Leafy Quaintness… please, make it stop!

I’ve just spent two weeks in ‘the old country’… New England… taking part in a wonderful wedding, spending time with family and visiting a handful of friends. Ports of call included Newton, Cambridge, Kennebunkport, Newtown, Chappaqua, Old Greenwich, Derby, West Hartford. I’ll have stories and pics in future posts. But here’s the one I want to share today.

My last night and day was with Peg & Randy and their sons Jim & Joe in West Hartford, Connecticut. Peg and I have been friends for forty years – which did not impress the family labradoodle, Remy, who would not stop barking at me. Tail wagging, but nonstop barking. So I translated her BARK! BARK! BARK! as I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! And Advil.

New England is beautiful, uniquely so, and in every season. Probably best known for its autumnal splendor… and you may have heard that those flinty New Englanders endured an unending winter of 2013-14. In summer, though, the landscape is all blues and greens. The blues of the sky and the sea. And the greens of the fields and woods. Every city, town, hamlet and road seems to be carved out of the forest primeval. I had forgotten this aspect of life there. I’m unused to it now. After two weeks, I had grown weary of the leafy quaintness (and the quaint leafiness) in every direction. Everywhere I went looked a lot like this:


and this


and this


and this


On the way to dropping me at Bradley airport yesterday, Peg and I picked up her sons from their first day of Farm Camp (a family tradition) and then went to a nearby creamery for the best ice cream I’ve tasted since… the ice cream from the creamery near my sister’s house in Newtown. As we drove into the grassy field of the Flamig Farm in West Simsbury and parked in front of the de rigueur massive red barn, I was suddenly presented with the most amazing gift in the unlikeliest of places: snark! Giant white letters across the wide expanse of the barn advertised the farm’s best known product: EGGS – but in mirror image.


Great bit of branding. (You can buy hats and boxers and t-shirts with their scrambled EGGS design.) It was all I needed to restore the balance in my universe. Now that I’m back in Los Angeles, I’ll continue to seek out and appreciate the occasional bits of natural simplicity that creep into the landscape here. But I’ll treasure this little ‘wink’ in the forests of my leafy home planet. All is not lost – even when you’re feeling lost in the woods.

The End (so far)

Snow on the Sand

One of the prerogatives of life in Southern California is being able to torment friends in northern climes with sunny beach photos in winter. It is especially gratifying for those of us who originally hail from those arctic latitudes. Pictorial nyah-nyah-nyah-NYAH-nyah. Call it Schadenfroid.

I just got a merry email from my friend Maria, who is spending this xmas with her sister’s family in Connecticut. She attached several pics from a wintry walk they took around the beach at Tod’s Point. It’s cold. The pale sun hangs low in the gray sky. There’s snow on the sand.

It’s 72 and sunny here in Los Angeles this Christmas. But if I were going to take a walk on the beach today, I’d choose somewhere warm and cozy… like a cold, snowy beach in Old Greenwich.