February 9, 2016

these are a few...

of my favorite things...

I have a small hallway off my dining room that leads to my bedroom, the library, my office and the guest bath, plus the linen closet.  That's six doors in a very small space, and every single door has a different finish!  It's bizarre, to say the least, and one of my late winter projects (translation=can't garden yet) is to paint all the doors the same color.  When we put the new hardwood floor in our bedroom last year we extended it to the hallway as well, as it was also a victim of the ghastly blue shag carpeting.  I recently put a small bookcase on the one narrow wall in the hallway, and filled it with some of my very favorite things.  

You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine..

The cheerful Hello sign was a Christmas gift this year from one of my sons.  His gift tag referenced all the mornings when I would serenade him awake, while he tried desperately to pretend he couldn't see his crazy mother at the end of the bed, or hear her warbling You are my Sunshine like Willie Nelson. Such great memories!!

This past summer my daughter and I were browsing through a sweet little gift shop when I spied this book/birdhouse.  I was smitten the moment I saw Trixie's smiling face.  I was never a Nancy Drew fan, having given my heart early on to Trixie Belden and Honey Wheeler.  My daughter remembered how my eyes lit up at this gorgeous book turned birdhouse and gave it to me for Christmas.  Oh the memories it brings back of lazy summer afternoons, curled up with the exploits and adventures of Trixie and Honey!

Here's a view of the top of the birdhouse--we see you peeking through the window!!

When I was a little girl, the Natale family moved to my hometown from Pietramelara, Italy.  The father, Pasquale, worked at a local supermarket and later he and his wife opened a home style restaurant, where they were well known for their world class cooking.  I went to school with one of their sons, and one of their daughters, Fernanda, became an excellent artist.  I've spoken of my father's hand carved canes before, and in gratitude of my father giving a cane to Pasquale and another cane to his brother from Italy, Fernanda gave my dad this painting, Iris No. 2. Because I shared my dad's love of irises, he later passed it on to me.  I absolutely love this painting with its soft muted shades of peach and blue.  It brings back wonderful memories of my dad eagerly browsing through his Schreiner's Iris Catalog when it arrived each year, marking which bulbs he absolutely had to order.  I have descendants of his irises growing in my garden, and I think of Dad every time one blooms.

How lucky I am to have so many happy memories!  Every time I pass through this hallway I take a few seconds to pause and reflect on how blessed I am with my family, and how very grateful I am for this life of mine.  It is my own small doorway into thanks.

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
~ Mary Oliver ~

Today is a good day for a good day!

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