Last week the delightful and talented Wendi Schneider traveled from Denver with her magic camera to record moments in what I call "my accumulated life." We had four days of of putting together a variety of photographs of the things I love in my Hudson River digs. Ames, Iowa to follow...one of these days. Having two homes, at least, means dividing what you love around the country!
Try as I may not to, I am still acquiring--and yesterday's find can be almost as powerful as the ones you've grown accustomed to. One of the things that became apparent as Wendi delved into the cabinets and saw things perched on shelves that are so a part of the scenery I almost think of them as permanent fixtures is that many were gifts of one kind or another. I have been living with the love and largess of others--and how fortunate I have been to have people in my life who seem to know what makes my heart sing.
Amazingly, many friends over the years have said to me, "You're so hard to buy a gift for." With all the loot that Wendi and I photographed, I have to doubt this. Of course, my Victoria days did engender many lovely things that friends, colleagues, and associates have been gracious with. Take my crown collection, for example: I did not buy even one for myself. Over time, crowns, mostly pins, just keep finding a place in my "tower" of jewels. I, myself, find it refreshing when a friend has a signature piece--it makes gifting challenging. Is there a heart that Ann does not have? Is there one unique and will touch her own tender heart in a special way?
My friend Kim Shaver at Hooker Furniture has asked me to jot down some of the ways in which we live with the things we love for a project she is doing. Kim is a big believer in the idea that how we furnish our homes includes a large dollop of love--that when we invest in a piece of furniture it does more than occupy space and provide function. So, I'll be looking at my own accumulated life for Kim. And I'll have to give thanks to the legions who have helped me with gifts ranging from candlesticks to teapots to artworks to the books that have been written by the people in my life. I think of being especially fortunate to have bequests that make my homes
ever more meaningful--a gallery of generations who stitched and crafted leaving a legacy that means the world to me.
Whew...I was bit tuckered out after working with Wendi. And I know she was also--it's not only physical work but emotional, too, as one focuses on the true meaning behind our possessions. A tiny taste of Wendi's incredible work is pictured here. We both have a big job to narrow down the shots we want to keep--and then to decide if we have a book or other project on this subject of accumulation. We all live on our own stages--mine is filled to the brim with memories. Yours?