Monday, June 30, 2014

a country weekend, arrival



My arrivals at our country house follow a pattern. Day or night I first check on the waterfall. I hear it as soon as I get out of the car, framing why I love the Catskills, wilderness and wildness set among rolling hills and dairy farms. The waterfall is fed by snowmelt and rain, so by the end of summer slows to a trickle, but big rains last week had it roaring.


Then I unpack the car, go in the house, open the windows, 
and if it's daytime go back outside. 
I arrived Friday late afternoon so had plenty of time to explore.


I walked to the frog pond to make sure the frogs were there.
So many species have become extinct in recent years that I worry, 
but there were tadpoles and frogs in every stage.
They leap away at any movement of my shadow.


Next I investigated the wildflowers.
Forget me nots, tiny and delicate,
that perfect blue with the yellow center, takes my breath away.


Everywhere I looked there were layers of nature.


I picked some flowers and ferns


and went into the house to put them in water.



I chose a couple of my nature books 


and took them, along with ice water, raspberries
and Denise Parsons' (of Chez Danisse) new book 
After the Sour Lemon Moonand went back outside to read.

"The train pulls slowly to a stop. I tug my suitcase down from the rack above and exit into the blue hour. It is quiet. I can hear myself breathe."

                                                                               from,  After the Sour Lemon Moon


 Yes, I can hear myself breathe.

35 comments:

  1. Hello Jen,

    .....and we are right there with you!

    What an idyllic part of the country and how delightfully you conjure up the spirit of the place in this charming blog post. How precious it is to have such a marvellous place to go to where one can be free of the hustles and bustles of the city and enter into a different world with a slower rhythm. Perfect!

    Your painting and the freshly picked wildflower and fern posies work so beautifully well together. A perfect arrangement.

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    1. Hi Jane and Lance--it really is a different world. I've taken a lot of my vases there so I can have fun with the wildflowers. I need to pay more attention to the greens. There's a lot of green stuff growing.

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  2. Lovely post! Oh how I love forget-me-nots......you have so many beautiful things to surround you & in which to relax into....enjoy!

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    1. Thank you. I'm borderline obsessed with the forget me nots…

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  3. What a delight it must be to have such a beautifully situated countryhouse like you. It looks very attractive inside too. Like a real home.

    Have a lovely time!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hi Madelief, Over the years we have gradually made it homey. It's been quite a process, but worth it.

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  4. Sounds like perfection. I can see why you love it so much. Those forget-me-nots are mesmerizing, what a shade of blue! The waterfall must be very "full" with all the snow we had this winter. I love your red door and the rug, is that from Garnet Hill? Enjoy!

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    1. Yeah, there's something about those forget me nots…
      I bought the rug from a friend who has a store up there. LLBean has one that's similar.

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  5. Those forget-me-nots (and your photo) are beautiful! Is the single pink flower a May Apple?

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  6. I know just how beautiful that feeling is, when the sights and the sounds and the heavenly smell of the country, literally takes your breath away. It's a wonderful gasp, isn't it?

    I'm anxious to read Denise's book. I can tell by that quote alone that I'm going to enjoy it.

    I hope you enjoy the quietness. xo

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    1. Hi Sarah--beautifully expressed, as always. :)

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  7. I wonder what it would be like to live there all year.

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    1. Some Pros: great scenery, low cost of living (compared to Boston, NYC, SF), lots of interesting people--diary farmers, organic farmers, artists, designers…lots of city transplants and retirees (so it's not hard to make friends) and general tolerance for eccentricity, various lifestyles, less than 3 hours to NYC.

      Some cons: Small town problems (everybody knows your business), poor economy (hard to make money) long winters, limited cultural activities, limited cell phone service.

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  8. I feel the same way, Jen....
    Everytime I open the gates at my cottage....
    Yours looks lovely.....enjoy!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  9. That's lovely, Jen. Hope your weekend was fulfilling.

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  10. I just know that I would love to be in your shoes in that beautiful place. I would love to hear the water, see the flowers and read those words ...

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    1. It's fun to see all the flowers and favorite nature places around the globe that we all share.

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  11. So beautiful, Jen, how lucky you are. Like Amelia, I love your red door and that delightful doormat - I want one now!

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    1. I am really glad we used to much red--it really warms things up.

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  12. When I imagine a house in the country, and I do quite frequently, it looks like this, piles of old books, vases full of wildflowers, and rooms filled with sunlight.

    I never factored in a waterfall, but I might have to now.

    Just got Denise's book yesterday. I will follow your lead and wait till I go away, Next Saturday, to read it.

    I haven't even peeked inside yet, so your sentence is quite a teaser.

    Hope you enjoyed your country weekend.

    xo J

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    1. Country Jane? Actually I'm pretty sure your house is filed with piles of books, vases of flowers and rooms filled with light. The waterfall though, hard to fit into an urban/suburban life. Maybe a fountain. Gus would like that.

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  13. Isn't it just fabulous to be surrounded in peace. I love this happy story of yours. Welcome to summer. Your country house is lovely!!!!

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    1. Hope you are having a great summer, Annette!

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  14. Jen...Such tranquility, no wonder you love it so! Your photos emanate the peace and joy you find there. Thinking you could really capture the "blue hour" with your camera at your little place in the woods! Smiles...Susan

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    1. Oh, I wish I had better camera skills. I've tried, but can't get past a little point and shoot or my phone. Whenever I've tried a big girl camera I get confused and cry. :)

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  15. Bliss. And I am so honored to be a part of such a beautiful arrival.

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    1. Oh, such a please to savor your book.

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    2. That is, such a pleasure. :)

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  16. Hello Jen, I just got back to Ohio for my annual vacation, so I will be able to take some nature walks over here. As always, your photos provide a great inspiration.
    --Jim

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  17. A beautiful post Jen,
    It's always so nice to arrive home.. open the windows, and take a walk around to see how things are.
    The Catskills sound such a beautiful place.. love that your frogs are still there.
    wishing you a lovely time there Jen.
    Breath the fresh air and enjoy your time.
    val xxx

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  18. You can pick the best of your retreat. The miniature rowboat? in front of books is cute. It will take or is taking you to the unknown beautiful world. Happy days ahead, Jen.

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