I’ve always lived in a place that’s close to the water – no more than a drive of a few minutes or so – and I don’t think I could ever live somewhere that wasn’t. The ocean in Palm Beach is within walking distance from our home and it’s beautiful, but there’s something about the Connecticut shoreline and Long Island Sound that I love even more. I grew up here and spent most of my life here and you just can’t discount history and nostalgia. But beyond that, the harbors in the towns that dot the coast are so picturesque. I took this photo on a recent drive to the shore in Westport. The day was steaming hot, but I sat on a bench under a tree, inhaled the salt air as if it were an elixir, and enjoyed a lovely breeze. There’s a famous poem by John Masefield that starts, “I must go down to the seas again ….” I get it, John. I know just what you meant.
Things I Love
While most people our age are downsizing, my husband Bob and I decided to do the opposite. We recently sold our Connecticut townhouse, our summer retreat, and bought a house house in a very small Connecticut town. During the process of unpacking over 100 cartons, we looked at each other several times and said, “Whose idea was this again?” Half of me still thinks we’re crazy. But then I look out the windows onto our back yard and I get it. Two acres of mature trees and shrubs, dozens of flowering bushes, and a river at the bottom of the hill make this place special. Not to mention the scampering chipmunks and the steady chirp of birdsong. It’s like living in a nature preserve. And we love the house. Maybe we are crazy, but I guess it’s the good kind.
The Simple Joys of a Flower
I don’t have a green thumb. Let’s get that out of the way right off the top. Although we have a lot of orchid plants at our home in Florida and they bloom very nicely, it’s not because of anything I do. I just hang them outside under our trees where they can enjoy filtered sunlight and I water them when we don’t get enough rain. Other than that, I let nature do her thing and when the orchids bloom I bring them into the house. Among theother tropical shrubs in our garden, we also have four gardenia bushes. The smell of gardenias might be one of my favorite things in the world. Lately they’ve begun to bloom and I’ve been bringing a few of the blossoms into the house each day. Even two flowers will fill our kitchen with a fragrance that’s deliriously sweet. The flowers only last a day or so before they wilt, but for that short time their beauty and exotic scent are magical.
Surrounded by Books
There’s nothing that makes me feel more like a kid in a candy store than being in a bookstore or in any store that sells books. I love having a stockpile of books on my night table, and even when I’m knee-deep in writing my own book, as I am now, I need to have a book to read. And yes, I did buy a couple of books the day this picture was taken.
Postcards from Connecticut
I’m in my home state of Connecticut doing some book events and enjoying the scenery. I passed this bike leaning on an Adirondack chair in Rowayton and had to stop and take a few photos. This picture really says “summer” to me. [spacer height=”20px”] I liked the reflection of the flag in the window of this shop in Kent. There are some beautiful towns in Litchfield County, with lots of great scenes to photograph. [spacer height=”10px”] I took this on the way to Kent, just a few miles from town. It’s such a peaceful scene. [spacer height=”20px”] Another photo from Kent, taken in town. [spacer height=”20px”] I love the way these kayaks look with all of their bright colors, waiting on the sand for some kids to … Read more
Back In Connecticut
I’m in Connecticut, my home state, and I’m happy to be back. There are so many great things to photograph here, like this beautiful red barn I often pass, and these funny chickens that belong to friends of mine. They raise them for their eggs.
Books & Books in Miami
I love the independent bookstore Books & Books. I’ve been to the flagship store in Coral Gables, Florida (in fact, I did a book talk there a few years ago) and it’s a fabulous place, with room after room of books, a courtyard with a full restaurant, more books, a coffee shop, more books, and a calendar of great author talks and signings. (And more books!) There are three stores in South Florida and several other affiliated stores, most of them in Florida. Today I happened to be on my way to an event in Miami and came across the Cafe at Books & Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center. I had a delicious cup of coffee and bought two books, including a birthday gift … Read more
Bookshelves You Never Have to Dust
I went to an interesting art exhibit today and saw some works by Max-Steven Grossman. He creates wonderful “bookscapes” by arranging digital images of various bookshelves he’s photographed. The end result is one huge photograph covered with glass, with lots of interesting titles to peruse – all tied to a theme.
A Place from My Past
I used to come to this beach when I was a teenager. It’s a private beach, but I had friends who lived in the neighborhood. We loved to swim and jump off the float and sometimes we’d sail around in a sunfish that belonged to one of the guys. One recent afternoon when I drove by here, I saw some kids on the float and it brought all those memories back in a flash.
Famous Author in Disguise
Well, maybe not. Yes, it’s James Patterson. The other day I had breakfast at a local eatery with Jim’s wife, Sue, and Kristy, another friend of ours. After we had a long chat, catching up on life in general, Jim came in and joined us. Kristy presented him with these “You Don’t Know Me” sunglasses, which she had seen at an airport and thought would be perfect for him. Jim, who has a great sense of humor, immediately put them on and I took this picture.