Thursday, December 18, 2008


It has been a tough couple of weeks saying goodbye to a lovely lady and, for the most part, it hasn't really been about the food. Oh, we were grateful for the smoky goodness of the locally smoked ham we served at her wake and the carbo-heavy comfort food that friends and neighbors brought, but mostly we ate without tasting, lost in our grief. So, rather than talk about that, let me tell you a heartwarming story.

My Belle-Mere lived in a small Connecticut town bordering Long Island Sound that caters strongly to a summer crowd who come for two months in the heat of summer and leave early in September to return to their busy lives. They close the houses that are not winterized and shutter the windows against the winter storms. The house next door is like that, a large, rambling family "cottage" that is always full of laughing people in the summer but quiet and closed for most of the year.

One year in September, as they were putting up the dark green boards that protect their windows, my Belle-Mere remarked about how sad it looked from her kitchen window to see the boards and to know the family wasn't at home. So, quietly, they took down the boards and commissioned a local artist to paint bright, whimsical flowers, butterflies and birds on the shutters. For many years, she enjoyed these naive paintings all winter long. Bless those sweet people! To my knowledge, I have never met them as we rarely visit in the summer but I have to applaud their kind neighborliness.

I'll be back to my food blogging soon - we are headed home next week. In the meantime, I thank you all for your kind words and the light of support you've shown me with your comments in a dark time.


Blogger Kailyn said...

What beautiful neighbors!

Oh, and I have to add, why is my word verification "drunk"?

Thursday, December 18, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Glad to see you are still around, sad to hear it's been a hard time. Kind thoughts from this end of the world to you & yours.

Friday, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Anna Haight said...

Good thoughts to you and we look forward to your return. Lovely neighbors!

Friday, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Nerissa said...

I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your stories. They are heartwarming and touching. My thoughts are with you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, yes, they really are!

Morgan, many thanks - you are kind.

Anna, I'm back now and thank you all for your kind thoughts.

Nerissa, I'm so flattered that you are enjoying my stories. My Belle-Mere was a wonderful lady and a good friend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008  

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