Archive for February, 2010

A Michigan gem for moms and their daughters

February 27, 2010

From time to time, my husband and I will ask each other questions like, “if money were no issue, what would we want to do with our lives?” I always list off the usual suspects: travel more, become a master gardener, walk our dogs more, write a novel, learn to use the sewing machine in my closet, take piano lessons once again, etc. Then we inevitably get to the point in the conversation where we discuss whether we’d miss “work” if we didn’t have to do it. We both decide that yes, even if we didn’t have to, we’d most likely want to work in some capacity.

On more than one occasion, when contemplating what I’d do if I could do anything, I’ve expressed my desire to him to own and run a small tea room in the city next to the one in which we live. The Franklin Village Tea Room is like a page out of a story book. To me, this little eatery seems like it belongs in some New England town, but lucky for me, it’s a mere five minute drive from my home. This establishment, which I can best describe as completely charming, often hosts young girls celebrating their Sweet 16, red hat clubs meeting for a cup of afternoon tea, girlfriends catching up on the goings-on in each others’ lives, and families celebrating the arrival of a new little miracle with a baby shower.

Antique tea sets and feathery flowing hats decorate this small room where the menu is generally always the same, and the atmosphere is one of whimsy. At Christmas, white lights line the windows, and though I’ve never been there during the Christmas season, I imagine it smells like cinnamon and gingerbread. (It surely would if I ever worked there!)

Though I’ve only patronized this establishment one time, I’ve driven past it at least a hundred. I believe that I may have liked it so much, in part, because three generations of my family enjoyed blackberry tea and finger sandwiches there on a sunny Wednesday afternoon last summer and created a memory captured in the photo below.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have a hand in running the Franklin Village Tea Room or something like it, but I’m grateful someone does because it means I get to continue driving by this little place. And that makes me happy.

Thoughts from 30,000 feet

February 19, 2010

I have what some might consider an obsession with the Keira Knightley version of the film Pride and Prejudice. While I enjoyed the book when I read it back in high school and earlier film adaptations of it, the Keira Knightley film version of this tale simply lives in a realm of its own. I actually won’t let myself buy the DVD of this film because I don’t want to feed the beast. I borrowed it once from my sister and watched it each night for seven consecutive nights before I finally—and reluctantly—returned it. My husband was slightly amused at first, but as the week went on, the amusement turned to a little bit of fear. He simply doesn’t understand the allure of P&P.  But then again, has any male ever understood this?

The reason I can’t own the P&P DVD is that since I had a baby, I have made a conscious effort to avoid activities that suck away at my very limited free time for little fruitful benefit. Watching television has been the primary victim. I rarely ever watch it anymore (except for Mad Men—Best. Show. Ever.) Renting and going to movies have also become uncommon practices. And much like any obsessed person, I can’t pull myself away from the high that Pride & Prejudice affords me, so it can’t be in my house.

So why am I writing this on a blog about parenting? Well, I’m writing this post as I fly 2,909 miles from Detroit to San Francisco for a business trip. As I have written about before, I am not a big fan of business travel these days. But duty calls, so here I am aboard a Delta 757 kinda bumming that I can’t rock my little girl to sleep and letting all sorts of horribly tragic scenarios play out in my head about me not making it back. Sick—I know.

Anticipating this very moment, I allowed myself to rent a movie for play on my portable DVD player. You guessed it—P&P. And I suddenly feel a little less anxious. Thank you once again Ms. Austen!