Saturday, January 4, 2014


       Just picked up a magazine - TUSCAN STYLE: Live in relaxed elegance.  The cover features an elegantly relaxed family room.  Four pale ecru woven rattan chairs, pillowed in a powdery cyan, and grouped around as if to venerate a rather Spartan square, low marble-topped table supported by black, wrought iron legs. The table hosts a prosaic ceramic bowl of five chubby baby blue hydrangea and two Moroccan leather, gold embossed tomes.  They are slightly angled one to the other in the otherwise tidy pile on which one of a set of carved wood blocky candle holders holding ecru, round, fitted candles sit.
       (One imagines that perhaps the occupant, returning from taking a breath of fresh air on dewy wet toes in the contiguous EL fresco emporium late last evening, having used a candle to enhance the mood and prevent an uncharacteristic spill transitioning from grass to brown-shaded woven tile flooring, had placed the impromptu walking light on the books adjacent to its partner, still basking in the refreshment of the cool, stone exterior border wall exuding its perfumery from its brim of greenery and buds.  Nary a thought was given to its proper marble resting place.) 
       The tan interior adobe walls broke in a surprised expression to hold a small fireplace.  Three artfully arranged clay pots cradled infant blooms to one side of the opening.  The entire expanse spoke of youth -  indoors and out.  This combination of age and decoration brought to mind the canvas we painted in our first apartment.  He was finishing medical school and I was working and there was precious little of anything else.  We did, however, inherit a lovely suite of furniture from his family.  It was all of the furnishings from his father's first medical practice in 1934.  Extremely well made and Deco in style, it nevertheless presented a challenge when it came two function and arrangement.
       The handsome scale, waste basket, and desk - truly seaworthy - with its four matching chairs, provided both comfort and a feeling of playful "op art".  Our own purchase, a hexagonal Formica dining table, was placed opposite a spacious and attractive sideboard.  This last had been transformed from his dad's roomy, attractive examining table.  With its many different sized drawers  and decorative knobs, it was always a focus of lively conversation.  Its one ungainly drawback, functional as they were, were the matching stirrups.  I daresay they had more costume changes than Helen Hayes over the years.  Imagine if you will Japanese flower arrangements or strobe-lit, Lego-engineered figurines painted steel gray and you'll have a legitimate appetizer if not a five full course of their morphing. (Did I mention the fact that the table was carved from one piece of wood and that the stirrups were soldered on?}
       After dinner however, we always played "take our guests'  EKG".  Perhaps that's one reason our parties were so popular.  It certainly was not the cuisine.  And each guest would leave with a souvenir.  Have you guessed?  They each took home a rhythm strip of their very own heart rate.  Of course we'd tell them it was normal.  And if it was 'funny looking'?  Stuff happens.
Later, Lorane. . . .      
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