# 160, Make a pot of tea and watch Enchanted April
My oldest son is at home today recovering from having four wisdom teeth pulled at once, so I decided it would be a good day to watch an old movie and sip a cup of tea while he rests.
Enchanted April is available on Netflix right now. In 1992, when the film came out, I was planning my wedding using the pages of Victoria Magazine as a guide. I carried a notebook full of tear sheets of peonies, and English roses, and heirloom silver patterns.
In those days and in the few years that followed, I watched Enchanted April several times. I was riveted by the gardens of the Villa San Salvatore and the women’s feelings of angst resonated with me.
Today when I watched the film, I first noticed how dated it felt compared to watching something made more recently like Downton Abbey, but then I quickly sank into the story and remembered my favorite bits of dialogue and I relaxed into the beautiful imagery.
Likewise, I can’t give up my cookbooks because each one tells a story of my life. My copy of Martha Stewart’s Entertaining, reminds me of my obsession with all things Martha- an obsession that lasted almost two decades. I cooked everything in her books and studied them like textbooks. Looking at them now reminds me of how earnest and excited I was. The loose string hanging from the cover sometimes feels like the single thin thread that connects me back to a better version of myself.
When I had two children under the age of four, I got mad at Martha. I couldn’t think about making chocolate leaves when I was changing 15 diapers a day. I did try though. I remember making a milkbone garland for my daughter’s 1st birthday, a pink and precious puppy party. I was up until the wee hours with the dremel tool and yards and yards of ribbon. I sewed a birthday dress out of orange-flowered chintz and bought another one made of pink tulle and satin. She had two costume changes that day and a three-tiered cake. When her brother arrived, a year later, I put Martha down and picked up Family Fun magazine. I stopped making couer a la creme, and I started making chicken fingers.
When I had toddlers, I gave up languid hours thumbing through glossy magazines and replaced them with afternoons filled with felt animals and Old McDonald Had a Farm. Years of soccer and homework at the dinner table followed, and then rocky adolescence. Now that my teenagers are nearly grown, I can start thinking about how to fill those hours again.
Even through the passage of time, It’s funny how we love what we love. English roses still inspire. Martha is back in my good graces. I will forever pull Alexandra Stoddard from the shelf when I need to be inspired to clean my house and live more beautifully.
But now there are other things that beckon. I want to travel and experience new things and let the still wild parts of myself stretch into mysterious places. If I am lucky, there will be little more than a decade before my life is filled with grandchildren and assorted aches and pains. I want to muck about in the world while I can.
But first…. a cup of tea.
I am working my way through this lovely selection sent by my dear friend, Inel. Today I am trying Ginger Lemon Green Tea.
There’s something about pouring very hot water over dried leaves collected in Asia that stirs old feelings and new longings.
As we wander through these last days of March, here’s to hoping all of our Aprils are enchanting.
283 days to go!