Once upon a time, not too long ago, actually June 28, 1973, my little sister got married. She and her husband were both 19.
Now, 40 years later they are celebrating this Wedding Anniversary up North! Danny rented three cottages this weekend at a lovely spot in Michigan for he and Irene and his mother and their four kids and spouses and 10 grandchildren. A true celebration of their love.
Their two poochies stayed home and I dog-sat.
On one of my visits to let GINO and PAOLO outside to do their thing, I meandered around Irene’s home. Inside and out. It’s beautiful…full of charm and so joy filled in its decor. There is no design category for Irene’s style and taste because like Irene, her home reflects a one of a kind “soul”. Seriously, there are many areas where the magical and mystical with a dash of the whimsical make your heart overflow with a sense of, “I want to live here.”
For example, over Irene’s kitchen sink is a lovely window where the view takes you immediately outside to pale pink begonias blooming. On the inside of the window’s generous ledge which is just above the sink’s faucet parades black metal ants holding tiny American flags! One is carrying a drum, another is riding a bike and all of them are wearing old fashioned newspaper hats! It’s soon to be the fourth of July! And, yes, in Irene’s home six inch tall ants march in parades for the 4th. of July!
Then as I was adding dry dog food nuggets to GINO and PAOLO’s breakfast food, my eyes caught a SECRET GARDEN in the corner of Irene’s kitchen counter top! It is about 15″ X 15″ and depicts a walled garden of climbing ivy complete with mini red and green garden lights…like a mini TAVERN on the GREEN. Little mice are the “caretakers” of this magical square which comes with a garden bench for imaginations to rest upon and potted flowers the mice tend so dearly.
Paintings of our Blessed Mother hanging here and there, some old some new, remind me of Irene and Danny and who my family is…and where we are going. There is the one old painting of Blessed Mary very similar to the one my Grandma used to have in her bedroom and another one Irene found at a garage sale, knowing instantly she had to rescue this wooden icon of Mary, too. Then there is the print of an oil painting by Jean-Francois Millet depicting two peasants bowing in a field over a basket of potatoes to say the Angelus prayer at noon. Every time I look at this painting I am there, in that field, grateful for my faith…the faith of my father and mother and Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Grateful for Irene and Danny and all of my brothers and sisters and their husbands and wives…
A row boat full of taxidermied wild animals sits on the fireplace hearth calling out for me to row with them a bit down the whimsical river of life! Irene’s dining room table for 18 invites me to dinner and to break bread with so many of the people she and Danny and I love! There is a niche or corner or view from an overstuffed chair to inspire everyone who enters this home. Everything is wonderfully beautiful! But it is the little magical spots in Irene’s home, the mystical spaces and tiny hidden places that pop out at you around a corner or up a staircase! It is a home that reminds me of the unique way Irene loves and inspires LOVE.
I never meandered through a home more full of LOVE! All the little (and some not so little!) things that make a house a home are there along with the recipe for making a marriage not only work, but make it a feast to behold and emulate!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Irene and Danny!