A two acre backyard is unusual in any suburban home but that's what a small group of friends were shown this week. Nancy, who is pictured here, does all the gardening herself. The garden and house are her creative project. She has arranged many nooks and surprises in the garden, often a plaster or iron bunny will be found almost hidden in a shrub. Often there is a chair or bench inviting a visitor to sit and contemplate the peaceful surrounding or take a book and read all afternoon. There is a lovely little koi pond. The picture shows Nancy with one of her two tiny terriers standing because a seahorse swing made entirely of old tires and purchased from Carly Simon's store in Martha's Vineyard.
We lunched under a wide pergola covered with grape vines (and incipient grapes -but, no, she does not make her own wine). And we walked through what is really two houses, one a former stable now office for her husband, craft room (for jewelry making in the snowy weather), possible guest suite, and the main house, once, probably the caretaker's home on an estate now cut up by developers -- it had small rooms, low ceilings, steep stairs, many fireplaces and was full of antique shop finds atop floors all hand refinished by Nancy. The house and garden has been photographed for regional magazines. It is unique largely because of her consistent attention but also because one expects a grand house with many formal rooms on such a property, but this was a cozy pair of houses with small crowded but entirely inviting room --every chair and sofa looked sat in! A place she and her husband obviously enjoyed living.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!