Dusk

I'm suffering from that kind of total exhaustion that comes only from happiness and temperatures over 80 degrees. I got back to Brooklyn at midnight from 4 days alone at Elmwood and am now excited and dead-to-the-world tired in equal measure. For those who haven't spent a summer with an apple a day, Elmwood is my family's ancient, ragamuffin summer house on a secluded pond in New Hampshire.

The house is filled with faded wallpaper, chipping paint, 200 years worth of family detritus and this time around, a few decapitated mouse bodies that I was too terrified to touch; the pond, on the other hand, has sunfish, bull frogs, a private island of pine trees, a small beaver dam, a canoe, a rowboat, a leech or two and several snapping turtles the size of hubcaps. Calling it a summer house alludes to a certain Newport-ishness that it severely lacks, but I'm the happiest there, more so than anywhere else in the world.
Four days alone of paddling at dusk and swatting bugs, collecting lilac and lily of the valley, sleeping in the sun and huddling in the rain- I'm now seriously overwhelmed by ideas and plans. The freedom I've had in the past few months has been incredible, a gift I would have never dared to give myself. I'm over the moon to be able to spend time in places I love the most and also be dreaming up projects I couldn't have wished to hope for this time last year. We have so much to talk about, friends. The thought of summer is electrifying and I hope you are feeling it, too.

38 comments:

  1. This post is so beautiful! I love the places that make me feel this way.

    gilead in bloom

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  2. I feel it now after reading this post! I think we all need a little Elmwood of our own!

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  3. sounds wonderful, wholesome & special. dayle

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  4. I wish i had an Elmwood... sounds like a special place. My summer just ended... hopefully i can make the most of silly winter!! Hope all your ideas and plans come alive x

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  5. ...Gorgeous photos from a gorgeous soul... :o)

    ...And Elmwood is what all Summer Houses aspire to be! ;o)

    ...Blessings...

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  6. What a beautiful post!! Love the photos!

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  7. Oh how I wish I had an Elmwood. It sounds and looks absolutely wonderful. I hope you enjoy your time there. It seems unavoidable ;)

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  8. :) what a magical creature...

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  9. your post is lovely, and it has made me so excited about my upcoming two weeks off (first in years), when I plan to embroider, throw some pots, and generally do nothing with my dog!!

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  10. I know the beloved feeling of a summer home. I grew up 9 Months in Texas and the summers in Montana. Sometimes I catch myself drifting off to beargrass, Lion lake with the dog and canoe and making gooseberry cobbler with my mom. There is nothing quite as enchanting and wonderful as a summer home. It's where my heart resides.

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  11. How unbelievably beautiful and unexpectedly haunting the photographs are. I love your writing!

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  12. summer houses are the best and yours seems to be a place of exceptional magic and beauty - and you captured it amazingly.

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  13. sounds like a lovely few days away and the photos from the time on the lake are wonderful

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  14. I spent summers as a kid on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH...and Elmwood looks like the same kind of dreamy escape. You are lucky!

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  15. oh man. I definitely need a hidden escape... that nighttime photo is beautiful. things are starting to look cheerful in brooklyn.... certainly the best time of the year here :)

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  16. Excited for another summer of pictures at Elmwood!

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  17. Beautiful pictures!

    http://sweetharvestmoon.blogspot.com

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  18. How lucky are you! Fab.

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  20. It's so good that your 'summer house' isn't the Newport type - they're so hard to keep! Our NH Summer house is furnished with family castaways - they always make it to camp when no longer needed elsewhere, and some of the trinkets likely go all the way back to 1910 when 'we' bought it. I thought of you last week when my mom gave me an old white nursing kimono - not for any reason other than the white on white design, beauty, intimate people connection you are so good at. Thanks for the words and pictures.
    It's a great thing.

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  21. Sounds amazing!
    I've been meaning to ask--what flower stores do you recommend in the city?

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  22. My parents' old farm in upstate New York was my 'Elmwood'...a place to retreat to and recover from my hectic everyday life. The farm was sold eight years ago and I still mourn its loss.

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  23. Your Elmwood is so beautiful and yes, I am so excited for the summer! It is going to be a good one and a challenging one too. I am going on Vacation to Hawaii in a week and then I start school at NYBG School of Professional Horticulture! So, yeah I am really excited!!!

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  24. Your posts are always full of so much inspiration. I love when you visit Elmwood- the pictures you share and the inspiration it gives you is very motivating for me as a reader. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. I'd love to build a little Elmwood for my littlest pheasant. One day. Missed you around the market xo

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  26. vey cool, I just wrote about my grams Lake house on L Huron afew posts ago check it out I love this kind of stuff. I posted a lot of old photos my aunt took of the lake and the cousins and the roses and the old house
    http://katethewayitis.blogspot.com/2011/05/memories-of-my-my-grams-lake-house.html

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  27. Oh yes. Absolutely yes. Totally feeling the summer vibes. It can't come soon enough!

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  28. So.... when are you moving to Elmwood?

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  29. Such beautiful photos! They are super stunning.


    Zoe
    http://blessedbeeapothecary.blogspot.com/

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  30. Gosh, this is the Stuff of Dreams! I have no such retreat, and have never canoed, but I didn't realise I was missing one until now!

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  31. That sounds fantastic, and it certainly sounds like a great place to spend time. How lucky you are to have such a place! I'm glad your spirits are so high.

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  32. Heaven.

    And whose Eli letter sweater, missy?

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  33. Lovely, timeless post and photos.

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  34. that sounds like such a wonderful time!

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