Goodness me, where am I? It's the boys' spring break, which means it's the first rainy, gloomy week we've had all year. I started it out with a stomach bug, but it wasn't too bad, and I'm better now. It gave me the excuse to spend Sunday watching "Downton Abbey" from beginning to end, a virtual and visual feast for the anglophile that I am.
Oh, my dears! If you haven't watched this, you must! You can download it instantly from Netflix. Wonderful period piece--England, right before World War I, Jane Austen-esque in its premise--landed gentry, a family of daughters, who will inherit everything? Not that horrible distant third cousin? Oh, no!
(But perhaps he's not so horrible after all?)
Watching "Downton Abbey," I was beset with letter lust. A footman walks into breakfast bearing a silver tray piled with mail. "First post, my lady," he says. Which suggests there will be a second post--and who knows, maybe a third. All those letters, folded into their lovely, small envelopes. I was salivating!
I have been reading collections of letters, which I enjoy, especially when you have both sides of the correspondence. I'm almost through with As Always, Julia, the correspondence between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. It's wonderful, and has had me running to my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking again and again. You should taste my scrambled eggs!
I'm also dipping into Two Gardeners: A Friendship in Letters, which contains the correspondence between Katharine White (wife of E.B.) and Elizabeth Lawrence, a well known garden writer and native North Carolinian. It's a perfect book for this time of year and should be read with the latest copy of the White Flower Farm catalog by your side. Oh, I have big dreams of flower beds this year.
We're off to Monticello with the boys this afternoon. I've been studying Thomas Jefferson with Will, in effort to make sure he'll get something out of the trip, and now I'm eager to see the old place myself. I spent some childhood years in Charlottesville, and I'm looking forward to driving out to see my old house. As an Army brat, I don't have a lot of opportunities to go back to my childhood haunts.
So that's it for now. I hope this finds you well and enjoying the first glimmers of spring.
Under the Speading Chestnut Tree
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