Costumed Charm


The other day we enjoyed Trick-or-Treating with two of our grandchildren in my favorite Missouri city, St. Charles. It is the third oldest city in the state. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles,_Missouri Founded in the mid-1700’s by a French-Canadian fur trader, St. Charles looks much like it did hundreds of years ago. The city has been preserved, making visitors feel like they’re stepping back into time. Quaint shops line the original cobblestone streets with a beautiful backdrop of the great Missouri river behind them. Rich in charm, original gingerbread architecture, and filled with history, St. Charles is the last known stop of the Lewis and Clark expedition way back in 1804. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_Expedition

Monday was such a perfect day for Halloween with temperatures rising into the mid-70’s. Surprisingly warm, it might have felt even hot to some of the costumed creatures covered in hair from head to toe. A few were sweating with chocolates melting. Still, others didn’t mind, so thrilled they were to soak up the sun. Charming shops shared treats with characters, big and small until our own little Super Heroes stopped to say, “I don’t want any more candy.” The kids were tired. Little legs had walked a long way. Grandpa carried our grandson on his shoulders while I pushed a stroller. Buckets were heavy, make-up dripped on the monster’s face next to me while a hot pink wig suddenly fell upon a bale of hay.

Afterward, dinner was enjoyed at my son and daughter-in-law’s house while a menagerie of children rang the bell. Ghosts and goblins came to the door, witches of black dusted off brooms and cheerleaders shook pom-poms before cheering for more. Our grand-kids donned satin capes, sure to save a mission or two before calling it a night.

Not long before the children’s bedtime, we gathered ’round the television to watch the movie, Room on the Broom adapted from the children’s book by Julia Donaldson, published in the spring of 2014. No tricks here, just one giant TREAT to end a terrific afternoon and evening of delight.

Below are links to a reading of the book as well as the movie. Please enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWB0goTWZic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuIZThG1APA

 

 

Sweet Love


O lady, there be many things

  That seem right fair, below, above; 

But sure not one among them all

  Is half so sweet as love. 

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Sr.

lady-antique-in-love      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*photo of painting courtesy of Google Chrome

 

 

 

 

The Wonder of Gardens


It was a Thursday like today.  A few weeks ago, I think.  Sunny with a bit of a chill in the air.  I was working in my office that afternoon when my husband came home from being on the road all week.  Popping his head between French doors of white he peeked in to say, “It’s a beautiful day!  Let’s get away!”

Hopping into our car, we headed north on highway 44 towards downtown St. Louis.  Soon a bright green exit sign led us toward the St. Louis Botanical Gardens where something new will always surprise you with beauty and wonder.  Nature never ceases to amaze me there.  Life is always springing forth no matter the season with new blooms in colors never seen before.

Truth be told the gardens are filled with history dating back to 1859 when Henry Shaw moved his residence, Tower Grove House http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/gardens-conservatories/victorian-district-tower-grove-house/tower-grove-house.aspx  to his gifted acres that are now the Botanical Gardens.  He was a botanist, a man of science, a visionary with a pure love for all given to us by God and the world above.  He studied plants and their surroundings, loving them more than life itself.  Before he passed away, he commissioned his mausoleum to be built on the grounds amid his beloved trees and vines of ever-changing flowers.  Even in death, he never wanted to leave his cherished gardens.  Anyone making a trip to St. Louis, owes themselves a visit to this most enchanting world.

Surprisingly, the day that we drove into the parking lot workers of all sorts were setting up for an annual Chinese Festival that runs all summer long.  It is a beautiful exhibit, helping pay homage to China and the magnificent Chinese gardens within the Botanical Gardens.  Huge, bright and colorful displays were being set up, all lit from within, welcoming us as we walked inside.  Greeting us at the entrance depicted two, giant elephants rising up on their back hooves.  Most people don’t realize this magnificent presentation is made entirely of individual porcelain plates, painstakingly laid one by one in perfect position.  One mistake and the entire display falls to pieces….

Anticipation prickled my arms.  I couldn’t wait to walk among the beautiful flowers or delight at the bright Chinese splendors of 2015.  Once out in the open air, my eyes darted this way and that.  So much to look at.  Blooms in all colors of the rainbow and others that I’d never imagined.  Fields of Irises with bees buzzing and bushes of peonies drooping with huge powder puffs of color nearly dusting the ground.

Besides the precious gifts of nature, by far I was mesmerized by man’s creation of art.  The fabulous Chinese presentations!  They were bright, ornamental, colorful and fun! Children and adults alike giggled at airy animals playing in the grass or gazed at beautiful displays while wondering what secrets tall gentlemen whispered through the cool breeze of willow trees?

So, if you get a chance please visit the St. Louis Botanical Gardens this summer.  In the light of day your eyes will gaze upon nature never dreamed of before.  And, when dusk begins to settle upon China, lanterns will light, soaring your senses to heights of magical travel.   Wishes of wonder will float through airy trees, whispered by little ones holding your hand.

“More……more!”

 

A Minor Tribute To A Major Man


Twenty Words Describing Nelson Mandela:

Kind, Brave, Courageous, Forgiving, Solitary, Admired, Moral, Historic, Influential, Worshiped, Peacemaker, Empathetic, Soulful, Forgiving, United, Worldly, Inspirational, Teacher, Colorless……………FREE.


                          Rest In Peace

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...