Thursday, September 22, 2011

officially autumn

Falling in love all over again with fall. Three months aren't nearly enough to savor this season of the senses. Why just today there were pumpkin doughnuts at our misty morning breakfast meeting and snappy North Carolina apples at the Farmer's Market. There's a tinge of harvest color on the maples and the air is scented with tea olive perfume. Put a bundle of bittersweet in a silver vase on the table in the foyer, a nubby orange blanket over the arm of the couch. Toss a sweater on your shoulders. Think comfort and cozy. On the back burner, tomato soup simmers in a white ceramic stock pot while pumpernickel croutons are toasting in the oven.
(artwork is a favorite painting by my sister, Michele Kingery)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

dear dog

Isn't he the darlingest dog ever? It's easy to see why postal clerks considered 'Owney' their good luck charm. He showed up at the Albany, New York, Post Office in the 1880s and rode for years in postal wagons and trains, helping to deliver the mail. He's still crisscrossing the country and even traveling around the world, now memorialized in a first class stamp. Good dogs stick with us forever in the heart.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

there's something about Mary

Today is her birthday, and if you don't know the writing of Mary Oliver, please give yourself a gift. Sit outside in the clear September air and read a poem or two or ten of hers, starting with The Journey and Wild Geese. Unwrap each word tenderly, just the way it was written. She'll take you into the church of the natural world, where every tattered leaf and seashell fragment has meaning, and remind you that your life does, too.
(photograph by Rachel Giese)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

flower power

This is a clipboard collage for my friend who is going through chemotherapy. She has endured so much and has much more to go, yet it hasn't diminished her smile by a single kilowatt. Her spirit, either. She has a deep faith, a fabulous fashion sense and a flair for making others feel special, especially my own two teenagers. She comes from a family that has been in the floral business for generations. Beth is sunshine in the garden of life.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dear September,

Hello September,
Welcome mellow mornings and a return to routine. Here's to the school buses rumbling by at dawn with tender sleepy faces peering out. To the zeitgist of high school football, Tigers roaming The Domain again, a ceremonial sip from the Old Well to get good grades. To cinnamon-dusted doughnuts and long evening walks, a jumbled recipe file, getting reacquainted with the kitchen.

There's a hint of color in the North Carolina mountains and a mist hangs over SkyTop Orchard where they ladle melted caramel over tart apples, cored and fanned out like a chrysanthemum in a bowl. September pays homage to the cerebral and the curious, to those who sit in the front row and take notes that look like art, who dream of reading every book in the library and maybe writing one, too. It's a plaid lunchbox and an old wooden desk waxed until it shines, a Carl Sandburg poem, a James Taylor song. September is worth waiting for all year long.