It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I only showed you a small part of something yesterday. You only saw the results of one beautiful piece of furniture, looking great, in it's new home. Many of you commented about my remarkable husband and how patient he was about all of this. Well, now you're going to think he's a "Saint" because now I will show you all the other things that he hauled home for me yesterday. It was a load. All the rest of my obsession/possessions are sitting in the garage ,now, saying...," OK lady. We're here and you are going to have to get rid of something in this house before we can be moved in. Get busy."
It wasn't just the bookcase/desk that he lugged back up to our little house. It was a buffet, a 9x12 Karastan Carpet, a painted bookcase, an old mirror, some vases and an antique wall clock. .., and the blue and white vase that is going to my good friend, C, in Sacramento.
The car has lost it's covered parking place for a while.
Look at these things. Would you have left them for the Goodwill guys to pick up? I rest my case.
And..., just guess what this is. It's the top part of the buffet. I have had it for years. I was refinishing it to reattach it (someday) to it's beautiful buffet that Mom was going to give me..., SOMEDAY. Well, someday has arrived and do I have this top finished and ready to reattach to the bottom part? No. Do I have some work ahead of me? Is our cat, Annibel, sleeping on the new rug..., that she thinks we put on the garage floor for her? Is there room in the house for any of this? Agggggg....
And..., to make matters worse, I have another unfinished piece of business sitting in the corner of the garage. ( I'm showing you a lot of dirty little secrets today. I think I'm heading for a huge reality check). Bought this two years ago, sanded it and there it sits, gathering dust, surrounded by more projects and tripping me every time I walk through the back door of the garage.
I confess..., I'm not the perfect housekeeper, gardener, guru of living in the country that my Blog makes me out to be. I procrastinate. I'm awful about finishing projects and ...., I'm human.
There. I said it. Now, what am I going to do about all this?..., I'm not sure. I need some serious help. I guess the Prospector knew that I would come to this realization all by myself. He didn't have to say anything. I think I'll keep him around for another 40 years.
Now.., excuse me while I go have a small breakdown.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Once in a while I sit myself down and say.., " You are a very lucky woman to have grown up in a wonderful home with good parents, that weren't perfect, but they did their best to provide a stable and happy home for you and your sister". Now that they are both gone and the "things" in their home are being sorted and divided up between my sister and and I...., I realize that a lot of that stablity is what makes those memories that were stored in this house's corners. Every piece of furniture, every cabinet and each room has so many poignant memories.
Yesterday the Prospector and I drove down to Mom and Dad's house, which is now my son and daughter-in-laws. They are renting with the intention of possibly buying the place in a year or so and they have been working toward that end. It's just wonderful! I had not seen the house since I left a week after the memorial for Mom. They have done so much work on the place and they finally moved in last weekend. New paint, carpeting, painted kitchen cabinets and counter tops, new bathroom floors, cabinets and fixtures.It's looks beautiful and I know that Mom would be happy that they have done such a great job. My grandbabies are going to make new memories now.
The prospector and I picked up the trailer that our son had borrowed to move with and I had a few more things to bring home with me. My husband deserves a special award for the way he has handled his wife during this trying time. Especially yesterday when I already had a garage filled with things from the last trip and now I wanted to bring home more..., and I have no place to put it ..., and there will have to be a major upheaval of our little house to accommodate these new/old things. Not a word has been spoken in anger or tiredness. Even last night when we finally got home and I realized that I had really gone too far.
Today he helped me move more things around and we did get my grandmothers bookcase/desk moved into the bedroom. It's so beautiful. The chair is a duplicate of another that I have had for years, but in much better shape. I did exercise some self control here. I only brought ONE chair home with me. There are 4 more, but they have cane seats and are badly damaged.
This desk is in beautiful shape. It has a beveled mirror in the top and old hand blown glass in the bookcase section. There is a broken hinge in the drop down desk that is just bent and needs straightening. Other that the hinge everything is perfect. The old oak is beautiful. A brass bolt that holds a shelf in place says March 1897 on it. If that is also the age of the desk then this is truly "an antique". I love it in my bedroom and feel like I am the "guardian" of this wonderful family heirloom. It's so beautiful and I will always keep it safe until I pass this treasure to one of my boys in years to come.
The prospector has said that the boys can have all of it...., 'cause if anything happens to me he's moving into an RV and going on the road. Just he and Carl. Without any furniture. But..., he didn't say this yesterday.., or today. Bless his heart.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Picture this... A beautiful coffee table filled with hors d'oeuvres, a bowl of mixed nuts, some flowers, large photography books on Paris and The Opera Houses of Europe, a tray of cigarettes and this lighter. My Mother's lighter.
It's sometime in the 1950's. Mom and Dad are having a party. Guests arrive. Coats are carried to the bedroom, everyone is handed a drink of choice and the room fills with cigarette smoke and laughter.
Later there is a wonderful dinner and the talking and laughing continues. My sister and I have gone to bed and I listen to the happiness of my parents friends enjoying themselves. It is a common scene in our house.
Mom's sits down at the piano and starts to play The Whiffenpoof Song and then, Time After Time. Someone comes over and starts to sing. Then another .., and soon a group forms around the piano and someone starts harmonizing. It's a warm and happy memory that has stayed inside of me after all these years. Even the cigarette smoke has become a part of this memory. I still love the smell of it.
Dad never smoked, but my mother did..., from just after high school to around 40 years of age. It was socially acceptable and she never thought about the consequences of smoking until she was in her late 30's and kept getting Bronchitis.
When she passed away this summer, she had damaged lungs and breathing problems that were irreparable. She could not have anticipated the damage that those years of smoking did to her.
So , I have mixed feelings about this little lighter. It's beautiful and it was always on our coffee table, as far back as I could remember..., but it represents a time when smoking was done without a moment of thought..., when life was all about "After the WAR" and "Aren't we glad it's over." and having a good time. It was about buying a "pack" with "filters" and which brand was the best tasting.
This lighter was a Ronson. It was a popular maker of cigar and cigarette lighters back then. The pattern was"Queen Anne" . You filled it with lighter fluid through the bottom, unscrewing the small bolt that said "fill here" and tipping the can of lighter fluid into it. I got to do it a few times with my Dad watching me carefully. It came with green felt on the bottom to protect the table. I loved pushing the top down and watching the flame appear.
You would think that all of this "taking care of the lighter" would have lead to wanting to try a cigarette and it did once or twice, but I actually didn't like smoking so I never formed the "habit" others did. I do remember carrying candy cigarettes in my pocket and "pretending" when I was little. Do they even make those anymore?
An advertisement at the time said....
"Why Miss Anne Gould, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jay Gould, prefers Camels" With a picture of a lovely, wealthy heiress smoking a cigarette and looking very sophisticated and stylish.
And the small print says..."Why do I smoke Camels? Because I honestly like their taste better than any of the other cigarettes," says Miss Gould."Like most of the girls I know, I prefer a mild cigarette -- that's another reason I am devoted to Camels. Besides, I see no reason for letting cigarettes make you nervous -- Camels never make me edgy or jumpy."And I really believe you could smoke Camels forever and ever and not get tired of their fine, smooth flavor."
No one knew any better then. It was the "cool" thing to do. It was what "smart" women wanted. It was fashionable. ..., and still, today, the charade goes on. At least now, women can MAKE A CHOICE with all the scary information "on the table"..., not a dish of cigarettes and a lighter.
Please join Roomies: Past Due Tuesday and share your vintage items with us. It's fun. It's interesting..., and you'll learn things you never knew before. This is a brand new vintage venue for all your wonderful old things. Join us won't you?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Last night the clouds moved in and by midnight we heard the sound of rain on the leaves outside our windows. This morning the sun tried very hard to shine but the clouds finally won and semi- darkness prevailed. This is my favorite time to go for a walk. I had forgotten how hard it is to balance a camera and an umbrella at the same time but I did it and these photos are the results.
The rain darkens everything and makes the garden richer and more beautiful than it really is. The end of summer heat left all the bushes and plants, especially the roses, in a very bad state. Leaves curled and flowers wilted..., but this morning it's as if hand lotion has been sprayed over everything; shiny, moisturized, and dripping with rain . Even the plants that lost their battle with the summer heat look like they have been given a second life. It's a rebirth of liquid "gold" here in the Mother Lode. The 49er's knew that without water they didn't stand a chance of finding gold in this arid country..., or surviving. Their ghosts are standing on the clifts above our house with their hands in the air, smiling and then laughing at the soaked hills around them.
I let Carl out to roam free in the fenced area this morning. He loves this freedom. He's so full of self importance and purpose. When I was ready to go back to the house I called him. The picture on the bottom right was his response. He sat very still and thought he was hiding from me. "Carl, it's time to go back into the house. We'll dry off and have a biscuit." NO ANSWER. "Come on Carl. We will come out later. Be a good boy. Let's go." HE DIDN'T MOVE.
Then a bird flew by and off he went, running the fence.., ears in the wind, looking like a fox without a tail, a short coyote, a dog on a mission.
Here he is..., a wet, happy dog trying to herd the goats through the fence. Look at him. Winter is almost here. The Rattlers have gone to sleep and the Poison Oak is dormant. Even though I can catch the itchy rash from the bare sticks , there doesn't seem to be any in the fenced area, so we are safe for the rest of the Winter.
This little boy dog is protected from any harm..., so we will let him mark his territory and claim it for his own. What a wonderful world it is for a little dog, with endless energy, to run free and take control of his own universe.
As I write this Carl is sleeping in the Prospector's lap..., it doesn't get much better than this.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory
it stood, isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my Soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my Soul.
Why did I put this photo and this poem together in the same post? Through the spider ,the speaker relates his point of view about human souls. When the speaker says that the spider “launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself” he is saying something about a spider making a web..., but also about man trying to make connections with the world, to feel a part of something, or find its place in the universe.
I would like to know what you feel when you see this photo and read this poem....