Thursday, October 29, 2009
A good friend shared a CD with me this past weekend. Its Deborah Cox, Destination Moon. Shes singing wonderful standards and ballads with her personal jazz twist. But I was completely taken back when track 4 cued up. "Look to the Rainbow" began to play in the shop and tugging strongly at my heart. Tears swelled and I had to excuse myself to wipe back the tears that seemed to flow rather freely. Now those who know me well, will admit that this is my kind of music, but it was the message that really nailed me. In a time when things are so uncertain and we stare down the barrel at the Holidays....Lets be Optimists! The words of this old ballad haunt my heart. "....tis wine for your lips and a song for your heart. To sing it whenever the world falls apart. Look! look! Look to the Rainbow, follow it over the hills and the stream. Look to the Rainbow, follow the fellow who follows a dream. So I bundled my heart and I roamed the world free. To the East with the Lark, to the West with the sea. And I search all the earth and I scanned all the skies and I found it at last in my own true loves eyes. Look! Look! Look to the Rainbow.........follow the fellow who follows a dream....!" I am blessed to be in the company of many creative folks and friends alike. It is YOU who spur me on! .... who GROW me! As a community of creative people, lets lead those who seek us for inspiration and ideas and be the light...be the joy and be optimistic. It takes so little to create a smile for someone. As the season of Thanks approaches us....lets look to the Rainbow, knowing we have the ability to create joy and "be joy" to someone else. Thanks for your distinctness! Following my dream, Todd
Holiday Open House Weekend is coming fast. Save some time the weekend of November 13-14-15th and stop in for some Holiday Cheer. We'll be opening Sundays, starting November 15th from 12-5 through the Christmas Holiday. The shop will be brimming with good old fashioned Holiday Cheer and many delights of the season. Find unique gifts to share and treasures to give. But come early for the best selection. See you soon, Todd
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thank you is undoubtedly one of the most important phrases in the English language. To allow a favour, some hospitality or a present to go unacknowledged is both selfish and uncivilised. But it is not just saying thank you that matters, it is how one does it. While today it is perfectly acceptable to send thanks for an informal supper in an email it is important to ensure that the message does not get lost in the medium. One should never resort to abbreviations that require teenage translations. A text that says " Thx it woz gr8 " is wholly inappropriate. A message saying "Thank you so much for supper last night - everyone had such fun and the pudding was to die for" is far more befitting. Thank you letters seem to be getting rarer by the day. It is such a joy to receive something hand-written and heartfelt in the mail, a tangible confirmation thats one's present, effort or good turn was appreciated. Writing promptly is also important; unlike revenge, appreciation is most certainly not best served cold. What one says is, of course, as important as how one says it. If you have been to a large gathering, your host is bound to receive scores of letters and notes, so you would be wise to ensure yours is not dull. This is one occassion when focusing on truth is much less important than writing something warm, amusing and generous to give the recipient a warming glow. So, if the soup was cold, the fish underdone and the company frightful, then concentrate on saying how beautiful the table looked and how delicious the pudding was. The same is true for presents. No matter how hideous, useless or plain insulting, one must still acknowledge them in the same way as something truly delightful. I should finish with a note of warning. Gratitude should always be kept in discreet proportion to the act in question. So , should you find yourself sitting quiet, grab a good pen and some special note cards and make someone's day by cultivating the Art of Saying Thank You.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Several years ago I was fortunate enough to spend a week in London and tour some amazing site and events. Chelsea Flower and Garden Show was high on the list as was Vita Sackville-West's personal garden known to us as Sissinghurst! And what a day it was. Gorgeous sunshine and endless rows of boxwoods surrounded this old castle, which was her personal home and study. After roaming for several hours and journally my experience, I asked a gardener who was "knees stained" and sunburn if he had some advice that Vita might have freely given to a traveling gardener like myself. "Be brutal and imaginative," he mumble with that thrillingly exciting accent. Years later I came across a chapter in Vita Sackville-Wests' book, A Joy of Gardening, where she wrote those very words..... Here's a taste. "Gardening is largely a question of mixing one sort of plant with another sort of plant, and of seeing how they marry happily together; and if you see that they don't marry happily, then you must "HOICK" (such a fun word) one of them out and be quite ruthless about it." That is the only way to garden; and that is why I advise every gardener to walk around his own garden NOW....and make note of what he thinks he ought to remove and what he wants to plant later on. I have enjoyed the thoughts and ideas of these great gardeners who have gardened before us so in the words of Vita herself, "The true gardener must be brutal and imaginative." VSW