Monday, May 29, 2017

Scenes From a Holiday Morning... the style of a Vogue feature interview. My Apologies to Ms Wintour and her staff. Also Annie Lebovitz; I love your work. Should I ever get a book published I really want you to do my cover shoot....

It is early morning, the nearly pristine quiet interrupted only by the calling of birds, the rustle of leaves and the incessant meowing of a cat whose verbal demands have brought us here. Here being a garden, curated as though by a mental patient. The author is posed in a careful stance as the aforementioned cat, now in halter and on leash, pokes through the ornamental grasses on the gentle slope of the slowly eroding side yard.

"I try to tell myself I am a morning person. Which I am, if morning would only start about three hours later." The author pauses and takes a sip of pour-over coffee from the hand thrown mug, echoing the many green shades of the yard.

It is 6:32 AM. 
An eclectic mix of geegaws and foliage. Isn't the word 'eclectic' great?
We meander slowly, a drunkards path around gardens bursting with pink astilbe and blue spiderwort, the slowly ripening buds of the daylilies promising bursts of tiger orange in a couple of weeks. It is on, into the front past the heroically leafed split leaf sumac. "I found it on clearance, between a hibiscus with three leaves and a yuca the size of Arizona. The fact that it's still here speaks well of its constitution. A real survivor."
Never mind the poisonous name...

We pause dramatically and contemplate our place in the universe compared to this bargain-bin topiary before continuing our feline ambulation down a set of crumbling steps until we finally arrive at our destination, both the beginning and the end of this journey.

The deck.

With cat safely at rest in dappled sun, we sit on the custom Adirondack chairs and survey the landscape. 
Cat, as scene in 'transfer' filter.
The author sips a second, third, fourth cup of coffee while snacking on succulent berries and pausing now and again to take in the delicate thump of a squirrel as it misses its mark on the bird feeder and lands belly first on the ground below.
Accidental holiday colors. tastes like Americana. berries and marscapone courtesy of purchase at Fresh Thyme. Plate by Old Time Pottery
Can't get enough of this 'transfer' filter. Or that fantastic hand-thrown mug.
"Truthfully, I have always found this time, this place a little magical." She nods to the corner of the deck where a day-glow yellow finch has alighted to take a sip from the bird bath before returning to decimate the thistle feeder. 
Bird behind deck chairs. Chairs, family heirloom (read hand-me-down), tablecloth from Target, bird by God. He makes the best stuff.
"The first summer we were here, I found these miniature orchid like blooms all over the yard. I was certain there was an orchid tree hidden above me somewhere, sprinkling these blossoms down. As it turns out, it was only the catalpa tree. But just think of the possibility! A tree of orchid blossoms." She smiles to herself and you can begin to imagine the mystery...
Tulip? Sycamore? Nope, Catalpa. Aka Cigar tree, Lady Cigar tree, that freakingly tall tree that's going to get struck by lightening and crash through our roof someday in a tornado. The wood is sometimes used as 'tonewood' in acoustic guitars. So when the day comes...
"Now the yard is spotted with a multitude of wild strawberries. The remnants of my first attempt at growing things. A sort of herbaceous testament to my gardening schizophrenia." And the birds highly effective method of spreading seeds.

And indeed, if you look closely there are über-tiny berries, deep red against the verdant green of creeping charlie, dandelion and wild violet leaves which constitute the back lawn.
Mysterious 'orchid' blossoms. Actually the flower from the Catalpa tree near a rogue wild strawberry.
"Some would grab the Hüsqvarna and till up the entire area, replacing the nubby growth with a carpet of Kentucky Blue Grass." She chuckles under her breath. Takes another swig of coffee and returns to the latest edition of Vogue. 
But not here.

Because this is the Coast of Illinois.

And that's not how magic works.

Especially when you have been up since 6am, drank an entire pot of coffee and read three back issues of Anna Wintour's finest...
The author, sans shower or makeup but with double chin. Pajamas - Victoria by Victoria Secrets. Linen shirt by LizWear, a gift from a friend on a random trip to Mexico. and again with that hand blown coffee mug. Seriously Chris, start selling these.
 (It is Memorial Day. May it be a meaningful day to all.)

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