Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year



Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Birthday Wish




Today, December 26, is my birthday!

Every year that I get to celebrate I reflect on the hopes and wishes that I have accomplished: that my wisdom has expanded, my compassion has grown and that my subtle (who are we kidding) likes and dislikes have been tolerated.

Most of all I pray that we as mankind will begin to realize that this fragile earth we inhabit must be cherished. Each and every one of us has to do their part to accomplish just that.

As we wind down this year and roll into 2008 I hope that you will join me to make such a wish come true.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nostalgia





At this time of year we are often overcome by memories.

Winter holidays as a child were filled with treasured moments. Trees, decorations, toys, food and family gatherings were all part of the enjoyment.

To this day one of my favorite indulgences is watching seasonal movies. There are many to choose from in black and white, animated and old stories made new again.

One in particular sums up all the charms of the holidays. It's a story full of boy meets girl, dancing, singing, girl meets boy, luscious sets and gorgeous costumes. Underneath all its comedy, music and to die for gowns it is the story of people coming together to help a former friend out of a dire situation.

I find myself singing along, tapping my toes and at the end a lump in my throat.

If you guessed the classic 'White Christmas' then it must captivate you as well.

As the movie comes to a close and they're all gathered around that huge decorated tree in their fantastic red velvet outfits and the doors are opened to reveal the snowflakes falling gently outside, for just a moment it takes my breath away.


Merry Christmas Everyone!


And this holiday season brings about a story of another kind. It is based in the olden times but with a deadly twist...Sweeney Todd, starring Donna O's favorite gardener/pool boy Johnny Depp.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mélange




I love this time of year. This morning we were treated to 5 inches of new snow. Fluffy, billowing flakes that draped the branches of the balsam fir in a sparkling holiday wardrobe. The mourning doves land upon it sending a gentle cascade of glistening ice crystals to the blanket beneath. The air smells fresh and renewed.

I also enjoy the extra letters and parcels that arrive in the post. Christmas cards from friends and family from near and far. And the parcels; some ordered and others a surprise.

A particular one I was waiting for arrived yesterday. The contents were not unknown, but as I pulled back the tissue that gently cradled it within the protective box I was pleasantly taken aback. The artist had manipulated the crepe paper that framed the lady within to appear like silk ribbon. And the colors; earthy brown and deep dark crimson red. (The shades of a rich chocolate raspberry soufflé.) The angelic lady figure placed so perfectly to accommodate her beautiful wings.



This was the first piece I had been able to purchase from Katie Estvold at Sparrow's Cottage. (Usually everything has been sold before I get to request one.) I have given her a special place to hang from the knob of my petite cabinet where I may indulge in her beauty often.

I'd also like to take a moment and send my wishes of hope to those in the US Midwest that have been effected by that massive ice storm earlier this week. It has left many in the dark and cold. Have faith, those tireless hydro crews are working non-stop.

May you enjoy your weekend as the countdown begins for this is the first day of Christmas. I hope your true love remembers!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Follow Your Heart



Have you ever come to a time in your life where two paths lie before you? The one you have traveled is steadfast, predictable, and comfortable. The other that beckons is new, not yet stable but enticing. You spend days, weeks, maybe months deciding to stay the course or travel on in a new direction, to experience opportunity both challenging and rewarding. You call on all your years of wisdom to decide and finally follow your heart.

I am often asked how I became a vintage textile appraiser. It was an easy decision that came to me one day when I was admiring an antique quilt. Even though it was more than 100 years old its colors were still vibrant. Each little piece represented a scrap saved from a garment that had long out lived its purpose. Upon closer examination I could see and touch the tiny perfect stitches that lovingly passed through the cloth. In one corner a set of initials had been embroidered. And then it happened; I wondered who was this woman from years ago that had placed these tidbits of her life so intricately together to provide warmth and beauty to herself, a friend or her children?

Today I am sharing one of these quilts, which is perfect for this festive season. The pattern name varies from the area in which the quilt maker lived. This one is from Massachusetts in the 1880s and is called 'the Whig Rose'. I fondly refer to it as the 'Nellie Quilt'. (Those of you that have followed my earlier posts are quite familiar with Nellie).

I'd also like to send my best wishes to Carole (Scoundrels And Rogues) who is pulling up stakes, packing her most beloved treasures and following her heart!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Little Change of Palette





With the coming of winter and the festive season upon us it is time for a change of palette. My new banner reflects just that.

The little vignette is a display of favorite trinkets. The glittery crown is by the Queen of Crowns, Donna O'Brien. She set her wonderful talent to task and created this custom crown just for me. The M stands for Miss Maddie's of course! It is a symphony of my adored colors; silver and robin's egg blue. Donna will be in Victoria magazine in the New Year.

The darling little silver soldered charms are the amazing work of Cathy Penton from Australia. I have never seen a business card look lovelier! Her work will again be featured in an upcoming issue of Romantic Homes.

All the other goodies are from my personal collections. I must also thank my daughter Jackie who's web design talent has once again been brought to the forefront.

Now I'd like to wish all of my fellow readers and new found friends a joyful -

Monday, November 26, 2007

Deck The Halls




This engraving is from my collection and once appeared in the British publication 'The Guardian', December 25th 1859. As you can see we have always enjoyed decorating our homes, shops and places of worship with symbols of the season.

Now we begin to bake, cook, decorate and search for gifts to express ourselves with the things we hold close to the heart. Just remember to take it all in stride and do not be overwhelmed.

These words of wisdom written to a young lass named Katie in December of 1881 says it all.

"It is not much the world can give
With all it's subtle art;
And gold and gems are not the things
To satisfy the heart:
But oh if those who cluster round
The alter and the hearth,
Have gentle words and loving smiles
How beautiful is earth."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gently Fallen Snow



Living nestled amongst the Great Lakes we are often affected by lake effect snow. Sometimes falling as much as 3" an hour it may not take long to cover the ground. This morning started with ice pellets and soon changed to gently falling snow.

It blankets the grass and makes for a picture postcard view from the window.

For those of you that don't live in a region that experiences one of Nature's wonders it is hard to describe. It can be soft and billowing or harsh and stinging. Today we were honored by the gentle kind that brought many visitors to the back yard.


A beautiful hawk that frequents the area at this time of year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Connected By A Button




Two is a pair and three is the beginning of a collection. I collect buttons.

When I was a young girl I would spend Sundays with my fraternal Grandmother. In the morning we would walk to church. After the service we'd return home for a wee spot of tea as she put it. Agnace (the early Scottish spelling of Agnes) would bring out her button box and I would delight in its contents and the stories she told as we would sip sweet tea from her best cups and saucers.

I would line them up in rows by color or size, beauty or plainness on the freshly starched linen tablecloth. She would show me which ones were off my father and uncle's rompers, my great-granny's house dress or something new she'd purchased at a church bazaar. Every one had a tale to tell and I would sit there mesmerized as she spoke.

Years later when my Gramma passed away the button box became mine and so the collection began.

I have buttons from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, jet glass porcelain, mother of pearl and abalone. Some that are Bakelite and once adorned the big coats of the 1940s. The colors, sizes, shapes and beauty are endless.

One of my favorites comes from the uniform of a young man in the Continental Army of George Washington. It came North with the owner and his family searching for free land and a fresh start. (My maternal side.)

As tiny as they are my buttons have connected me to the past and are a passion I hope someday to pass along.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Transition




The trees that were once vibrant with ruby reds and golden yellows are now naked, standing tall like sentries guarding the forest.

The daylight is much shorter and the moonlight beaming down seems brighter in the crisp cold air. The frost covers the field outside the window and reflects the sunlight like little diamonds as it rises in the east.

I call it a phase of transition. Not quite winter blanketed by snow and the beauty of the foliage long past, it is a time when home provides warmth and comfort like a cocoon.

May you enjoy your cocoon as you plan for the holiday season ahead.


Empress Ling and Tallulah enjoying the last warm rays of the late afternoon sun before it disappears beyond the horizon.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mia's





On Saturday I went on a little treasure hunt. I've been looking for a petite cabinet for my bathroom. Upon the suggestion of my friend Joanne, I made a trip to a quaint shop in Historic Crystal Beach.

A beautiful sunny afternoon and the lure of fulfilling my wish brought me to Mia's. It is housed in an old building on Erie Road overlooking a pastel coloured, gated community where once the infamous Crystal Beach amusement park stood.

As I ventured into the shop I was immediately charmed by the surroundings. Mia greeted me with her infectious smile and vibrant personality. We talked for some time about her offerings and the treasures that delighted me. From a pale subdued bedstead to brightly coloured girly dressers, this shop has it all.

Mia collects vintage castoffs and breathes new life into them. Some are painted, others newly upholstered...all one of a kinds.

She has clients from as far away as Toronto who have discovered the secret of her talent. Mia works out of her shop and is open during the winter. You can visit www.miasupholstery.701.com for hours and location.

If you're looking for that special piece or decorating ideas come visit Mia's. It's worth the trip to Crystal Beach. And if you close your eyes outside the shop and listen you may even catch a whisper from the old wooden roller coaster and the screams of delight a century ago.

Oh yes, I bought my cabinet and a shelf too. I couldn't leave empty handed!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Morning After



I had a wonderful time last evening at the Bloglandia Halloween Ball and I think I'm ready for bed. But for some strange reason I can't explain, this crown won't come off my head!



Thank you so much for all who dropped by and a special salute to the dynamic trio.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Halloween





I’m a little early with my posting as I have to leave shortly. It’s a long way on my broom to the ball on Bloglandia Hill!

I’ve decided to leave my witch’s hat behind and wear this little creation instead. It is my Miss Maddie’s ‘Bats in the Belfry’ crown.

I hope you find it appropriate. See you there!

Ghouls just want to have fun!!!

Please click on each image to see all the details.


Friday, October 26, 2007

The Journey of Nellie Part II





First I must apologize for taking so long to continue with the story of Nellie. Sometimes life gets in the way. Between the auction I was preparing for and my mother's recent fall, things have been very hectic around here. You will have to go back into my older posts to find part I for those who are not familiar with the beginning of this tale or need to be refreshed.

...The little diary lay on the desk that evening. Something called to me and I took it to read in soft glowing light beside the bed.

What started as a passion soon became an obsession. Nellie had written an entry for each day of 1883 that encircled her life. The weather, family, friends, how she made extra money, going to church and especially her younger brother.

Nellie even tucked a small slip of paper between the back cover. It was a list of names that would help me solve this puzzle for which she had given some of the pieces.

My research began. Nellie C. Fitts was born Eleanor Carrie Wilbur on August 15th, 1859 in North Leveritt, Massachusetts. She was the only daughter with three brothers. Luther, Julius and the youngest, Lester (six years her junior), born to Alvah and Trypthosa Gardner Wilbur. Her family drifted back and forth between Massachusetts and Vermont during her early life.

Sometime before 1883 she married Frederick Fitts who was born in Wardsboro, Vermont. They lived in rural Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. She picked strawberries, raised chickens (sold the eggs), sewed garments and the journal even mentions the red wool flannel she bought (for the quilt I had admired at May's auction).

The treasured book also gave insight into the things that would happen in her life several years ahead.

I was so entranced by Nellie's life I had to go to Shrewsbury to see for myself and discover any additional information I could find. To be continued...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Lovely Lonely Lid





As you wander through the aisles of a flea market, browse the booths of an antique show, check out the white elephant table at a church bazaar or linger over a display at an auction, have you ever noticed something I chanced upon several years ago.

Orphaned lids; from vegetable dishes, trinket boxes, sugar bowls and even Victorian commodes. Some glass, most china or porcelain with beautiful stenciling, lustre glazes or delicate hand painting they call to me. Being sentimental to anything lost or abandoned I find these lids most attractive. I have accumulated a small collection and are always on the lookout for another.

So next time you're meandering about at a show or shop, take a second look at the lonely lid lying amongst the trinkets. You may even be persuaded to take one home!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Testing the Water





Like the passing of the seasons, turning of the leaves and the setting back of the clocks, life is full of changes.

After much contemplation I have decided to close my website MissMaddies.com. Over the last few months I have found that my blog is much better suited for my change of format and after testing the water it fits the new ventures I'd like to try.

First, I would like to thank all the visitors to the site over these past 10 years and my greatest appreciation to my customers. I sold the last of the antique infant dresses (from a wonderful collection I was able to purchase) to a lovely lady in California this past week.

I would also like to give my sincerest thanks to my daughter, Jackie, the professional designer of the site. She is available at 'It's An Illusion Design' to anyone needing a website or blog.

So now you can find me right here at www.missmaddiesblog.com. Miss Maddie's hasn't really gone anywhere, she's just grown up a bit. Now back to designing my costume for the Bloglandia Halloween Bash. See you there!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Come One Come All



Friday, October 12, 2007

In The Blink of An Eye



Last Saturday my 74-year-old mother fell and fractured her hip and wrist. Her life has now been greatly altered.

Early Sunday morning the orthopedic surgeon put pins in her hip and reset the wrist while she was in the operating room. I was there at her bedside when she was brought back from recovery.

Even through the pain and grogginess of the surgery mom managed to smile. There in bed lie the woman who had raised four children. She was there for me through the loss of a child, cancer, and a severe infection that my daughter had survived. Mom always has words of encouragement and an outstretched hand of affection. Now my sister, brothers and father were there to comfort her and help throughout the long recovery.

I'd like you to take a moment and reflect on the goodness of life, how important family and friends are and make sure you let them know how much you love them. Sometimes things can change in the blink of an eye!

On a brighter note, I promised to share some pics from the upcoming auction. (7 days from now). Beautiful, sparkly glass.

Monday, October 8, 2007

To All My Canadian Friends

Happy Thanksgiving



Sunday, September 30, 2007

Twenty Days and Counting



On October 20th I am involved in a huge estate auction. The property and its contents belonged to a lifetime collector. Her home is filled with treasures accumulated over the past 75 years. Her family have taken the pieces they desired and the rest is to be sold. The auctioneer (I work for) has rented a circus tent for the occasion which will give you some idea of the vastness of this undertaking.

It is my job to sort, clean, catalogue and prepare for display, all the goodies. (If you'd like to take a peek yourself you can go here.)

For the next several weeks I will be surrounded by glass, art, furniture, linens... (even the historic solid oak wall panels are included) of this almost overwhelming estate. I'm not new at this, I've been doing it for 10 years so it's an adventure and a privilege to be involved in such a sale. Therefore I will excuse myself from posting for a little while. This does not mean I won't find time for visiting my favorite blogs (or putting in my two cents).

I shall return with more of the "Journey of Nellie', and tales from the auction. I'm off to the kitchen to make a batch of red ruby grapefruit and cranberry marmalade. It's absolutely great with cold chicken or turkey.

For now I will leave you with this.

Mother Nature's paint brush at its finest!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

All Dressed Up And No Place To Go




As usual I have arrived too late for the ball. Other commitments had beckoned.

May I present to you my Bloglandia gown. It is a combination of old and new. I have a treasure trove of goodies to work with so this was lots of fun. Antique white Broderie Anglaise was used for the petticoat, which is faintly visible under the billowing skirt of copper tulle. The bodice is draped tulle with a dangling beaded front. A black Edwardian lace over-shirt tops the tulle. Vintage ribboned trim gives a bustle effect at the back. The color scheme was influenced by hand dyed silk cocoon thread from a friend in England. To me the shades are the epitome of autumn.
Thanks eb for the inspiration to create. My carriage awaits!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Airing One's Frustration



I get so frustrated when...

The jeans I tried on two days earlier at the store fit perfectly. As I'm getting dressed now to go out...not so fitting. That clerk must have changed them to a size smaller when she rang up the sale.

I'm rushing out the door, enough bags and totes in hand to take everything I NEED on a day's outing, get to the car and realize I still have my slippers on.

The seam on the bottom of the bag of dry cat food comes apart just as I'm pouring from the top. And to add insult to injury it's 5:30 am and I'm standing in the semi-dark surrounded by cats and kibble.

As in most situations you've learned to take it all in stride and once the moment has passed you even get a giggle out of the mishap.

What frustrates you?


Now I'm complaining. Could you imagine trying to swim in those outfits.
Absolute frustration!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time To Be Cozy





At this time of year when the daylight shadows change and the hours of sunshine are less, the word cozy summarizes exactly what we wish for. It speaks of an intimate place we seek that reflects warmth.

Perhaps surrounded by one's favorite things or just a big comfy chair to snuggle in to, cozy seems to become more sought after during this transition to autumn and then into winter.

Sometimes it involves a favorite old movie, a good book, a bowl of popcorn, rich coffee, a glass of wine or a slice of homemade pumpkin pie. (Do you ever notice how I manage to bring food into almost everything I write about?)

Mostly it occurs when the sun has faded away, the coolness of evening has set in, all the requirements of the day have been fulfilled and you finally get to relax.

The whole state of being eases into cozy as I sit by the wood-stove, the soft light from the fire flickering around me, cat curled up on my lap, and realizing it doesn't get any better than this.

Write to me and let me know what inspires your cozy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Journey of Nellie



This tale is of great length and I have so much to share. I have decided to follow the lead of the famous novelist Charles Dickens. He would submit chapters to the broadside (the newspaper of the early 1800s) that would allow his audience to indulge in the story as it unfolded before them.

Welcome to the Journey of Nellie, Part I

Several years ago I was asked to give an appraisal on some items that were coming up for auction in a nearby town.

It was a living auction, meaning that the sweet little lady, well into her 90s was still alive and participating in identifying the articles. It was a multi-generational home full of treasures from both her and her late husband's families. Her name was May.

As she took me from room to room and told me the stories of her beautiful pieces it was a journey back in time.

May unwrapped a couple of the quilts that I was intrigued by and she explained they had belonged to her great aunt Nellie. I spent two weeks with this adorable creature looking over the inventory and discovering things long forgotten. There was so much for sale it would take two weekends to complete.

The first Saturday of the auction I found a small diary and a little stack of letters tied with a faded ribbon lying in one of the showcases. I picked up the journal and inside the cover the owner had left her script, Nellie C. Fitts, Shrewsbury, Mass., the year was 1883. Could this be May's great aunt who also owned the quilts? I was captivated.

I roamed about looking at all the other goodies, through the barn, across the lawns, on the front porch and under the big oak tree. I saw the two quilts draped over a rack far away from the case that held the precious tokens that lured me back to them.

As luck would have it I purchased the diary, letters and some family photos. I was disappointed I had missed out on the quilts, but content in the fact that I was now the caretaker of these other timeless effects.

I took the tiny box of items home and placed it on the corner of my desk.

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Quirky Things





They say your sense of smell ignites your memory above taste, touch, sight, and hearing. I find that to be true.

I have long hair (to the middle of my back) that requires a conditioner to comb through it after washing. Always looking for something a little different to try, a few months back I bought a shampoo for children. It was a new fragrance, and not one to endorse products that spend a king's ransom on advertising I must tell of this one.

The scent is cocoa. Now I know what you're thinking, who wants to run around with a head smelling like chocolate. But this liquid's secret ingredient inspires such memories it's hard to explain.

It takes me back to Sunday evenings when I was young. Dinner was over, my sister and I fresh from the bath, jammies on, we sat down to the TV. The Wonderful World of Disney was about to unfold.

Davey Crockett, Pollyanna, Mickey Mouse, Hayley Mills... we sat transfixed. Mom was in the kitchen making hot cocoa. You know the real kind; Fry's cocoa mix, sugar and hot milk. (Long before we cared about waistlines and cholesterol.) I could smell it all the way into the living room. And when it was delivered there were little marshmallows or a dab of whipped cream on top.

That's what this shampoo smells like. Heavenly, divine, delicious...

It takes me back to a time of innocence, contentment and simplicity.

So when ever I feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just wanting to return to those Sunday evenings I reach for the little bottle of child's shampoo and wash my hair!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hats Off To Husbands





To each of us a husband is defined by different things.

Someone who supports our every whim; I think not life would be boring. A man that provides for us; not necessarily, women hold positions that earn good wages nowadays.

For me it has been a guy who accepted myself and my daughter (yes I was married before) into his home to share his life almost 20 years ago. There are probably times he wished we'd gone back out! He has made sure we were never hungry or cold or went without. We live in a humble little home that surrounds me in comfort and security. I indulge in my business ventures, which he does remind me from time to time have taken over the house. He has always been good to and very tolerant of my daughter's whims. He has allowed our animal shelter (at one time we had 2 dogs and 4 cats) to exist. He is a generous soul.

So whatever definition you give to the word husband or partner, as long as he reaches out a hand when you're falling, has a kind word or a warm embrace when you fail, and he doesn't complain about the cookin' - you've found your man.

May you stay healthy, grow old together, and be grateful for that fella' you chose.

And for those of you still looking, he's out there, sometimes he's just being elusive.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Best Wishes





When I told the lovelies that they had been invited to a special celebration they could hardly contain themselves!

The dollies have gathered together, with banner held high to send their wishes to their creator. The lady that wove her magic and gave them a beginning.

So from all of us here to you our dear friend Christe', Happy 20th Anniversary.

Sincerely (L to R), Wintra, Susannah, Charlotte, Patience, Cordelia, Temperance, Mina, and Emma.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Love For the Sea





Keziah Augusta Carter was born January 1818, in Lynn, Massachusetts. Her father Daniel, a prominent doctor from Boston decided to move his family south to New Bedford.

Growing up in a whaling town, young Keziah developed a love for the sea. Many a sunny day she could be found down at the wharf gazing soulfully out across Buzzard's Bay, as if she was waiting for someone. One day in April of 1833 that someone arrived.

The young captain had been brought to her father's practice. His leg had been terribly wounded aboard ship and the crew had carried him ashore.

Keziah was a young lass of fifteen and she would often tend to her father's patients. When she passed the young man's bedside she was deeply moved by the dashing figure lying there. He was asleep from the laudanum he'd been given to relieve the pain. She gazed at his strong, dark features, his muscular shoulders and rugged hands.

Keziah returned every day to care for him. His name was Nathanial and he was captain of his own whaling ship from Nantucket. (In the early 1800s Nantucket was the whaling capital of the world.)

Throughout his convalescence they became inseparable. She would read to him for hours. When he was strong enough to begin walking again, it was she who would take him by the arm and stroll down to the sea.

Months passed, and when he asked her father for her hand in marriage it had come as no surprise. Her parents only concern was that Keziah was so young.

So Nathanial would leave on his ship, the Camilla, for a whaling trip to the winter seas. He would return for her the following autumn.

He sailed at first light on a cold, rainy day in November. Draped in her brilliant hued woolen shawl that he had given her, Keziah stood on the dock watching his ship disappear into the mist. It was a blessing that it was raining in the early dawn; no one could tell the tears from the rain drops upon her cheek.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Journey





Merriam-Webster's dictionary describes the word journey as 1: an act or instance of traveling from one place to another: Trip 2: something suggesting travel or passage from one place to another as in a journey through time.

This upcoming weekend I am embarking on a journey. Both of the above statements are appropriate. I will be departing for Sturbridge, Massachusetts to attend the Antique Textiles, Vintage Fashions Show and Sale. It's held at the Host Hotel in town the Monday of Brimfield week, three times a year.

It is a confection of fabrics, quilts, trimmings, linens and lace. In fact, when you first enter the hall you can be overwhelmed by all the delights before you. With over 100 booths displaying goods you may spend hours meandering about, touching and viewing all the treasures. The displays take you back in time, hence the second part of the journey.

For those of you not close at hand or unable to go you can visit vintagefashionandtextileshow.com and make sure you mark the dates for next year. It will be well worth the journey.

I bid you adieu.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

To Cherish





Charlotte was a young French woman who accompanied her father, a high ranking officer in the navy, to America. Her maternal grandfather had sailed there to help defeat the British during the Revolution. He had returned to France with Rebecca, a beautiful American bride.

Esmée, Charlotte's mother had died several years earlier. Heartbroken, her father felt that America would be a promising place. Her grandmother's family had land there on which they could settle.

Just shy of seventeen, Charlotte was well schooled in all the feminine pursuits. She was fluent in English as well as French and a talented seamstress. Her dark haired beauty and all these tributes would allow her into the best of circles.

She brought beautiful gowns from Paris and shoes from Lyon. Most importantly Charlotte traveled with her mother's sewing casket. (This would enable her to sew wonderful dresses.)

As they sailed across the ocean, she dreamed of adventure in a young and mysterious country.

Even though the box is old and the silk lining delicate, you can still sense the importance the chest held for Charlotte. It was her connection to her past, and the promise for the future.

I shall cherish it always as she once did.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Autumn Memories

The summer is winding down and everyone is anticipating the arrival of autumn and Halloween.

Living in the northeast I'm able to indulge in the season's splendor; changing of the leaves, brisk morning air and an endless harvest of crisp apples and pears.

But when I was young (many harvest moons ago) after returning to a new year at school there was something else my sister and I looked forward to. Long before VHS, DVD and Tivo our television viewing was at the mercy of the networks. Every autumn like clockwork a station would feature 'The Wizard of Oz'.


Sis and I would sit enthralled watching every minute. We knew the songs by heart. It didn't matter how many times I'd seen it, when Dorothy opened that door after the house landed and everything changed to color I was mesmerized.


When Glenda the good witch (Donna O. can you make me a crown like that) floated down in the bubble and put those ruby slippers on Dorothy's feet, well I dreamt they were on me.


Even when the wicked witch melted away I was disappointed. Not because she was gone, oh no, this was the perfect movie for good versus evil, I just knew the end was close at hand.


And when Dorothy clicked her heels in those sparkly shoes and chanted "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no..." I'd have to wait another year 'til autumn arrived again.


Now where's that VHS tape?