I've been holding onto this idea for a love note for awhile, sort of like holding an ace of spades in your hand. Penny Ashford is a nature photographer, specializing in the light and movement of water, and she captures its nuanced beauty like nobody's business. Above is a detail from her "Splash Series". Can't you almost feel the sea spray hitting your brow?
Is it the dawn of summer, or my youngest child's emotional college graduation weekend, or the ability to all gather again that makes me feel like we've genuinely struck gold? I'm rereading A Gift from the Sea (yes, still on the same 90 page book I started six weeks ago). The chapter on the rare Argonauta shell struck a chord. The Argonauta is technically not a shell, but a creature more closely related to an octopus. The female holds onto its cartilage "shell" only while in need of a cradle to shelter her young. When her eggs mature and release, the mother lets go of the shell and launches off untethered and unprotected into the sea to begin her next chapter. Mission accomplished. Sigh.
Memorial Day weekend is four sleeps away. The excitement is palpable - like an evening's symphony of cicadas building to a cresendo. Summer is coming!!! This time it will include cocktail parties, weddings, dances, houseguests, and even hugging. If I were to inventory everything I love about summer, the internet would crash before your spam detector could even block this email. So I'll pick just one highlight - The Ocean House Resort in Watch Hill Rhode Island.
I had a stellar week - I travelled down to Charlottesville to set up for a trunk show at the very chic Quirk hotel (more on that below), undaunted by the prospects of a gasoline crisis in Virginia. Nothing was going to stand in the way of my great peony adventure at Pharsalia Farm, and a visit with an old friend and her husband. The beautiful interiors at Quirk, along with the Blue Ridge mountains and a profusion of peonies, inspired this week's color pairing.
After I was first married and before I had children, I liked nothing better than a rainy Sunday spent pouring over a paper copy of the New York Times, then a stack of Gourmet magazines and a pile of cookbooks, dreaming up menus for dinner parties - some of which I had, some of which I only dreamed about having. My brain was younger then, but I could probably still do pretty well in a trivia contest based on "Gourmet Entertains" menus. (Other trivia categories today ... errr probably not so good). One image that is indelibly stamped in my brain is "Pink Peony Dinner Party" from Martha Stewart's "Menus for Entertaining".
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