Holiday Candy Dish Text and images by Rodney Kemerer, Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member We have very few moments of enlightenment in our lives. Sometimes we do not even recognize them. For me, one of my best occurred while staring at a candy dish. Let’s put it into reverse for a moment. The last real Holiday/Christmas we enjoyed was 2019 - after that, masks killed the mistletoe. Normally during the Holidays my wife and I host various get-togethers, mostly informal with different groups we work or socialize with. The prepping for these events, which last almost the entire month of December, begin with early cleaning and excessive decorating. Part of this tradition was handed down by both sets of parents. A fully decorated house was a requirement if you wanted to participate in the season.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards in Dubai On March 4th, I arrived in Dubai and proceeded to participate for the next four days in the 15th Anniversary of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. We celebrated the impact that the support of 260 women entrepreneurs from 60 countries has made on this world. The bird has a cap on its head and a popsicle stick for pulling off the cap. The owner covers his eyes, so the flash does not bother the bird. Why Dubai? Over the course of the expo which opened last October and closes at the end of March, Cartier has proudly created a Women’s Pavilion which has been highly visited during these last few months. The focus on this pavilion has been a number of issues with one of the key issues focusing on our planet’s most precious resource, water.
Long before the internet and eBay, the only way to find vintage Valentine’s Day cards was to dig through dusty boxes at garage and estate sales. Looking for love in all the dusty places. It is hard to describe the feeling of discovery when a vintage card would be unearthed after sleeping for decades. Historically, the roots of St. Valentine’s Day go back, loosely to the Romans and “The Feast of Lupercalia.” A horrifying holiday by any standards. Go ahead and look it up but you’ve been warned. This later morphed into the celebration of St. Valentine. In 1382 Chaucer made a reference to the day in a poem, and in 1537 Henry VII declared it a national holiday. We have never looked back
This Christmas Season looks like it is going to be a lot like last year. The Pandemic lockdown has cancelled the usual activities and it feels like a total loss to everyone. Within that loss is a hidden gift, much like the one you find tucked into the tree branches after all the gifts are opened. That gift this year is the gift of memory. Rather than being caught up in the usual frenzy, we now have time to sit back and look back to Christmas Past. To things we never realized that are woven into our Holiday Memory Bank. My father, rest his soul, was cheap. I believe both by necessity and personality. This presented itself in odd ways and, mostly when I was a kid, they were annoying to me. Like saving every coffee can that came into the house or, worse, every piece of cardboard. Christmas presented a special challenge for him in that it was hard to avoid the usual related expenses. One that he carefully circumvented was The Christmas Tree Lot. There was something about paying for a dead tree for limited use that chewed at my father’s very fiber
“Hey Clover, how would you like to pick raspberries today?” Clover is eating a bowl of cereal, and I am drinking coffee. “Where would we pick them, mama?” “There is a raspberry patch down the road. Thought it could be a new experience for us.” “Sure, mama,” Clover answers. We have been riding out the pandemic at our log cabin in northern Michigan since March. The mid-July sun was high, the blue sky bright and friendly. The buzz, buzz of bees was our soundtrack as we plucked the tender fruit from its bushes. Willy, our faithful, furry companion, looping in and out of the rows of raspberries, was enjoying the fruit himself. “I never realized that the best raspberries hide in the back of the bush, mama,” Clover said
“Happiness is a work of art. Handle with care.” Edith Wharton For me, gardens have always been a place where dreams can someday come true. Someday became TODAY last March when I decided to fulfill the dreams I had for my home and garden. I had already read my coffee-table garden books from cover to cover, and I decided it was time to purchase things I loved and hire people who would work safely and make my surroundings cozier
I’m Worthy McCartney, and I have been associated with Robinson Gardens and the Friends for a number of years. What a delight it is to always drive up Elden and walk through the entry into the best-kept secret in Beverly Hills…the beautiful gardens, palm trees, flowers, the décor, scents, and beauty that all scream the best of California… My love for the beauty of California is practically lifelong…having first arrived when my father was transferred here with the Air Force in 1974… At that time, I lived in Orange County which was one strawberry field after another… South Coast Plaza was not yet built out, and a ride up the 405 was quick to my Alma Mater, UCLA… Not long after arriving, my mom and I visited Catalina Island because she had originally visited it on a trip after high school with a girlfriend in 1946. They took the steamer to the Island. The moment I arrived at the harbor, I thought Catalina was simply magical... That joy remains today, and I appreciate the Island more today for its pristine beauty and conservation efforts
Wild and Exotic Birds of the Virginia Robinson Gardens A hawk seeks water or an unsuspecting visitor at the cherub fountain on a warm March day. The phrase, “Birds of a feather flock together,” is at least over 470 years old. It was in use as far back as the mid-16th century and was inspired by the flocking behavior of birds when foraging for food or flying in formation during seasonal migrations. This concept is sometimes applied metaphorically to people who act in similar ways. One early spring morning, Friends members flocked together with a naturalist, Darrow Feldstein, who guided us on a garden bird watch. While we moved in predictable formation, we were singularly focused on observing “only” birds in the garden. It turned out to be a cognitive revelation. We enjoyed the garden for the first time with only one objective in mind
As a child, I attended the Rudolph Steiner School in New York City. I was there for eight years. Art making and crafts were a big part of my education as well as eurythmics and music. I knitted, sewed and did macramé; I made a bamboo recorder and carved wood. For every subject, we had to make a “good book,” with each page illustrated with colored pencils
“So, shall we come to look at the world with new eyes” - Ralph Waldo Emerson From the towering Tetons to the rapidly rippling Snake River, the beauty of Jackson Hole stuns the senses every day. One never grows immune to the magnificence of its mountains nor the openness of thousands of acres of green grassland ranches. I have had a home here for 25 years, but it is only this year that I have lived here fully and found myself looking at my world with new eyes each day.