Friday, September 22, 2017

Morning Mist



"It comes on a morning with a clear sky
and a clean horizon,
a brilliant morning full of blue and green
and the long shadows of sunrise.
It is not a gray mist;
it is white, white as daisy petals,
whiter than cumulus clouds,
shimmery white and so thin it shimmers
of silver as the sun strikes through it."
Hal Borland




A walk around our yard in the morning mist:






















Thank you for taking this walk with me on
the day that my favorite nature writer, Hal Borland,
says that "another equinox is tallied off and
officially another Summer ends."

Our 2.4 acre wedge-shaped yard has over 500 ft.
road frontage along curving pavement
so few drivers dare speed on it. 

RH has a lot of grass to cut but I asked him
to leave a long section of it wild
along a thick hedgerow that gives us road
privacy and gives the wildlife shelter.

Happy first day of Autumn to all of you!

I'm so excited to see this day come!

Are you?



"This [a morning mist] is the blown breath of Autumn long before there is even a hint of frost in the air."
Hal Borland



Monday, September 18, 2017

Those Were the Days



On a lovely September day of 1963 at 12 noon, I turn off my IBM Selectric typewriter, put away the papers I've typed that morning for the latest questionnaire that will go to the printing department, take my purse out of the lower drawer of my desk and stand up to leave for my lunch hour.

I stop by the ladies room first and tell the other girls that I'm skipping lunch in the cafeteria to shop at Cain-Sloan for stockings as I'm wearing my last pair with no runs. I borrow some Aqua Net and then brush off the shoulders of the black sheath my mother made for me out of polished black cotton.




It is warm enough outside for a sleeveless dress but against the rules for me to wear one at the religious publishing house where I work. Needless to say, pants are not allowed either. 

I go to the elevator and leave the Research and Statistics Department and soon am out on the sidewalk hurrying along. Five or six blocks later I am at Cain-Sloan and hurry inside to the stocking counter as I plan to go downstairs for a tuna fish stuffed tomato before returning to work.

There is one saleslady available and I tell her my size and she pulls out four thin boxes, opens the lids and spreads apart crisp tissue paper. I point to the tan, darker than what I wear, and she carefully slides her hand inside a sheer pair.

I envy her manicure, shake my head and say I'll have three pairs of the nude, knowing tan is too dark for my pale legs. I present my charge card and we conclude our transaction, smiling at each other, one lady dressed in black to another.



I wish I have time for lunch in the Iris Room--and my mother there to pay for it--but instead hurry to the basement lunch counter. As I walk back to work on this September day, a hint of fall in the air, I know I look slim in my black sheath dress, my Maidenform panty girdle not really needed except that it is proper and expected, and its fasteners hold my stockings in place better than the garter belt I wore in high school days. 

I fairly fly along Church Street in my black leather high heels. And my feet don't hurt even the least bit when I push open the doors to go inside, five minutes early.

Think of that!


You might ask why I didn't wear pantyhose instead of stockings?

It took me years to switch to pantyhose. Why?

Picture this day:

I am excited to be wearing pantyhose for the first time. I swing up out of my new red MG Midget after parking on the roof at work, feeling very sophisticated and free of a hot panty girdle. 

I hurry along to the roof elevator when the dreaded thing happens. My hose begin to creep down. By the time I enter the elevator they are around my thighs. Off the elevator I take mincing steps, pressing my legs together. 

I pass the cafeteria and realize I am not going to make it much further without them puddling around my ankles. I go into the nurse's office and tell her my predicament. She solves the problem and for the rest of the day I carefully maneuver around the office with four safety pins holding my new pantyhose to my slip.



And so I threw the pantyhose out and returned to my panty girdle and stockings until pantyhose was much improved, probably about the time they came in white plastic eggs and were sold in grocery stores.

But what I wouldn't give for just one more day of shopping in Cain-Sloan in downtown Nashville at 5th and Church, my mother along to whip out her charge card and my father there to take me and my little sisters into the record department where we would pick out new records and go into a booth to listen to them.

Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end......



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Oh, dear...



Last week we had dark and stormy nights, days too, here in Nashville with record cool temps. Perfect for reading Louise Penny's newest book, Glass Houses featuring Armand Gamache, now promoted to the Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Qué̗bec. 

I am a longtime Louise Penny fan. So what did I like about Glass Houses?

I liked the last chapter.

It was exactly as I wished last chapters to be, the essence of Penny's core characters that I love dearly, even those I am beginning to like--Ruth and her duck Rosa. Ruth is beginning to grow on me but I still have reservations about the duck.

In the last chapter the core Three Pines villagers are safe, including my literary crush Armand who is in Montreal attending to...well, I won't reveal that.

In Olivier's bistro in Three Pines, the villagers are gathered to view Clara's newest odd paintings of...well, I won't reveal that. Suffice it to say that I cried in the last chapter with love for Clara and Myrna and Ruth, maybe even a little for the duck.

What didn't I like about Glass Houses?

A whole lot. The last few Penny books have let me down. They just do not have the rich character development of the early books. This was an action driven book, which may be what sells to a wider demographic as this author has only grown in popularity with the majority of fans. Penny's style seems to have changed, many more sentences become choppier. Maybe this is on purpose? What readers want now? Or how the author wants to write now? So who am I to question that?




Still, let me show you a passage from Penny's Trick of the Light as this is an example of what I've missed in the last few books:

As far back as she could remember Clara wanted only one thing, even more than she'd wanted the solo show. It wasn't riches, it wasn't power, it wasn't even love. Clara Morrow wanted to belong. And now, at almost fifty, she did."

And from A Rule Against Murder:

Was there an invisible world, Gamache wondered. A place where diminished people met, where they recognized each other? Because if he knew one thing about Julia Martin it was that she too was invisible. The sort others cut off in conversation, cut in front of in grocery lines, overlook for jobs though their hand might be raised and waiting.

And from A Fatal Grace:

Saul Petrov sipped his beer and took a bite of his roast beef sandwich on a baguette with melting Stilton cheese and arugula. Beside it on his plate was a diminishing pile of shoestring fries, lightly seasoned.
It was perfect.
For the first time in years Saul felt human. He wasn't quite up to approaching these friendly people but he knew when he did they'd ask him to join them. They just seemed that sort. Already a few had smiled in his direction and lifted their drinks, mouthing 'Santé' and Joyeux Noel'.
 They seemed kind.
No wonder CC loathed them.
See what I mean?

Will I buy next year's Louise Penny mystery? I will. I remain ready to pack my luggage for a trip to Three Pines, hidden away in the Quebec countryside near the Vermont border. 

While I'm there, if I'm lucky, a near-perfect murder will take place and I will gather at the Bistro with Armand and Reine-Marie, Olivier and Gabri, Ruth and the duck, and Clara.

And with Myrna:
Three Pines had what she craved. It had croissants and café au lait. It had peace and stillness and laughter. It had great joy and great sadness and the ability to accept both and be content. It had companionship and kindness.
And it had an empty store with a loft above. Waiting. For her. Myrna never left.
In just over an hour Myrna had gone from a world of complaint to a world of contentment. That had been six years ago. Now she dispensed new and used books and well-worn advice to her friends.
                               From A Fatal Grace

Indeed I will return to Three Pines. But oh, dear...please Ms. Penny, please give me more of Myrna's story along with the action.

Are any of my visitors here at the Window Louise Penny fans? Have you read Glass Houses yet? Want to know who the bad guys are?

Now you know I'm not going to reveal that!






Monday, September 4, 2017

The Wedding!


It happened!

Even though Nashville had steady rain for several days before
the outdoor wedding of Zack and Courtney,
and no electricity the day before--
rehearsal dinner by candlelight and lanterns--
Saturday dawned dry and sunny and gorgeous and 
The Farmhouse was the scene of an enchanting celebration!

The wedding photographer's photos will come later on
but here are family pictures of the special evening
when Zack and Courtney became
husband and wife.

Amen and praise the Lord,
the creek didn't rise too high
and they're hitched!!!

And did we ever celebrate!



That's our daughter Christy on the left, husband Bryan behind,
talking to their daughter-in-law Melissa.
Our grandsons Alex and Drake catching up with each other.



Above is the ONLY photo you'll get a glimpse of now
of the ceremony site itself,
high on a hill of the 22 acre farm that was our family home
for 25 years and is now the home of the bride and groom.

That's our eldest grandson Luke above,
talking with our daughter-in-law Wallace.

And keep your cool, photos of the bride and groom will come.

The above photos were taken by our son Defee,
in case you wonder why they are so good
and the other ones here, marked Dewena's Window
are so pitiful. Good camera equipment does seem to matter.
Plus lots of experience.



There's our grandson Drake with his beautiful Emily--
they made me and RH great-grandparents last year!
Next are grandsons Caleb, Drake's brother,
and Alex with his wife Melissa, now Chicago residents,
and Luke, Alex's brother.
At the end is our son Defee and d-i-law Wallace.

Did you get all that straight?

And here is the couple that started that whole clan--

RH and Dewena!



But let's get on with the party!








We were all in no hurry; first there was the cocktail hour
where we socialized!


During this time lots of guests meandered over to the barn where there was
a beautiful setting for us to take more photos to remember the evening by.





Finally we were ready to eat a Southern dinner that was actually
the menu when Courtney and Zack had their first date
over breakfast........

Hot Chicken and Waffles with Tupelo Honey Drizzle
Espresso Rubbed Beef Brisket
Crispy Skillet Potato Hash
Buttermilk Biscuits with local jams and honey








During the breakfast for dinner hour we had music by a very
special bluegrass band that played in the picnic shelter.

And I'm so embarrassed because I can't remember their name.
When the bride and groom get back from their
honeymoon in Costa Rica I will find that out!




But they were good!




Tears here now--

First dance...

The bride and groom!


What was the song? I know it was sweet and romantic--
let me text Wallace real quick....
she's drawing a blank too but says that it might have been Crazy Love
because that's what the bride walked down the aisle to.

All I know is that I had a lump in my throat watching them.



Here's where I try to upload video.


video




Will that work? I guess I won't know until I hit publish.




video

There's a glimpse of the bride and groom--
center--
in the above video.

Well I'm just a bucket of mush right now looking at these pictures
and videos. Wish so much we had more video of the bride and groom but we were trying not to get in the way of the real photographers.
I don't even have any photos of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Is it okay if I do another post when we get the professional pics?


RH and I finally went home and let the young folks party on.




As your reward for scrolling through this long family post,
here's a photo the bride texted me.

Wait a minute till I go find more Kleenex....

Ladies and gentlemen,

the bride & groom...



Saturday, August 26, 2017

August Celebrations and Ordinary Days


I know that on my last post I promised those of you who are Mitford fans a followup post after the movie aired but we all know that our mamas told us not to say anything at all if we can't say something good.

All I will say is that after I watched the Hallmark movie, At Home in Mitford, I had to reread the current last book in the Mitford series simply to get the bad taste of the television movie out of my mouth. Ah, there was the real world of Mitford where the real Father Tim and his wife Cynthia reside!



I do love the world of Mitford, North Carolina, but Nashville is an amazing town to live in too. Our weather has been lovely lately but it is the weather in Texas right now that has us all concerned. I pray that all of my blog friends from that great state will be safe and have minimal effect on property and livelihood. 

Please let us know how you are, when you can.



This picture gives me a chance to finally answer a question many have asked:


"Dewena, what did you name the big room?"

I named this area the dining room, another section the breakfast room, and the other the sitting room. Now if I could only get everyone else to remember that.

Backed up to the sofa, the dining table can hold 5 as is, 8 when we pull it away from the sofa, a few more with it extended.

The other wall holds the large cabinet where my extensive vintage magazine collection is. The windmill picture on the wall beside it was actually a Delft tray that once held a Delftware tea set. My father always ordered tulip bulbs for the garden centers directly from Holland, and the tea set that was shattered upon opening the crate was one of the many nice gifts he received from the Holland rep over the years. 

Does anyone reading this buy cut flowers for the house during summer? I really don't. Even if there is very little pretty outside to cut, I still prefer arrangements from wild stuff that RH goes out and forages. Even a simple vase like this for the bathroom.



But RH knows I am crazy about purple gladiolas and on our last trip to the grocery store they were BOGO! 



Have you begun to decorate for fall already? I'll wait for September to do that but I have changed some linens and dishes to more late summer colors.

This pretty piece from Goodwill a few years back just seems like late summer colors to me.



And I brought out my stack of Grindley platters for it. I love this English pottery that was probably just dime store china when it was made.




I may have shown you my red cookbook bookshelf before, it was free to a good home, but I don't think I've ever told you that the oil painting of a ship done for RH by my Aunt Teenie decades ago hides a secret in our new home.

Notice the molding on the wall around the painting?



It frames a large opening in the wall where we're sure a large television once stood. I may take the painting down for Christmas and use some of my old large Dept 56 Christmas trees in the space.

I will probably begin decorating for Christmas as soon as I turn the calendar page to November this year. If you remember that last Christmas we were busy packing to move back to Tennessee from Florida and that I did absolutely no Christmas decorating, then you can understand my excitement about celebrating Christmas 2017.

We've already had one exciting family event in August--RH's 75th birthday celebration!




That's our daughter Christy with her dad and niece little Nora who is not so little anymore--five years old and started kindergarten!

As usual during busy times I failed to get photos. I did shoot video of everyone but have been unable to upload them because of their length.

Note to self: Take short videos!

But it was a weekend filled with family and good food...



Good bedtime stories...



And a great project accomplished...



That, my friends, is son Defee after helping RH install a storm door at our front door. And you wouldn't believe how exciting this long-awaited project was for me. I wanted to be able to open the front door to someone knocking and have a locked storm door between us. And the extra light in a room of knotty pine paneling that eats up the light was a very good thing. Add to that being able to pull down the screen in it for cool fresh morning air was a winner for me.

We have another exciting family celebration coming up soon, a really big one. And I've been to the beauty salon to try out Mother of the Groom hairdos for it. 

I think this one is it!



Zack and Courtney have worked so hard and been so creative to make their upcoming wedding special. I probably should say Courtney has because Zack is the first to say that she has half killed herself with hard work the past months. 

The wedding will be held at their home, The Farmhouse as it's officially known now, formerly our own Valley View!

RH has helped on some projects there to get ready for the big event . Here's the dance floor he and Zack built last weekend, Courtney has since stained it, and today RH used used pea gravel and old bricks to pretty up the surround.




It is adjacent to the picnic shelter where the band will play. Here's a photo from a few years ago of the picnic shelter.


I'll wait until after the wedding to share pics of where the ceremony will take place, but here's a picture of the back door showing the new paint colors their house recently got.


That's their dear Bentley asleep inside the door. He has been a sick boy this summer but lots of TLC and prayers have done wonders. 

Busy days are ahead for all our family who will be gathering to celebrate this happy occasion. I probably won't be posting here at the Window again until after the wedding when this beautiful woman will be Zack's bride and our new daughter-in-law.




I can't wait!

After all, I'm the one who prayed for her to be our daughter-in-law the very first time we met!