Fall never arrived in Florida. I wanted it to, what with the magazines declaring it time for militant greens enmeshed in gold, gauzy textures, draping and harder edges, lit up with ox blood red lips and sumptuous olive eyes, not to mention the cozy knits that come winter have lost their cozy and found themselves on the bulk-up bore list. In Boca, I wanted to transition into earth tones and cashmere wraps, but although it was time, it most certainly was not the place. New York is the place.
Today I’m snuggled up on my sofa, staring out beyond my back porch at a willow tree and pines, all green still, needles on. But soon the deck will be littered with curly leaves and it will be time for mulling spices and lipsticks named “bitten nutmeg.” With Young’s Farm a minute’s drive away, the walnut honey bars will lay heavy on their waxy paper, hurried into our toasty home. What the picture doesn’t tell you is that this rental home of ours does not run on propane but on electric. Electric heat is nightmarish. This much, I’ve learned. This and that I cannot ever again live in a home without a garbage disposal. Once you’ve had one and become accustomed to dumping, say, the dabs of cereal and milk from the bottom of a bowl into the disposal and must switch to straining the cereal out with your fcuking hand, so the milk goes down the drain, and the cereal head to a compost bin or garbage bag… well, it’s work I’d prefer not to have.
Speaking of homes, we’ve decided to rent our house to a Texas football legend. So we’re no longer paying electricity, propane, lawn upkeep, etc. on a home we rarely see. Phil was just back in Austin, packing things up, bringing home Texas BBQ. We seriously love that town, especially the people. And the food, fine.
Now, speaking of people… lately I’ve been struck by the depths of love between people. It seems to be birthday month (obviously, it’s my month!), and as such, I’ve witnessed gifts given and parties thrown. And all I can really say is this: if you love someone, there’s one sure and clear route to showing them: making them a montage. Whether it’s a Straight Up and Thirty scrapbook surprise, created behind your back, with friends conspiring, or a video montage complete with interviews from loved ones across the country and world, it’s the best way to show love. It’s also the most time consuming, selfless, activities one can plan. But it is the truest form of love I’ve ever seen given, handed to a recipient. And it lasts forever. It’s the most exquisite gift you can give. What’s more is that it really says something about the person who has chosen to make this gift, beyond their love of the recipient. It says a little something about what they value. Family, friends, making memories. If they care enough to capture it all, to document it, to add a soundtrack… it shows you how full of life, what truly wonderful people they are… just for the giving. I’ve been busy with the move (yes, still!), and the kids’ new school, and the homework for them, which is basically for me, since I must supervise, and the gym, not to mention TRYING AND FAILING to write, so I wasn’t able to make a video for my dad on his 66th birthday, yesterday. It doesn’t mean I love him any less, obviously, but it was a reminder that I need to rearrange some of my priorities for the upcoming holiday seasons.
I’ve received gifts like this three times. Once from Phil, once from my high school best friend who no longer speaks to me – I have no idea why to this day, but I’m sure some random anonymous people will tell me exactly why in the comments! – and once an extraordinarily touching and completely unexpected video from the girls of my Girl Scout Troop in Austin, TX.
This past weekend, we attended a surprise 40th birthday party, and when I saw the video she made for her husband, I thought, “I want to be closer to her, to them, because anyone who can make a video like that has her focus on exactly the right things.” This September, I’m declaring, as the month to savor. To delight in the smaller moments and side roads, to heat your cider, take out your video camera, and to do something will all the digital photos and videos you’ve already shot. Have something to show for it. Then get on with the give.