From my front porch to yours: Happy Spring! I love spring for all its promises and its beauty, but I really love that it affords me the opportunity to plan and dream. Perhaps Margaret Atwood said it best: “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” My fingernails are proof of my 78th wheelbarrow load of mulch, the expansion of my vegetable garden, and planting a lot of pansies. On my porch coffee table (an old laundry cart flattened out) are bleeding hearts. Yes, I’m reminded our country is struggling a bit these days, but spring’s beauty promises there are better days ahead. Sending you love from the garden. Don’t look now, but Naked Gardening Day is right around the corner! Stay tuned…
“In the depth of winter I finally learned in me there is an invincible summer.” So said Albert Camus. Instead of getting the winter doldrums, I spend the winter working on every creative project and idea I can. (My dog Westminster is a very supportive assistant.) I’ve always known that those who work hardest in winter get to play hardest in summer. So, I’m hunkered down squeezing out every ounce of creativity in a day. By the way, you also might have heard that summer bodies are made in winter. You can’t see me right now, but I’m doing my daily 30 pushups. How are you surviving winter?
My first memory of Christmas is of electric lights–electric being the key word. I was three years old, tinkering with the lights beneath the bottom branches of a scrawny fir in my grandmother’s living room. In rural South Carolina, trees were plucked from wherever they could be found, and my grandmother typically found hers somewhere along the railroad tracks behind her house.
Each year after the hack job, she’d drag the thirsty thing back up to the house, stick it in a wrought iron stand, and put on the lights. They were big and colorful, and searingly hot. My first Christmas memory is those lights, sticking the prongs of the plug into the outlet beneath the tree… along with my forefinger. The memory is still shocking. Stunningly, staggeringly electric. Think Phyllis Diller hair, and tears that burst forth like rain from an angry could.
I’m an adult now, and I still cry. Like pregnancy and painting, the pain of lighting the lights is forgotten once done, but remembered when trying again. This past weekend, I dangled on a ladder and decorated my house, cursing like a sailor. Now that it’s done, I can pour myself a cocktail and enjoy the holidays.
Hey, are your lights twinkling yet?
We’re being bombarded with bad news, and it’s apparently getting to us. How do we make ourselves feel better?
Find things that make us laugh like these 100 funny pictures.
Seek out stories that show humanity at its best. Did you hear about the people in a NYC subway car who teamed up to wipe away anti-Semitic graffiti and Swastikas? It’s a great story of hand sanitizer, elbow grease and people coming together.
Find ways to share and feel more love. If you’ve never heard the Story Corps of Danny & Annie, WATCH & LISTEN. Your heart will grow three sizes.
“Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.” – John Lennon
I’ve heard it said that fall is like a second spring in which each leaf is a flower. As a child, my grandparents would take me to the Blue Ridge Mountains to catch a peek at nature’s calico quilt. It’s a memory that brings me joy and makes me wistful for childhood innocence. Don’t worry, I’ll find it in hikes with my love, carving pumpkins, planting bulbs, roasting marshmallows by a campfire, and maybe even sneaking in one last outdoor shower or two. Hoping you find the color in this season with those you love.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
My #Life101 Advice: You will never regret being kind. Start by trying to make one person’s day better. Just one. See how that makes you feel. It’s really that simple. Really. This madness must stop.
(Photo by the talented Sherry Bowen.)
As I’ve said, “There’s treasure in them thar hills!” Perhaps this summer you’ll join me on the hunt? Did you hear about the family that sold a 1,000-year-old Chinese bowl they bought for a few bucks at a NY garage sale for $2.2 million at Sotheby’s?! They’d been displaying the “Ding” bowl from the Northern Song Dynasty on their mantel with no clue of its value. That’s a reason to go saling (and to be careful dusting!)