It's Blue For Me

I thought I'd let you in on a little secret, tell you something about myself.  Shhh!  not too loud, now!

I'm teasing you a bit.  My challenge topic for today is to tell your readers something about yourself.  I am going to, but I've decided to start small.  Nothing that will make me squirm or turn my cheeks bright red. 

We'll build up to that...slowly...over the course of maybe a few hundred posts...

Today, however, what I wanted to share is that my favorite color is blue.  No particular shade of blue, really, I like most. 

I particularly love blue with green because that makes me think of the water and warm, sunny days.  I experienced such a day this past Sunday, which was my birthday.

We went for a day-long outing to Lambertville, New Jersey, and between some browsing and an Italian dinner, we had a walk along the canal.  I found some blue and green as we meandered off the tow path toward the river.

I hope you find your favorite colors this week, and that they work their own magic on you!

She Knows My Look

My first-ever pair of Converse arrived yesterday. They are not my first choice of color, nor even my second.

They are a Jolly-Rancher watermelon lollipop pink. They looked more rosey-pink online.

I took them out of the box to try on, showing Olivia. "They don't look like you," she said, in a way that only an eleven year old girl can. "You'd look good in a light blue pair."

The funny thing is that the light blue (or should I say the Seasonal Aqua) was my first choice. I could not find my size in that color available anywhere.

How did she know? I don't even feel like I have a look. I think I'm pretty disorganized in that way.

As I tried to convince myself that pink sneakers might work just fine for me, she said, "Yeah, if you wear those, you'll really POP!" I countered, well, you know, in the Spring or Summer, with white pants or shorts...

She just looked at me with eyes that said, "POP!"

As fate would have it, these Converse are too small. Maybe I'll have a chance at finding the blue and my look after all.

The Color of Love and Friendship

One October weekday I met someone very dear for lunch. We had never met socially before, our relationship being previously professional.

We met to talk about Aaron, to talk about how we are getting on, and to brave the no-rules ground of growing a friendship.

We had a long lunch, full of sharing, coffee, crepes and a cookie. We talked about her work, Olivia and her transition to fifth grade, winning Charlie, and what missing Aaron is making us think about.

It meant everything to me to hear how much he means to her. It felt good to talk about him to someone who knew him so well, and in a capacity no one else could.

When I returned home after our lunch, I stood in a sunny spot looking out a kitchen window over the garden and trees along the back fence. I stood there a long time wondering how I could creatively represent the gift that was that lunch.

I wanted to bottle it's essence. To be able to take out a drop when I need to feel the love that Aaron created.

As is natural for me, my thoughts turn to food. What could I make that would represent those feelings? I thought of the chocolate chip cookie from the cafe.

Does friendship have a flavor?

Romantic love does, at least most of us associate it with chocolate. I don't think friendship love has any particular flavor. It is probably best represented by what is shared and what memories are created.

What is the color of friendship? What possible colors could I create from? Again, romantic love has come to be associated with red, purple and pink. Valentine colors.

I thought over our lunch, the cafe, what we were wearing. Those colors would have to do. Dark green, burgundy, gold, purple, brown, and because it has to be there, what I now call Aaron's blue.

These also happen to be the colors of Autumn. Immersing myself in these hues has helped me hold on to that day.

If I think about what I brought to that meeting, I understand how the importance of a day or moment heightens awareness of our surroundings.

A few weeks ago, Olivia and I stopped into that cafe for hot chocolate and cookies as a treat after the dentist. It was a dark, rainy afternoon and the cafe was crowded. The opposite of the sunny, sparsely occupied space of that treasured lunchtime. The feel was so different--instead of cozy and worn in a comforting way, the cafe seemed grimy, the florescent lights harsh and blaring, making the space look in desperate need of renovation. Olivia spilled her hot chocolate across the table into my lap, over her homework and my magazine. Grimy turned grimier, and after we had cleaned up, we left.

Olivia said she didn't like it there. I tried to explain how on a sunny day, it's different. It's gold and green and burgundy. There are smiley faces on the cappucino's and the crepes are buttery and filled with things that some grown-ups savor, such a chevre, all soft from the hot batter.

She wasn't convinced. At home I told her I wanted to make a particular chocolate chip cookie recipe that had nuts. I knew she was still working her way through her Halloween candy bowl. I wouldn't make that recipe, though, if she wanted to eat cookies, too.

She said, no, to go ahead and make it. She had her candy to finish up before we started making our Christmas cookies.

These chocolate chip cookies bear no resemblance to the cafe cookies. I don't really prefer the ones they make. They are too soft and too sweet. Yet somehow I needed to make chocolate chip cookies to remember that day.

The shortbread? Well, I was after the color. All Olivia can say about these is "they are amazing!"

I'm glad I went after the gold. Even Michael who likes chewy cookies praised these, eating some on the drive home last Friday night from a performance of The Nutcracker. We had had such a good time that I even offered a surprised Olivia seconds.

Another lunch date with my friend is being discussed, and no doubt from the next one will emerge a color scheme all it's own. The flavor will be a concoction that two deeply connected people, a family and a little boy whip up on a whim that day, full of love for each other.

Color Story of a Cherokee Purple Tomato

In September, I decided to try my hand at a color story. I was standing at my kitchen island one day, looking at the various bowls brimming at the crossroads of Summer and Autumn.

There were peaches, plums, apples, onions, cherry tomatoes and one just-fallen-off-the-vine, a-blush-past-green, Cherokee Purple Tomato. Amongst all that color, my eyes fell on that one tomato. Those were the colors I wanted for my story.

As you can see above, the underside was a dusky pink and the shoulders a bright green. I planned as soon as possible to buy props for my color board. Well, not only did time not allow for shopping, but that tomato changed every few hours it seemed. The pink deepened into streaks of hot-pink, briefly, and the green darkened. Daily, the pink deepened into an almost purple, while the green grew darker, still.

Then, at a certain point, we ate the tomato. That was its destiny after all.

I tried to hold that dusky pink and bright green in my mind. My Black Cherry tomatoes that I was still harvesting were roughly the same coloring, although they never achieved the watermelon-pink streaks.

Finally, a clear scheduled allowed me a few hours to search shops for yarn, fabric, paper and paint chips. I had a little container of the cherry tomatoes with me in varying stages of ripening. I should mention that my neutral addition was a chocolate brown.

There I was holding tomatoes up to paint chips and skeins of yarn, and nothing matched. The closest I got to the pink was the pair of gloves you see.

I came to the conclusion that we can't really match nature to synthetics, not when you've got the real deal right there in your hand.

I had fun with this assignment and look forward to trying again with a different color scheme. In the meantime, however, please have a seat, take a little time for yourself to write down your thoughts (maybe plan your next blog post), have a cup of tea and some gingerbread.

Those gloves by the way are cashmere. Enjoy them, they are really soft.