Back in 1985, Betsy stopped in State College for a visit on her way to see Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera. The trip was a special one. It was the 50th anniversary of Porgy and Bess on Broadway. It was also 10 years since I had met Betsy, my first editor at my first “real” job as a reporter for The News and Courier in Charleston, S.C., and the first time she visited my hometown.
We drove Betsy all around town and campus. It was February and we took her to dinner at a restaurant at the foot of our local ski slopes, thinking it was as far as we could get from Charleston’s harbor and palmettos. It is funny, the things you remember. The comment that still brings a shudder to my Appalachian backwoods roots was, “Why does everyone still have Christmas wreaths hanging on their doors?”
Apparently proper Charlestonians remove all holiday trim by Epiphany. Not so in Central Pennsylvania, where outdoor decorations are frozen in place until March. April, this year.
We’ve had one or two days of spring-like weather so I was contemplating the front door wreath, complete with red ribbon and snow-flecked pinecones. Lucky for me, I was skipping through my latest computer diversion, Pinterest, and I saw my inspiration: An umbrella filled with flowers.
My sister Lee Ann introduced me to Pinterest. Its “Everything” site of DIY projects is like flipping through dozens of magazines for creative ideas, with just a roll of the mouse wheel. Most of my “pins” go onto a never-never-land personal page for “the future”. But this one shouted at me: “Now!”
I mentioned the idea to Marina, ensuring I would be prodded into action. We surveyed the current state of my mother’s umbrella population but found nothing suitable, only compact, pop-up types or HUGE golf umbrella models in U.S. Naval Academy blue and gold. So, the three M (Marina, Mom and Me) Musketeers drove to Goodwill.
We found a wooden, duck head-handled model for $4. Off to Dollar General for silk flowers, $1 a spray (four sprays), and a $1 spool of ribbon. Assembly took minutes, and the end result, perfect.
The next weekend, we visited Marina’s Great-Aunt France in Philadelphia. She still had her Christmas wreath on the front door. After Marina said her good-byes, France and I needed a diversion. France had a broken umbrella and off we went. We invested $5 at Dollar General, and ta-da, spring came to Pennsylvania once again. No wonder I’m humming, “Summertime”. Laurie Lynch
Benioff Book: City of Thieves, the book that Emelie suggested a while back, was a page-turner, indeed. And a central theme is a dozen eggs…
Quote to Note: “It’s better to have your nose in a book, than in someone else’s business.”–Adam Stanley