Friday, May 25, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

I had such plans for today.

An early start, breakfast, laundry, some drawing, get a new lipstick, talk/see friends, enjoy the suddenly hot weather.

Some of that list came alive, but had to share the day's hours with the unexpected. Once again my time management skills fell prey to chance.

I am not so fluent in converting F to C temperature, so when I say that it was over 90 degrees F here today, rest assured that what I mean is that it was hot. Humid too.

I managed a short stroll through some favorite parts of the Park, hoping to sit awhile and do some sketching in my new book. I did not sketch. It was too hot. The recent rain plus current sun have turned the greens loose on the lawns, the branches and the stems. Not many flowers left now. I saw remnants of rhodedendrons, iris, wisteria, tulips, and some others I cannot identify. But the greens were so varied. Tiny little rose leaves (flowers due in a week or less,) huge leaves on ground cover plants - the leaves were like platters. Leaves on tall trees have gone through the tender hues of green into the deep, almost dark greens. Ferns fully unfurled. Lots of birds hopping about through the lush undergrowth.

As I walked along the edge of the lake, and saw through the shrubbery on the banks, lots of couples struggling with the rented rowboats, I kept hearing the throb of electric bass.

Usually the park only has specifically sanctioned concerts at specified locations throughout the summer months. Some concerts are free, some require tix. Rarely would either category be happening on a Friday afternoon.

Before going home, I did allow my feet to follow my ears to the source of the throb. It was in a funny old concrete domed bandshell, dating I would guess from the 1930's or so. It has deco aspirations in its style. (Back in the day...that day being late '60s, I saw free performances from this site by the likes of the Jefferson Airplane.) Anyhow, today it was home to a rag tag quartet of noisy chaps that seemed to be sponsored by the ... ARMY.

Too strange. This is "fleet week" here in NY, with many military ships docked along the Hudson River, and many service men/women on leave. I got the impression that today's concert was somehow connected to fleet week, and was accompanied by a number of folks in uniform demonstrating on huge mats various body-strengthening exercises. Also, and even more oddly to my eye, these camoflage-wearing fellows had Guns, and were allowing passers-by to take their photos, and if requested, let the passers-by hold the guns during the photo ops. Very odd.

Anyhow, I walked on homeward, passing through the lilac walk, which was also past its prime, though the scent lingered.

All this park talk is just delaying what was the big news of the day for me. My assistant manager, the about-to-give-birth mom-to-be, had a scare yesterday when she went for a weekly check with her doctor. Almost had an emergency caesarian right then.

I will not give too many details, other than to say that I doubt that she will be in the shop for any more days until after baby is born. I do very much hope that all will be well for mom and baby, and that mom will be able to return to work at some point. The essential, important thing is that their health will be good.

I do not know that she will return to work, and therefore, will have to begin figuring out how to put even more on to my heavy plate.

It was good to have the walk in the Park, although it meant realizing that spring is on the wane. Summer is my least favorite season. I did not like it growing up in the southern part of the States, and I do not like it surrounded by simmering glass and concrete.

But, right now summer is just across the threshhold. I cannot prevent its arrival.

This summer should be filled with change. Some change I can direct; some is so far beyond me.

Even though I didn't do any alfresco drawing, I did manage a little drawing before leaving my apartment -- a flower study, based on the structure of a clematis. Funny little flowers. Fun to draw. I am going to try to do at least a drawing each day, to remind myself of the pleasure that I can so easily can set aside, as I tend to let responsibilites take over my space and time.

Pleasant dreams to all.



  1. Loved your observations about the imminent arrival of summer. I have to agree with you, it's not my favourite season either, autumn is. But here in England Spring seems to have been particularly beautiful and exuberant.
    I lived in Orange County CA for a few years and longed for damp weather and puddles to splash in!

  2. It is lovely to hear you talk about the park-I can picture it so clearly even though I have never been. You do have a lovely lilting way with words.

    And I wish I could see your drawings.

    warm wishes

  3. I loved and followed your walk in the park. I do like the heat but the humidity I imagine is the killer.
    I hope perhaps you will publish some of your drawings for us - everyone appears to be so talented on this site with their crafts, pottery, paintings and suchlike.
    PS Did you get the new lippie!
    love mousie

  4. Only in NY could one discover such things in the park!

    keep drawing, how are those pencils shaping up?

  5. Hello Frances,
    Thank you for your messages. Weather here in Norfolk, England, is cold and damp at the moment, sun did try to peep through this morning. Have you ever thought about doing commissions for your drawings - but then you are such a busy lady Frances, what with that beautiful shop you run. Just drawing/painting for pleasure must be wonderful. Enjoy the bank holiday Frances.

  6. 90 F that is hot!
    Oh poor mum to be, I hope she'll be ok and baby will be delivered safely.

    The park sounds lovely, shame it was too hot to draw.
    Enjoy rest of weekend.

    Muddie XX

  7. Good Morning Frances,
    The weather here this morning is cold and grey. Will light the woodburner later today, snug and cosy. Thank you so much dear Frances for sending your letter to me re your inspirations and NY. Whatever you have decided at least you have a wonderful creativity in your art work and that you can enjoy it at your own perusal. 1967 - ah, such great times there in London, mini-skirts, flower-people, great era, I am glad I was a part of it. Love your writings Frances, enjoy the bank holiday weekend. Best Wishes,

  8. Good morning Frances. Thanks for the lovely walk in the park - loved the leaves and rosebuds and had a chuckle at the army musicians - great contrast!
    I hope all goes well with the mum to be and that the added work coming your way won't be overly stressful. Staffing has to be the worst part of managing a retail operation!
    I know what you mean about the city in summer. I am blowing some cool North West air your way!

  9. Hello francis, your walk sounds lovely as usual i feel like i know that park, and i can even read with an american accent fluently... thank you xo jo

  10. Just caught up with your blog.
    How lovely to be so talented, to be able to draw and to write.
    I hope all goes well with your friend's pregnancy and it all works out work-wise.
    I mention you in my blog today, a request really.
    Happy days,