Sunday, August 31, 2008

cultural anthropologie

This is not 84 Charing Cross Road, London.  It's a window display at Anthropologie, where they always have me at hello.  Stage left is a set designer extraordinaire with a quirky, creative take on life + style. I never gave a fig about fashion until I saw the clothes in this store.  Think Saturday-afternoons-browsing-oversize-Butterrick-pattern-books-at-the-fabric-store, circa 1970, and your grandmother with her crochet hook flying. There's rich color, lots of texture and embellishment, and just enough essence of fashion runway to make it marketable. Ditto the home decor.  I always come away from Anthropologie laden with ideas and inspiration, and occasionally even something new to wear.  Of course none of it is cheap.  But it doesn't cost a penny to look.     

Saturday, August 30, 2008


It's a lovely, old fashioned word that means 'an expression of greeting or goodwill' and was also the first thing Charlotte said to Wilbur back in their cozy New England barn.  My second grade teacher read Charlotte's Web aloud and then, in an act of lesson planning brilliance, taught us to write our very own letters which we stamped and mailed.  Every life has its themes and several of mine took shape that year:  the love of a good book, the joy of letters written and received, the gift of friendship.  "It's not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer," Wilbur says on the last page. I know just what you mean, sweet pig.  I've been blessed with both.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008

dear summer,

Mornings have become a blur of yellow school buses and evening settles in earlier.  You'll be leaving us soon and it occurred to me that a thank-you note is in order.  For the long sunny days and the nights filled with fireworks and shooting stars.  For gardenias, then hydrangeas, and finally the hot pink explosion of crape myrtle blossoms.  For Dr. Mac's best ever tomato crop, for Ina Garten's corn salad recipe and South Carolina peaches.  Thank you for the little yellow finches at the feeder and, for the first time ever, hummingbirds!  For novels read, Monopoly played, movies watched in popcorn bliss.  For dips in the pool, trips to Dairy Queen and a home run made when the bases were loaded.  It went by in the blink of a firefly.  Bushels of gratitude.  Soon there will be autumn memories to make.