November 2011: Fall/Winter| Notes Archive


And now, we enter the dark time. Life in the north brings the challenge of weathering winter. Every aspect of life centers on the home and hearth --
keeping warm and cozy as the wind howls and the snows fall. One eye is on the weatherman, and the need to be ready for extended time at home. This means hearty stews and soups, warm breads and candlelit meals.

Sometimes the winter sky is a wonder - and the light of the full moon is deeply meaningful. As always, New Englanders put candles in the windows, and those tiny bulbs create the message to our neighbors that we are home, and ready to help or just welcome a visit. The fire in the hearth becomes the center of our little universe, and cats, dogs and people gather round it.



Nan Gurley's Portsmouth Sunday Shows begin at the end of October and continue through the winter, once a month. These one day shows bring us together for needed inspiration, and Nan, Peter and Josh know exactly how to create the perfect atmosphere for a busy distraction from the humdrum of winter. We love seeing each other and there is great buying and selling.

Some of my favorite finds have come from the Portsmouth floor. The dealers are an active bunch and something always turns up. We are all relaxed and there's alot of laughing and happy talk. Look for the ads for Portsmouth and join the fun.

Soon enough, Thanksgiving rolls around, a very special time for us. We were married on Thanksgiving Day, 1990, with only our children, Father Richard Mayberry,and a wonderful and sensitive photographer as our witnesses. Wehad a beautiful, simple service at a tiny old church and then went home to take the turkey out of the oven, and celebrate the feast. Since then, our four children have grown, settled into careers, three have married and brought us six grandchildren, and our life has been relocated to NH. Now our Thanks-givings are spent with dear, dear friends, who mean more to us each year.

We have shared the day for several years and now have our own traditions, and it is a happy time. And delicious too. There's nothing quite like the all- American Thanksgiving spent in an 18th century house, with good friends around a huge table in front of the glowing fireplace. an added bonus, we are mostly antiques dealers who love good food and drink, and sharing stories of the business. There really is never a dull moment. After that we all go off to do Nan Gurley's Thanksgiving Sunday Show in Marlborough, MA, a great place to buy and sell.


Christmas.... Eno and I come from families who celebrated the religious meaning and that tradition stays in one's heart throughout life. As we get older, and closer to the inevitable, we treasure this time together and love the opportunity to let our favorite friends know how we feel about them.

Christmas Day is our turn to host, and, although the trimmings are much simpler than they were when there were small kids in our midst, we manage to have a wonderful time. The meal is a different feast from Thanksgiving because the cast of characters overlaps, but tradition reigns again, and we all look forward to the roast beast and side dishes, and, of course, Divorce Cake. (See Winter Notes 2010 for an explanation.)

One liability of NH life is that the weather is so threatening that we don't want our kids, who are spread out all across the US, to travel with their families and risk life and limb. Friends have become family for us, and we are honored to have them with us.

There are always some antiques among the gifts exchanged. Last year, Clara came for Christmas. With her candy striped dress, she fits into the scheme perfectly, and will be among us for the years to come.

We wish you all a deeply meaningful and warm season.