung there over decades, shining down on company and gatherings and quiet nights of the days before TV, lighting many a pea-shelling and quilt-piecing, the games of monopoly and checkers, a hushed sitting-up-with-the-dead or two, and the hum of the faithful old Singer treadle going deep into the night.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
When the view out toward the arbor needs a haircut and a shave, and the little activities outdoors tend toward finally getting that old snow-blower snugged away til the distant dreams of ice, there's just a feeling in the air. The scent of SPRING, right here on the almost-cusp of Summer, and the siren call of all those racks and stacks of plants at Lowe's and Home Depot beckon us all.
Weekends at Lowe's are some kind of a natural phenomenon, I think, with great baskets and carts brimming with plants trundled into trunks and tailgates by the hour. I suppose it's our modern-age version of searching the woods and roadsides for sass and cress and poke sallet to sate the Winter's hunger for green.
We've had a nice team of guys here for several days, off and on, getting us spruced up for Spring, and today the schedule includes a good session with the power-washer on concrete and house.
More plants, more cleanings, tables and chairs and pots to arrange, and the yard will take on more of the air of a retreat than an obstacle course. Just to sit quietly with Nook and iced tea obtains a more refined air when you're sitting in chairs freshened up and arranged, and not having to choose from the dusty array folded haphazard against the house.
And whilst I dream of a Southern-lush lawn, sandal-stepped by ladies in gauzy gowns and hats, with a Monet-array of roses and teapots and sandwich stands arranged on lacy cloths, do take a look over at today's FRIENDSHIP TEA.
Miss Linda is a hostess par excellence, with a room specially built for tea parties, right there in her own HOUSE. You'll feel transported to the most elegant tea shop, the most gracious and welcoming of places and times. Wisht I'da been there.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Joining in Beverly's PINK SATURDAY today:
The tea at Sweetpea’s school was marvelous and the program wonderful. And, in addition to the pink gloves, I even pulled out the LEATHER SANDALS, then went looking for a suitable hat to befit her expectations (none, actually---she just said "a dress") and of all---ALL the hats Chris has acquired over the years for photo props and GRANDS pictures---there were only FOUR accessible. TWO BLACK VELVET and ONE MINK, with an immense red-sequined number worthy of any street corner in
So, I did what I do when we do make-believe anything---I improvised. Chris' summer straw, with a huge pink silk rose from last-Spring’s candle-ring and an enormous hatpin which holds up a curtain downstairs. Sweetpea's surprised, delighted face when I walked in, all gloved and hatted, was well worth all the probably-unbelieving looks I must have gotten from all the Moms in the room---Sweetpea's Mammaw and I were the oldest two at the party, and I could just imagine the thoughts running through the heads of all those beautiful young slim-jeans, high-booted women pushing strollers that cost more than my car.
They saw us---Mammaw in her seamed slacks and Teddy-bear sweatshirt and New Balance shoes and cane, and me in a cobbled-together hat--Chris' Summer straw with the tee-ninecy spot where an errant honeysuckle limb broke a straw and left a small vent, with the big old gold hatpin pierced through two flappy petals of a frowzy rose snatched off a centerpiece.
And though they didn’t give us that up-and-down dismissive Miss Grey glance toward the Dashwoods, there was probably just a wee bit of disbelief there.
Her Mammaw was any nice lady you see at Saturday flea markets, at flower and lawn shows, musing over cake mix in the Kroger aisle. I, on the other hand, was probably received as one of those trying-too-hard-with-whatever-tattered-finery-I-had-left---one of the dear old biddies who refresh and re-pin and re-hem from season to season. Neither the boozy élan of Blanche DuBois nor the genteel hose-darning of a Miss Bates, but quite a step above The Queen of the SilverDollar.
The grown-up guests probably had no idea it was just something we DO at home for dress-up, and not just a dotty old lady who should be wearing purple and might any moment start gobbling up shop-samples.
For some reason, I find that a hilarious, memorable moment that gives me a little glow. I don’t know if it’s that I’m not quite so stodgy as I thought I was becoming, or I’m approaching the age of, “Oh, GOSH!!! I FORGOT!!! Is THIS the day I’m supposed to CARE what YOU think?”
Sweetpea saw every accessory---the flat-heeled shoes, the short pink gloves, the slightly-ridiculous hat---and beamed. She hand-grabbed me and took me around to all her classmates, introducing me to almost every one. And several of them called me Ganjin before the party was over.
A little a this, a little a that---quite satisfying, all round. And you never have to explain silly if it's done for love of a child.