Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Suzanne Winter Rose

Suzanne's nearest neighbor at her country retreat near Culpeper, Virginia (actually it's a town called Boston, but try finding it on the map) is named Violet Green. That just makes me happy.

Actually that's just one of many things that make me happy to visit Bear Haven, which is what her 50-some acre spread is called. My head is always spinning with something new, although often it's something that should have been perfectly obvious, but it took Suzanne to point it out, ever so dryly as she does.

For instance. The perfect coconut custard pie: just double the coconut, of course! Those gun-like Bic lighters are excellent when lighting half a hundred votive candles on the dining room table. Quilted mattress pads from Target can revive an ancient mattress.

This most recent trip it was how chairs can substitute for flowers, in fact might even be preferable. Four hot pink metal chairs have bloomed beyond the pool, their high rounded backs like jolly giant poppies against the forest line.

Coming home and tromping about the neighborhood, I was struck by the timid collection of garden benches and wrought iron bits and bobbles on display. So fearful are we of appearing garish, it seems, that we make no statement at all.

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