Lately, I have been mourning what seems to be - if not the demise - then at the very least a steep decline in just the basic every day common courtesies.
More and more I find myself withdrawing to the comfort of my home - even working from here on days that I am able.
(I recently took a vacation and while my husband offered to whisk me me to the destination of my choice, I actually chose a 'staycation' and did not leave the confines of Rosebud Cottage for a whole 7 days! It was divine!)
I have all but given up my social life - night time used to find me at some sort of event in Dallas, but now most of my evenings are curled up with sweet little Lillian and a good book.
So, with all of that said, I am making a concerted effort to seek the lovely in an often times 'not so lovely world' and I thought,
'why not devleop this into a series?'
From what I hear from readers across the country and I think a lot of you are feeling this way,
My hope is that you'll find some inspiration in my musings - and in turn I would LOVE for you to share some of YOUR ideas with me. I'll also post below the name of blogs that I follow that fall right in line with our theme.
Aaannnddd...somewhere in the series I will have a wonderful give-a-way for one lucky reader!
So, let's get started with Part One!
"Seeking the Lovely in a Not so Lovely World"
Long ago, when Jay and I first married we had the opportunity to spend 4 years in England. Being an Anglophile since as early as I can remember (I started practicing my British accent at 5), living in the United Kingdom was a dream come true!!
It took me about 2 hours to acclimate to my new surroundings and one of the rituals I adored was afternoon tea. First, of all, the term 'tea' means different things to the British. Usually, 'tea' is the evening meal - a very informal meal that takes place about 5:30-7:00. (After that it's called 'supper' and is usually more formal).
Anyway, afternoon tea in which you actually just have a cup of tea is from about 2-4. Most of the time it's just that - tea. But sometimes it's served with finger sandwiches or maybe a scone.
When I moved back to the states I continued that tradition. Everyday, at about 3:00, I will drop whatever I'm doing and have a cup of tea in one of my beautiful China cup/saucers that I've collected the past 36 years.
I find nothing more relaxing than to just sit back, pick up a book, and take 15 minutes for myself.
After that I'm refreshed and ready to continue my tasks.
Speaking of tea and tradition, for 31 years I've subscribed to Victoria Magazine and relishing it during my tea break. It cured my homesickness for England and still to this day has the ability whisk me away to another time and place.
Below is the first edition as it appeared in 1987.
Then....in 2001 something catastrophic happened!! Can you see it below?
They changed the magazine. The font and even the photography had a more 'modern' feel. I hated it.
I knew right then that was the beginning of the end.
(Of course I didn't know it at the time, but it's the same grief I would experience years later when Dowton Abbey ended.)
I suppose others felt as I did because just as I predicted, the magazine folded up the next year. I am not exaggerating when I said I was devastated.
I lived for that magazine to show up in my mail every month.
It was a bit of 'home' for me those first few years after I returned from England. No matter where we relocated, I'd anxiously await each issue, welcoming it like a long-lost friend.
It got me through the pain and aftermath of a stillborn baby. I would get lost for hours at time and dream of the places I'd surely never go and the people I'd surely never meet - although I DID!
As luck would have it, in 2004, Phyllis Hoffman with Hoffman media resurrected Victoria again and I must say it's the same magazine I fell in love 31 years ago, as well her sister publication, Southern Lady!
My husband used to joke with the children that when these magazines came in they might as well order pizza because Mom would be out of commission for the remainder of the night.
Anyway, there you have it - just one of the many things I do to bring a sense of calm and beauty into my daily routine. I'd love to hear from YOU and what you do to incorporate peace and tranquility into your life.
And as promised, here are a few blogs that I follow that I think you'll find inspiring. But, warning! Once you open their pages don't expect to get annnyyything done the rest of your day!
Til next time ----
Kathie and Lillian