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Monday, March 29, 2010

A Life Well Lived

Last week, I lost a friend unexpectedly, and far too soon. I had blogged about her home last August, here, and I also wrote about visiting her, and coming home with a couple of gifts for That Old House. I'm sharing that post, today, from June '09, about a minor metamorphosis, courtesy of my friend Barbara. Links to blog parties are below.


(June 29, 2009) -- Have you ever visited a house that just seemed
perfect? I don't mean that it was grand or spectacular, but that it was perfect for what it was -- someone's very special home -- and a true reflection of its owner.

I was lucky enough to visit such a home on Saturday.

Today I'm double-dipping in Blog Party Land ...
Metamorphosis Monday
(click here!) and Today's Thrifty Treasures (click here!).

Thanks to Susan of Between Naps on the Porch and Rhoda of Southern Hospitality for hosting.


I have a new friend -- Barbara -- whom I met last month at the home of an old friend.

Barbara invited our family (including Dion) for a barbecue on Saturday. If I had been bolder, I would have begged to take pictures of her house (and her pups, too!), to share with you.

Barbara's house is a 1930's era Sears kit house, and it is perfection. It nestles cozily into a beautiful established garden, crazy with bloom, with a tall hedge that I've already forgotten the name of, but that I need here at That Old House to screen out a new house next door. I would love to hire Barbara to give me garden design advice!

Inside, the house has been beautifully and carefully updated, and a wonderful room added across the rear, with built ins and big chunky rows of windows. . . but what makes this house so special is that it could only belong to Barbara; it is that personal.

I just loved it. Maybe I'll be invited back, and this time,
work up the courage to say, "May I invade your privacy, please?"

As we were leaving, Barbara told us she had something
she thought That Old House could use; she was right.
She gave us two of these:

I asked my daughter Anne if they could qualify as Thrifty Treasures,
and she said, "What is more thrifty than free?" She has a point.

So . . . on to the Metamorphosis, using our Thrifty Treasures. . . .

Here, $8 worth of supermarket flowers, beginning to lose their oomph!

Time to bring in a shorter vessel:

A pair of clippers, a steely resolve to toss the past-their-pull-date blooms,
and voila! A new look.

The dining room, meanwhile, looks a bit austere -- a big dark leafy philodendron
on the table, and two side windows looking rather bare, square and plain:

So. . . let's put a little color on the table:

And take the philodendron and put it in one of the plant stands from Barbara:

Take a pothos, swiped from the parlor, and pop into the other
plant stand, and in front of the other window:

And we have our metamorphosis --- a softened look,
with colorful flowers, healthy plants, and two lovely old iron stands!

From another perspective:

So it's a simple change today, or, as Anne put it, "Not much of a Metamorphosis, Mom."

But it's a change for the better -- albeit a small one -- and that's what counts. Right?

I am looking for a place for these plant stands in the sunroom, too, for the colder weather. Stay tuned; I have a feeling they will turn up again, and again.

A week ago, I took pictures of problem spots in our yard, to email to Barbara for her advice. I never got the chance to do so. Life is so unpredictable. I am grateful to have known this funny, smart, quirky, generous, talented woman even for so short a time.

Tell your friends and family how you feel. -- Cass


  1. Isn't it amazing what plants and cut flowers can do for a home! Your dining room is gorgeous and I LOVE those plant stands. I hope you get many more invites to your new friends home and get to share pictures with us :)


  2. So sorry for your loss, Cass. Deb

  3. Cass, I'm so sorry for yet another great loss to you my dear friend...Prayers coming your way...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  4. Cass, I am so very sorry. But how blessed you were to have known her even for that short time. her family will be in my prayers. May all your memories of this special lady sustain you all
    xoxo pattie

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a friend and someone you really love. You and all her family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, Marty

  6. Cass, I am sorry for the loss of your new friend...her family will be in my prayers, as will you.
    Your dining room looks wonderful with that wonderful green, especially after what seemed to be an extra long winter.

  7. Cass -
    I AM SO SORRY for your loss & YES, it is WAY TOO SOON! My prayers are with you!

  8. Cass -- so sorry for your loss. You just never know when you see or talk to someone for the last time.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Life can change in an instant, can't it? I'm glad you have wonderful memories of your friendship.


  10. You are so right, Cass - say the things that you want to say while they can still be heard. I'm sorry that you've lost a friend - hugs from over here.

  11. Cass,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. It is true, time should never be wasted in telling those you care about how you feel. Thank you for sharing this. My thoughts are with you, and with you friend's family and loved ones.


  12. You have wonderful memories of your friend, even though you did not know her a long time. Sometimes we just connect with certain people on a certain level, and they are with us all our lives. You were lucky to have this.


  13. Cass - I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. :( Yes - Life is very unpredictable. (((hugs)))
    I do remember the post about the plant stands.

  14. It is so hard when they go. I know you feel the loss deeply. What a lovely post and tribute to your very sweet friend.
    Hugs and prayers, Lisa

  15. so sorry for your loss. thoughts and prayers are with you and all her friends.

  16. Cass-
    I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Those we know the less give us the most to think about.
    The plant stands will hold a special place in your heart now more than ever.


  17. I love your fiance and I just bought a house and are renovating it, I just started my blog today so I could find other home related ones..that being said, sorry about your loss.

  18. Sorry for your loss of your friend, Cass. Too soon. Good to point out to us to show our love and caring...letting you know here how much I enjoy your pictures and writing.

    Those wonderful iron plant stands were a wonderful gift from Barbara, and That Old House welcomed them in, providing the perfect places for them and YOU found those places. You and Your House share a heart and soul, I am sure of it :)


  19. Oh Cass..I am so, so sorry for this great loss. I well remember your visit to her home. Those beautiful puppies too...
    I don't know what happened but we are not promised tomorrow are we? We just have to live the best life we can and to always tell those we care about that we do...
    I will keep you and Barbara's family in my prayers.
    Yo will be in my prayers too..

  20. i am sorry to hear about your friend! another loss for you, in addition to everything else. good thing you are a strong woman! i am always here for you!


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