Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beautiful Things

This lovely, nutritious Primavera is appropriate comfort food for the season. I love preparing food simply based on what's on hand. This was tinkyada brown rice pasta, grape tomatoes, sauteed purple onion and garlic, frozen peas and Italian parsley with olive oil. I didn't cook the tomatoes or peas. I just added them to the warm pasta at the end to keep their flavors bright.

As I try to adjust to a world without my mother, my heart is warmed by beautiful things all around me. My Mom was always the first to notice, and be grateful for the stunning beauty found in nature and also  in man made things. So beauty will always remind me of her.

My amazing friend, Cheryl, sent me this beautiful dried bay leaf wreath. It is so pretty, I was inspired to take down my dusty old window valance and hang the wreath in its place. My sweet husband brought the lilies to cheer me, and even arranged them in the tall, amber-glass vase my Mom had given me. I love how the vertical reach of this vignette feels somewhat holy.

Upon our return home, I received this gigantic bouquet from my husband's employer. It takes up most of the dining room table. My Mom would love this. Incidentally, the morning before I received this, the large sun, still low in the eastern sky when I dropped my daughter at the bus stop, was exactly the coral-papaya color of the rose up front. My Mom would have loved that for sure. In the background of this photo is an oil pastel portrait of me as a teen, drawn by my Mom.

More beautiful things in my springtime yard:

Even Winter's leftovers are still pretty:

Today's Jeanine story:

When my father used to do business overseas, we sometimes were lucky enough to tag along. One summer, after my freshman year of college, two weeks in Greece turned into a couple of months because of the TWA hijacking that occurred the day after our arrival. All U.S. airlines suspended service to Athens. Eventually, with summer winding down, we opted to board a freighter ship to Ancona, Italy, for a bonus vacay in Rome, and then a flight home. The tragic circumstances of the hijacking aside, we had a lovely summer. At our second hotel, on the outskirts of Athens, My Mom decided to go parasailing. To my immature, 20-year-old sensibilities, my Mom was way too old for such shenanigans. Now, as I do the math, I realize she was the very age I am today -- 46! She was fit and beautiful and very brave. You won't catch me doing most of what she did!


  1. Cheryl, how this focus on things beautiful echoes the visionary awareness and appreciation you shared with your wonderful mama. Her legacy---well evidenced here---shows how she unknowingly (or perhaps, knowingly) taught you to temper grief and sadness by drawing upon the beauty around you.

    Love you...and thank you for sharing this glimpse.