Another dress. Another auction. She was not a princess. She was a mega singer – and one of the best in the world. She married at a time when her voice was everywhere on the radio. But this singer and this wedding will always be much more personal to me. Because the singer was Whitney Houston – and she was my next door neighbor. While the world was listening to her on the radio, I was listening to her from my backyard, recording music from her own studio. No one could ever know what hearing that stunning voice meant to me. When my parents were invited to her wedding, my heart started singing. I will always remember my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, unapologetically situating ourselves at the entrance to her house, watching the cars enter and waving and talking to the guests – until the sun went down.
As a mother, I understand the frenzy associated with back to school; yes, it has to do with books and supplies and lunch boxes and forms to fill out – but mostly, it has to do with clothes. Getting new sneakers (I have boys), tops, pants, etc. But as a woman, I am never far away from the back to school feeling of shopping for new clothes and the tease of a new season on the horizon. What is it about this time of year that calls to mind fresh starts and new beginnings? Even though the weather on the East Coast is as warm now as a mid-August day and even though I soak in the warmth of the sun for as long as I can, there is something about the clothing of fall that inspires and motivates me to dress-it-up a notch. I trace it back to my school days and the start of a new year.
Although I have already helped my college student shop for his back to school attire, and I am now preparing my high school student for his second year, I am secretly shopping for myself. Or maybe I am shopping for the little girl who never forgot what it is like on her first day of school!
backpack: L.L. Bean
Not long ago my mother’s dear friend, Mihoko, passed away. Although I did not see her often I knew her for most of my life and she was dear to me. A few years ago Mihoko had been visiting her daughter in Japan and came back with a gift for me – two blue and white porcelain bracelets with Japanese designs. I was touched that she had thought of me. I quietly tucked away the bracelets, always meaning to wear them but preferring to admire them from a distance.
That changed a few weeks ago when something compelled me to take them out and wear them. Too lovely to put aside I now pair them with everything. So much more than jewelry, these bracelets are my memories of Mihoko. Enjoy your keepsakes and allow them to bathe you in the love, perhaps of a lost friend. Wear your treasures now. Don’t put it off for another time.