Waning Summer and STAR: August 2016 | Notes Archive »

It has been a sad summer — the loss of a precious and dearly loved cat, and then the loss of my sister, Joane in July. Joane was 11 years older and, as I always say, I upset the lovely applecart of her life. She had been a sweet, treasured only child. They say I cried a lot as an infant, and was a real pain in the neck, and poor Joane had to tolerate this invasion of her quiet life. She was a role model in many ways — a brilliant student, excellent writer and passionate reader, a woman of extraordinary good taste in all matters of dress and decoration, a fabulous cook, and a person with gracious manners and amazing entertaining skills. We were totally different in so many ways, but there was an underlying tenderness between us throughout life. It is a blow to think of life without her.

Garden Flowers New Back Garden
Bouquet of garden flowers   New back small garden

And... the heat. Yikes!!! Water, water, water the gardens until the state issued restrictions. I am not a hot summer lover and so, as the trees begin to show signs of color at their tips, I feel a sense of peace and joy. We can always put another sweater on to get warm, but there’s no escaping the blazing heat of the sun (except AC, which we have used all through July and the first weeks of August). I look forward to autumn in New Hampshire and all its pleasures. I always associate fall with the hunt for antiques when the invigorating air gets us motivated again. The backroads beckon.

Front Garden Front Garden
Front garden from the street   Front flower/herb garden

In many ways, I have reinvented my life as an antiques dealer. I’ve given up shows, and that can be a terrible withdrawal as we read the reviews of shows in the trade papers. Every summer, as August looms, I begin to long for the NH Dealers Show, and all the hoopla and frenzy that goes along with it. I miss the people. This year I attended the Gurley show at the Everett Arena and got a big fix of reacquainting with friends in the business. It was heartwarming. I also had tons of fun — free to be a buyer without the worry of my own booth. I thought the show was great too —— missed my old friend Nan, but her tradition continues after her sad death with a terrific show where one can buy well, and see great stuff without the pedigrees and pretensions.

Decoration on an early 19th c doll cradle
Decoration on an early 19th c doll cradle

I came away with an armload of wonderful stuff. Here I salute Nan and family, and how she always did her best for dealers. She was always a dealer, first and foremost, and her shows were tailored to the down and dirty trade of the business. Congratulations to the Mavis/Gurley family for pulling off a real winner in her honor. They have a big auction of Nan’s stuff coming up in September in Maine at her beloved homestead. Now... that is worth checking out. Nan had great taste.

Life in Walpole continues to bring new adventures and interesting people into our life. Every day we spend here adds to the pleasures of living in what has turned out to be a really wonderful village. Meeting and greeting in town reminds me of what life has been like here for generations. Whether it’s engaging with the local Episcopal minister, the folks who keep the library humming, the postmistress who always has time for a good laugh, the kids at Walpole Grocery who love to help and all the people who come to the village every day for errands, Life is full to the brim here. This is our fourth summer in Walpole, and we are everlastingly grateful for the opportunity to have settled here. It is a good town.

On the hottest days this summer, it has been hard to imagine the winter to come. We are not “snowbirds”, as the warmer climate seekers in winter are called. We love toughing it out and filling the little house with warmth during the cold season. We would never dream of leaving the house to its own devices in winter. After all, the chipmunk in the basement can make it!!

Please enjoy the change in season after an abnormally hot summer. Those breezes will certainly be welcome.

Annie, at 17 1/2, napping in her favorite chair

Annie, at 17 1/2, napping in her favorite chair


Star Island — Late August 2016

To those of you encountered during Karen’s and my sojourn, know that I will never forget you.

Sue, June, Mary Ann, Ann, Ann B., Kathleen, Allison, Hunt, Nancy, Gretchen, and ALL you others whose names are lost, please count yourselves among the loveliest people in my universe.

And, as for you, Star, with your ever present sea, mysterious surrounding Islands with ghostly names, sunrises and sunsets unparalleled in my universe, sublime architecture assembled through two centuries and serving us still, sandy paths leading to wondrous places, squawking gulls circling endlessly above, you, Star, with the most beautiful chapel ever conceived, with your collection of Pels giving life and love, you, above all, Star, attracting a collection of people who will forever abide in my consciousness, Star, I love you. And, Star, thank you.