I know I said in my last post that I was looking forward to the weekend, (it was a wedding, after all...) but because of that huge deal, this upcoming one is on a whole new level. It's a holiday weekend, and the only thing that I really need – and you probably do too – is a few days to just breathe.
The true spirit of the holiday is to remember those who died in service of their country, and I am all for that. I always think of my Uncle Buck who broke both of his legs jumping out of a helicopter in WWII as a member of the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles – but he actually lived, amazingly, so I think I technically have to wait for Veterans' Day to celebrate him. I myself have had a lot of memories in the last month – so without any other war heroes close to me to remember, maybe I will just play with the name a bit and make the holiday more personal. A different kind of memorial. With a day off work and Sid out of town and nothing on the agenda, I think I am going to treat myself to a long weekend of memory-ing.
It has been a long month and we are not even at the end of it. I have spent May hosting the wedding of my oldest at our home, putting down a deposit at the eleventh hour to Sewanee (the University of the South if you are fancy) for my youngest, and then celebrating her once again at her commencement ceremony this past weekend — the last to graduate from the girls' school here in Atlanta, wearing the same hand-me-down white gown that all of her sisters did. Very sweet. (A teacher asked if we were going to frame the dress, playoffs-jersey-style... we might have to.) Someone passed along a picture to me (an actual printed photograph!) of that same daughter ten years ago at this same time of year at elementary school field day. My eyes watered instantly and I could practically feel her little hands at my waist as we are both smiling into the camera... I raced to New York two days after the wedding to be at our twice-yearly pop-up shop there at the Palace Hotel. And just on Sunday, I finally took down the abundance of flowers that made the wedding so magical. My dear dear friend Molly came up from Florida with her florist crew (Velvet & Twine) and completely transformed our yard. After the flower takedown, I managed to get Sid out the door for a factory trip to Italy that I took a pass on. I just need to be home.
And now I can. This is my list of to-dos. Watch the rest of the HBO miniseries My Brilliant Friend. When I read the first two books years ago, the sense of place was always muddled in my head. I have traveled to Naples many times, where the series takes place, but perhaps because it's set in the 1950s, I had a hard time "seeing" it. Watching the pilot episode helped me piece it together a bit — so I plan to binge-watch the rest with a few of my daughters, and then I can finish the second two books with the cheat of seeing the world through the director's eyes.
Tidy. Seriously. I went to a lunch in NY last week with a group of highly accomplished, professional women. I could not believe the efficiency of it. In 90 minutes we had networked, devoured our food, and heard a great talk on "the growth mindset." But at the beginning, we went around the room and each gave a brief sentence about what we did in our career, as well as what we like to do outside of work. My reply was 'tidy and cook'. I love the routine and sense of accomplishment and control these things give me. I think it's the finite nature of them – there are steps that you follow, and then you are done! In preparation for the wedding, I hastily moved all of my household 'piles' to the closets and basement and attic. This weekend, they will return to their proud home on the dining room table. After I dump them again, I just MIGHT get organized enough to fully put them away.
Sit by the pool and read, with a hat for sun protection of course. Lola makes the best ones. As for the book, I'm not sure yet. My oldest daughter is my pre-reader. We don't always have the exact same taste in books, but she knows me so well that nearly everything she tees up is worthy of my time and heart, and she has put some things on my Kindle — Normal People looks very good. Let me know if you have suggestions.
Cook. Cal Peternell's Twelve Recipes has been my very favorite for awhile, but feels particularly perfect and poignant right now that my youngest daughter is about to leave the nest. He's sending his son away to college and is struck by the fact that he has not taught him to cook, even as he's been at his side in the kitchen for 18 years. It's a "how to cook" primer with his own sweet sentiments woven in – each of the recipe is hands-on and practical and simple, but to me, extra special. I have been cooking for many people for a long time, but a few of his takes are game-changers. In particular, I have tweaked his salsa verde into my own house salad dressing. Spoiler: it involves a mortar and pestle but I promise it's worth it.
Run... or at least take a walk. I was born with the need to move, and thankfully, one of my daughters is that way, too. I can sometimes coax one or two more to come along on a jog, but it's always a sure thing with the middle one. We will walk and talk and take the dog along.
SLEEP. I am bone-tired from all of the emotional energy of the last few weeks. I have a newish mattress that is laughably firm and while it is NOT cozy to climb into, it is sensational for actual sleep. Sid won on this one – he loves a super hard mattress. Our first bed together was a futon in New York, so perhaps there is some muscle memory there? The plan is lights-out by 10pm Friday through Monday.
I can't wait for the weekend. I hope you get the rest, or the fun, or perhaps even the little vacation you need. I still have a lot to say about clothes, but in the spirit of this Memorial Day and time in my life, I hope you'll forgive the wordy detour and expression of joy and memorializing. I can't help it. Back in a few weeks.