After reading Creativity Calls, several of you have asked me to post an image of my sweet masterpieces. I always keep them until the end of January, so I’m able to oblige!
Thanks for asking,
“…a cyclamen that looks like a flight of butterflies, frozen for a single, exquisite moment in the white heart of time…”
― Beverley Nichols,
Tis the season for cyclamens! These wonderful flowers look good in my garden in white, in my home in red and in my shed in pink, of course!
I’ve read that on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus they grow in great drifts of thousands of plants and fill the air with fragrance. Perhaps, someday I’ll see that, but for now they have arrived in great quantity at my local nursery.
I came to associate the flowers with Christmas when I began dating my husband in high school. His mother, Mary, has a bright green thumb and she has always decorated her world with growing things. At the holidays, the entrance to her home was filled with white cyclamen. They sat in a long line on a console table underneath a large mirror. It was a simply elegant way to greet visitors, and it remains a beautiful memory for me.
Mary will spend Christmas at our home this year, and there will be white, red and pink cyclamens to greet her!
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
Thank you family and friends for your love, support and company.
And thank you, dear readers! I know that there are so many other things you could be doing while you spend time with me in my pink shed. I am grateful that you choose to visit.
My husband drove me to town today to pick up the pies. He let me off at the curb and circled back for me as there was no parking. I hobbled into a small local restaurant known for their amazing baked goods, among them: roasted pumpkin pie with mascarpone whipped cream.
I happen to be known at this restaurant (not surprising)! The owner noticed my bright pink ankle support and unusually slow, wobbly gait.
“Falling is so scary,” she said. “Glad we could do the pies for you. Now I’ll get someone to help you carry them.”
A young man appeared at my side with the pies in his hands. He waited until my husband arrived on the street in front of us and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. I wanted to thank him by name, but I did not know it. He introduced himself as “Matthew.” I assured him that I would not forget that name.
I happen to know the derivation of his name. “Matthew” is from the Hebrew and it means: Gift of the Lord. It was my beloved brother’s name and he was most certainly a gift.
I felt my eyes fill with grateful tears. It’s been sixteen years since Matt died but he is always with me. I will forever be thankful for him.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
—L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
There’s something so comfortable about October. It’s a month to simply enjoy. It doesn’t ask much of us, unlike November and December that bring with them expectations and responsibilities.
This month I’ve enjoyed:
I ask only a couple of things of myself every October:
And every year I find myself, quite unconsciously at first, reflecting on the year that is drawing to a close and the year ahead of me. The chill in the air and my plans for the future exhilarate me in a way that the month of January does not. I love October!
Hope you’ve had a wonderful month, too.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (French, literally a competition of elegance) is ten years older than me and considered to be the most prestigious event of its kind. It is a charitable automotive show open to both prewar and postwar collector cars in which they are judged for authenticity, function, history and style. Only the 200 best collector cars in the world roll onto the celebrated 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links where one will be awarded Best in Show.
But the Concours is only the finale of Monterey Car Week held annually in my home town every August. The entire week is packed with events celebrating the classic automobile. Most of those events come with a high ticket price, but if you have the resources you won’t be disappointed and you’ll be contributing to a good cause. Last year, over 2 million dollars was raised for various children’ charities.
I remember the first August we spent on the peninsula; I vowed to never do it again.
“Let’s just leave!” I told my husband.
I’d had a bad day. It took me 45 minutes to get to the grocery store. The parking lot in front of my favorite restaurant had been reserved for show cars and I missed my lunch date. The town was packed and I was crabby. Then… I saw a lipstick red Ferrari that took my breath away! I truly admire beautiful things of any kind… including cars. My father had been a vintage car collector and I’d spent hours watching him toil in the garage of my childhood home restoring several Model T’s and a gorgeous 1929 maroon Ford Phaeton. Cars are in my blood.
I’ve learned to appreciate and look forward to car week. I’ve only attended one official event, but I enjoy the spectacle each year. There are so many opportunities to view cars all over Monterey County… no ticket necessary. I enjoy getting dressed up throughout the week and strolling the tiny streets of Carmel hand in hand with my husband. We point and ogle and marvel at what we see drive by and occasionally we stop to sneak a photo! It’s fun, despite the disruption to our quiet lives!
Baseball is seductive. I have not always been a fan, but it didn’t take long for me to surrender to its charms. My husband introduced me to the game about ten years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. I’m in the enviable position of being a San Francisco Giants fan. We grabbed the title in 2010, 2012 and 2014. We play in AT&T Park. With its expansive arcade bordering the San Francisco Bay, it’s one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country. There’s no better place to be when we’re winning.
But, alas, baseball is like life: you win some; you lose some. There hasn’t been a lot of winning this year. So, my expectations were low when we showed up last week to watch our boys battle the Chicago Cubs. I figured we’d lose badly, but enjoy ourselves nonetheless. After all, being at AT&T allows one the opportunity to enjoy the sites and flavors of being in the city by the Bay. And, my husband and I were being joined by my daughter and her friend, so it was sure to be a good time.
First stop for me at the park is always the Farmer’s Market Stand where I order a Crazy Crab Sandwich and glass of Cabernet (organic, of course)! My younger companions had other priorities, and who can argue that the Ghiradelli hot fudge sundae is not worth the calories?!
I prefer a bit more “grown-up” dessert myself. I wait until the sun has set and the air is cool to enjoy another San Francisco treat: the Irish coffee. Tourists have flocked to San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe ever since 1952 when Americans were introduced to the Irish coffee. Bartenders, wearing white jackets and black ties, make nearly 2000 warm, sweet frothy drinks a day. The parks version compares well, despite the fact that the bartenders are a bit under-dressed by comparison!
So, as you can see, we enjoyed the flavors of the park. But, as in baseball and life, one can be surprised. And, we were. We saw two well-played games…we won two well-played games! We felt the old familiar glory…for a couple of days.
I don’t care if I ever get back,
P.S. If the Giants win, the crowd is treated to the sounds of Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” That never gets old.
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”
I’m very happy; I hope you are, too!
Just happened to stuff the current issue of Real Simple into my straw bag this morning. This is the article I skipped as I was already “mindfully” sipping my mimosa.