The dining room cabinets just before sundown reveal the secret life of inanimate objects.
"The heart that loves is forever young" read the sentimental 19th-century valentine we quoted for graphics (upper left, above) designed for a Valentine's Day dinner party -- remember those, old coot? -- a few years back. The accretions of a lifetime of world travels, cultural exchanges, glorious meals, house restorations and such were caught in a light-fantastic moment in Chelsea-by-the-Sea this afternoon just before sunset. In front of the Valentine's graphics a rare surviving set of decades-old wedding-gift plates and bowls from JuJu -- our "magnificently contrarian Finnish-American grandmother" -- and to the right, foreground, a soapstone rhinocerous from our Out-of-Africa tour of twenty years back with Cinny Griswold and Freddie Goldwater, the fun and funny international traveling companions of our salad days. Behind the rhino, Mexican-style candles recall the election of 2000 when Susie and Matt and Regan joined us for a fab Tex-Mex dinner preparatory to finding out who would be Leader of the Free World for the next four years. Thanks to Sir Albert Gore and his "it depends upon what your definition of is is" Clinton facilitators of hanging-chad fame, the election results hung in the balance for days if not weeks. Matt and Regan had to leave, and all of us were left hanging on pins and needles. Bush Derangement Syndrome ensued and has poisoned the well ever since. The final note of remembrance of things past in the image above is the totally awesome eight-pointed gold star that is one of
dozens hundreds* hand stenciled by Tuck in "restoring" the dining room to a glory it had never known in its 1840's Greek Revival youth. Beauty is truth, truth beauty?
*Update: Tuck, who oughta know, corrects our reference to "dozens" of gold stars on the dining room walls:
One of DOZENS?? There's more than 1,100 of them little eight pointers.
Eight points well taken. And thanks again to blogfriend Barry Kearns of the eye-catching The Power of Doubt, who pointed out our initial miscount of the number of points on Tuck's stars. We had said seven, when, of course, there are eight. You'd never guess we were captain of the high school Math Team.