Friday, April 3, 2009

Joy + Clotheslines


Last night I had dinner with my friend Terry, and, as I have found to to be the case when I spend time with a woman as opposed to a man, we spent very little time discussing topics like work and the economy, more time chatting about the things that give us joy in life--things like family, and friends, home, health, and faith. After dinner, I hugged Terry goodbye, and as I walked to my car I realized--despite the fact that I had just wolfed down a lamb T-bone large enough for a caveman--I felt lighter. I felt lighthearted. For suddenly I realized that I had grown up to become a woman who makes decisions in life that are not about money or material things, but rather simple joys. I thought about the upcoming summer and what I am most looking forward to, and I was happily surprised that I could not list one thing that had a price tag associated with it. Instead, the things I long for the most are to hang a clothesline for the first time in years, to sit in a big old tire tube on a lake with a gin and tonic in my hand at the end of a long day, to grow a really fabulous vegetable and herb garden, to plant a preposterously large row of sunflowers, to string up a hammock, and to barbecue as much as humanly possibly.

I know the economy sucks right now, but I have to admit that I am almost relieved that we as a nation are returning to simpler times. There is no shame in living leaner, appreciating things we've in the past taken for granted. I for one, cannot wait to sleep under sheets that have been kissed by the sun and a warm summer breeze, and to wake up to a big vase of sunflowers smiling at me from my bedside table.


SCENTED LINEN WATER
From my book, Summer: A User's Guide

Infuse your linens with the sweet summery scent of flowers or herbs. Spray onto your sheets and pillowcases before ironing to add a soft scent, spray onto sheets to freshen up the bed between washings, or use as a lightly-scented room spray.

Spray bottle (sterilize with boiling water before using)
10-20 drops (or more, depending on your preference) of an essential oil. You might try lavender, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, rose, jasmine or any other summery scent.
3 ounces non-flavored high proof (80+) vodka
25 ounces distilled water

Pour the essential oil and vodka into spray bottle and shake well until it is thoroughly mixed, then add the distilled water. Shake well before each use.

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