Hello girls….do you need sweet Musica? It’s a day for Counting our Blessings . . .
This is my idea of beautiful and good . . .
And I hungered after it. I’ve had a bad cold ever since my birthday girlfriends, and this is part of what is making me feel so much better today. Chicken soup, for the body and the soul–rich, healthy, vitamin-filled homemade broth, mushrooms and chicken . . . Something we could all use a little of right now, some self-nurturing, considering all the terrible news this week.
This is one of those times that being your own chaperone, feeding yourself from the well of sweetness is the only way to have a little bit of control of this wild and crazy world we live in. It’s been a hard time. The TV, which takes up a much larger percentage of space in our house than Boylston Street takes of the globe, is bringing us terrifying news that makes us feel like the whole world is on fire. I try for perspective, and it’s not easy with all this coverage and announcers making it much worse by using every ultimate word they can find. Is what happened to those innocent people in Boston worse than the 30,000 deaths by gun violence that take place in this country every year? I’m coming to the conclusion that as long as there are weapons and madmen we are going to have to learn to live with this. Despite the incredibly heroic efforts by law enforcement and first responders (our knights in shining armor), or the uncountable numbers of kindnesses between strangers (people can be so heart-touchingly wonderful), what makes the biggest buzz in my ear is the bad news and the hopelessness it seems to sell. But what is different really? This is going to go on. For me it’s sad because it thwarts the child-thinking fairytale world so many of us were raised to believe in, the world we wished to give our children. As the down-to-earth and brilliant Mark Twain said . . .
“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
We have to fight to hold on to our precious fairytale dreams of life. ♥ We must steel ourselves — that’s one thing no terrorist can ever take from us, the belief in the beauty of our dreams. So turn the channel (at least hit the mute button), and let’s feed ourselves from the well of sweetness. If it gets us, it gets us, but on this blog, for now, we turn all our worries over to law enforcement, say a prayer to God for peace, and then we take a big deep breath, because remember, nothing even remotely like what is happening in Boston is happening at your house, or in the miles and miles of peaceful American neighborhoods and farmlands. There are only eggs and bacon frying in pans, roosters crowing, and kids getting ready for school . . .
There are wide open spaces and people doing the good things they do everyday, kissing each other good morning, saying good bye, off to work . . . If you are a lucky stay-at-home-mom, turn up the music, get the broom, dance when you sweep and then hang the clothes on the line . . . If you’re at work, find a park bench or take a magazine to lunch, and look at the sky the sky the sky . . .
Yes, everything out there is truly tickety-boo . . . big red barns, rolling fields ready to be planted, and look at that beautiful sky . . .
Nothing’s happening on the island either — in Menemsha, flags are catching the morning light as they flutter from fishing boats in the chilly springtime ocean breeze.
All is quiet on the highways and byways of America, the snow melting, gathering strength in droplets, turning into streams and rivers, sparkling along the roadside in puddles and rivulets . . .
The breeze is still coming up from the Pacific, blowing the grass on the California Coast, near Morro Bay. A few more miles, you can have tea in Cambria, visit garden centers, and there are lots of antique stores to wander in….
And let’s not forget, everything is perfectly normal in England; people are at Hill Top Farm, seeing it for the first time, falling in love with it, shopping in the Beatrix Potter gift shop right this very moment ….
And lucky people are driving across the Yorkshire Dales, ooohing and aahing at the beauty, stopping to smell the wildflowers . . .
Yes, life goes on . . . And here at home, birds are singing, Cardinals are pecking at the seed we threw on the driveway, Jack is drinking out of the kitchen faucet, I’m getting well, enough to walk out back yesterday to see the forsythia blooming . . .
And lay on my tummy in the grass. The ground was warm and smelled like grass and dirt, and the only thing going on there is wild violets . . .
Our magnolia tree is in bloom too.
My birthday celebration was short, because my throat burst into flame the next day, but it was sweet. Joe made us a birthday lunch and we ate it in front of the fire …
Fresh New England lobsters with lemons and hot butter for dipping, and fresh spring asparagus cooked al dente. Could a person ask for anything more? No. But there was more . . .
Elizabeth brought me this family of bottle brush lambs for my Birthday present! ♥
I introduced them to my dog, now they are all together, getting along swimmingly. Dog watching over lambs.
And these! Handmade for me by twelve-year-old Maddie Honeycutt, the daughter of Sheri who works in my studio along with Kellee, someone many of you have spoken to when you order from the web store. Maddie made the bird too, it has little wire feet.
Didn’t she do a wonderful job? I was so surprised! She dressed the lamb in a little British flag scarf — I think to match the lamb I painted for the book (and BOOKMARK, did you get your bookmark? Click there if you want one). How sweet is Maddie? Lucky me. THANK YOU DEAR MADDIE ♥ ♥ ♥
and there were birthday flowers too, and the girls also sent us a box of oranges and limes they picked from our California fruit trees, and pretty new clothes from my dad and his wife Jeanie, and lots of cards and phone calls and everything anyone would want for a wonderful birthday.
And being sick this last week has given me a break, a definite transition from what was to what’s about to be. I am feeling better, more energy today, and soon I will be my old self, and already, this is what I’m thinking of, revving up my engines, and starting springtime . . .
More than anything, this is a day to count our blessings. When things are bad, that’s always what I do. Something I wanted to share with you: While I was sick, I got a note from the professional editor that did the editing on our book. He’s someone my publisher found for me, and lives far from here, but he did a wonderful job of finding all the commas I forgot to put in, making me look smarter than I am. I wrote to thank him and this is what he wrote me back to say:
Susan: It’s wonderful to hear from you. I am an overly cynical, world-weary editor whose editing mileage far exceeds his age, and that age itself is creeping up. Most of my work is on dry academic tomes, and it’s amazing the amount of contempt I can work up for authors on whose areas of expertise I know little about. But I’m very comfortable working on 400-page books on entirely obscure topics that would put even people interested in them fast to sleep.