Saturday, June 27, 2009

birds of a feather

coffee talk. scenic drive. winding roads through Carolina hills. hot summer day. tour bus unloads sight seers on to small town street. girlfriends shop for inspiration. let's do lunch.

quilt show. see Jane sew. piece work. stitch by stitch. many hands made beautiful work. little bags of fat quarters wait for hands, scissors, thread to stitch by stitch in to beautiful memories.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Channeling Hong Kong

On a recent hot June day as I took a break to cool off, have a glass of tea and watch an hour of my favorite foodie, Anthony Bourdain, we strolled the crowded alleys of the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. While he worked his way around the island, I started to reminisce about my long ago journey to that faraway place.

I pulled out my Fotomax photo albums and shortly discovered that this June marks the twenty fifth anniversary of my trip. My brother and sister in law were living there on work assignment as journalists, and my nephew had just been born. I thought it was my best first chance to travel abroad to a destination with built-in travel guides plus a chance to see baby Thomas in his first year.

I marveled at the exotic sights and sounds, aromas and largeness of the city. Viewing it from atop Victoria Peak or from a water taxi in Aberdeen boat village. Shopping in street markets, jade markets and markets filled with endless varieties of vegetable, fruit and live seafood. I sampled Peking duck, strange fruits and pungent, smelly fruits. I gazed at the rows and rows of roasted ducks hanging in shop windows, rode on the Star Ferry and in the zippy red and black taxis that zoomed at lightning speed on the freeways and through the alleys.

One of my most favorite dining experiences was the Dim Sum Restaurant. A cavernous room full of people talking loudly and trolleys careening through narrow aisles piled high with bamboo baskets filled with many savoury dumpling delights, including anything from meat, seafood or mixtures of mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and preserved egg yolks, or flaky dough filled with fruit fillings to make you smile.

I took a short trip to the mainland, learned to use my chopsticks, and happily snapped photos to help me remember it all. Twenty five years later, I'm glad I did.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

rain, rain

painting: Moody Marsh

every day rain. thunder. wind. afternoon at the cove. two blue herons skim low over the water. drawings on paper. wax softens in the hot sun. Inez wades and wanders and soaks in her summer afternoon in the refreshing waters. rain falls. water surrounds us. garden grows by leaps and bounds. there will be food for all.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Great Escape

Flaky, warm croissant with creamy French brie. Fresh fruit with herbs and nuts and spicy peanut sauce left from last evening's tropical feast, and a cup of steamy French Roast with a splash of cream. When I asked my friends to bring a surprise, imagine my delight in receiving the July '09 issue of Vanity Fair, cover story, Johnny Depp! After a late night, a late sleep and awakening to a beautiful crisp summer morning, I wielded my 'zine, my coffee and my brunch to the tiki bar, the happy place of our evening before.

Saturday night was our summer break-out to share a fruitful feast and tunes and libations with dear ones. While many of our friends spent the evening celebrating the Floridian Hukilau, we made our own more intimate version with loved ones.

In Douglas Brinkley's account of his voyage with Johnny, he wrote that they talked of "the need for escapism in a world gone wrong." Reading about their visit seemed as if they would fit right in to our niche in a heartbeat.

We can hope that in sharing our talents and creative passions with those we love, it will continue to lead us to a place where our labors make our lives richer. We escaped for one night to the candlelight and colorful lights of the tiki deck and left our worries behind. We told stories and listened to endless background music, and as everyone left, they smiled.

And so I ask myself, what would Johnny do?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Orbs of orange, white and bright yellow. Paper parasols. Marigolds. rose petals. Special words to express love, commitment, thanks, union.
A gentle breeze blows over the early summer afternoon, white chairs on lawn overlook a pond surrounded by laurel blossoms and towering trees.
Food prepared from the heart for friends and family from far and wide, shrimp, corn, sausages.
Toasts to the future.
A meld of cultural blend to tie the knot of a new life together.
Congratulations Chad and Melissa and thank you for letting us be a part of your lovely day.

A new day. Bleak news. Wheels collide. An old friend of many. A kind heart. A true saint. A man who kissed middle age goodbye and changed lives. Friends traveled across the continent to share their love and their stories of one special person who smiled and joked and hugged and laughed and loved life and his friends and family. Reflections of the past.
We will all miss you Joe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

mossy wunderland

Every year at this time, our friend, Roy, has his annual soiree on the mountain. Every time it is a wondrous mix of people who we may have not seen in a long time, may have never met before, may have known for many years. Always, the food is tasty, the conversation spans the globe, the hospitality rivals a family reunion. It is our family of friends. A tapestry of travels, experiences, stories, music and gastronomical delight.

A cozy and rambling cabin in the woods with distinct architectural detail, crisp light and views of sky and treetops, laurel thickets and woodland flora.

The most beautiful sight of all was Nancy's moss and fern garden.
I could just curl up on it like a magic flying carpet.