Saturday, May 16, 2009

None too shabby.

I have recently begun following the blog of Rachel Ashwell, founder of the by now familiar Shabby Chic line of home furnishings and author of several marvelous books.
I hadn't realized that Shabby Chic as an enterprise has suffered a serious decline. It is sad to learn. Her obvious love and dedication of her craft, her work, have inspired so, so many people. Including me. From the first time I encountered her books to the time I actually bought some genuine Simply Shabby Chic linens at Target, I have felt her to be a kind of kindred soul, and something of a validation of my lifelong fascination with the weathered, the used, the unapologetically old fashioned. A creative, kind, actively beauty-loving soul. A woman of healthy ambitions, willing and able to create a good life for her children. Perhaps most of all, someone able to stand in the moment and see, truly SEE what is happening around her (would that I had more of that ability!)
'I suppose it comes down to this: admire her, and I like what I know of her. Which is why I am thrilled to see that from her new home base in London, she has started a blog. It is gentle and not showy and honest. I like that very much
There is a good future ahead for her. I'd like to think that. I've no doubt that she will pour forth more beautiful things to share with the rest of us, in years to come.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The bells of Spring.

"In many parts of North America, the call of the peepers is one of the first signs of spring. Because their voices sound similar to sleigh bells, the frogs have earned a nickname—the bells of springtime." (

Peeper. Do you know what a peeper is? It's a teeny, tiny frog. No bigger than the length from the top of your fingernail to the knuckle. You won't see them, but oh boy, can you hear them when a young peeper's fancy turns to thoughts of love. That haven't-heard-it-in-nearly-a-year, jaunty, breezy chorus of happy bleats which signals the arrival ... at last! ... of Spring.

Ohhhh, life is sweet in the first early days of Spring isn't it? I went for an ice cream cone with my best friend last night, mostly to get out of the house and into the open air after months of stifling in the stale atmosphere of cooped up rooms. It is an unofficial tradition here in New England to eat ice cream at any time of the year, often in generous portions, so although we didn't need an occasion to get in line with every other person, it sweetened the pot. Took us away from the TV, the phone, the "shoulda, oughtta, gotta" list of obligations.

Sailing down open roads, seeing everywhere the newly alive trees filter the light, rippling in bands across hopeful new lawns. Green enchants, punctuated by splashes of new pink, fuschia, yellow. The world exhaling the cares of the day, caressing all of us lucky enough to be alive today. Light enough for the day and part of the night. The cruel days of darkness by 5:00 are by this time just a memory.

Life. Is. Good.