Early Spring 2016 | Notes Archive »

It is March. Last week we had a frightening storm – lightening that blasted the outdoors with power, thunder which lasted a long time and rattled the walls of the poor old house, and biblical rain.

CatOur young cat, Boo, was with me as I was reading and dozing; it woke me with a jolt and he and I gazed at each other. Eno, the 3 dogs and older cat were upstairs in the garret watching tv. They were snug as bugs since there are only 2 windows up there in the front and back eaves. It was fun today in town to hear the postmortems. “Can’t believe my husband slept right through it!” “I got an elbow in the side in bed when it hit!” Or just plain “Crazy weather!”

I am quite sure that the brave souls who built this house in 1797 would be shocked that we should be thinking of them in 2016. This tiny house, withstanding the huge power of nature, sheltering 200+ years of Walpoleans. Like always, things calmed, we woke to the beginnings of a sunny day, temps in the 50s, a cardinal in the pines declaring his boisterous opinions, and probably happy to be alive. Weather in New England is the pervasive event. We look forward to spring after a peculiar winter and begin to watch the garden for signs of survival. Once again, I will the espaliered apple tree to life. We now have 3 growing seasons behind us here on Middle Street and the sweet, tender plants are deciding their fate. I wish them well.


It is strange that as we age, it is change that engages us. One might have a particular favorite season through life, only to find that in the last chapter of the journey, it is the rotation which we love.

DollWinter to spring is the most dynamic. Those first dubious moments of opening doors and windows to breathe in the new air, the rustlings of the desire to clean the house with a vengeance, the desire to lighten up the curtains and quilts – all the tinges of change and renewal get our full attention. This very natural movement is the rhythm of the song. It is simply lovely.

The lover of antiques has a very particular reverence for surroundings and we begin to put heavier things away – ease the delightful clutter – give our spirits space to expand. Feathering the nest becomes sweeping and editing the nest. We are letting the beloved outdoors back in. The farewells as I put precious things away for the summer are every bit as bittersweet as the greetings in the fall. The old textiles on the dolls merit a rest from the most damaging aspect of display – oxidation, particularly from sun. We do our best to protect them from direct rays, but somehow fading and melting happens. While we enjoy our custody until the next generation takes over, we must take our responsibilities seriously.

So... there is a bit of a temporary lull as we move toward spring — designed to give us a moment to breathe deeply and take stock. I include here an old, old quote discovered and sent to me by the divine Sarah Havener. If you have missed her site on Etsy, it is a delight. Sarah makes imaginative use of beautiful old fabric scraps and some of my most pleasing possessions are from her hands. Sarah Havener on Etsy.