On the Grounds of Edith Wharton

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Today the sun was finally shining on us strong enough to warm up the air, and we took advantage of it with a little day trip.

Lenox, MA is home to many talented individuals, famous and not, and being in the area is exciting. The appeal is apparent. The woods are lush but not too dense, and the rolling hills are beautiful, even without any leaves on the trees. I was itching to get to The Mount, which is the enormous estate that the talented Edith Wharton built and lived in. The house is closed up and won’t open again until it gets warmer, but the grounds were all ours to roam.

I had been here once before, but I didn’t know who lived here, and even if I had, I doubt I would have understood the significance. The walk to the mansion was beautiful and sunny, and I imagined if Edith strolled along those roads while she pondered her latest writings. I like to think so.

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The estate is impressive, but the gardens are what interest me. And even though nothing is in bloom right now, the skeletons of all the dormant plants are beautiful. The way the gardens are laid out give the feeling of some sort of labyrinth, and the mysterious vines hang eerily over the old stone. I tip-toed under the arches and pondered what a hot summer night must be like here. I’m guessing it must be some sort of heaven.

I can’t imagine living in a place like this, but I’m sure a well-off famous author could. You might get yourself turned around, thinking you are really in some scene from Harry Potter, but a glance up at the home will remind you that you’re in the heart of New England. I felt suddenly very lucky that I get to live in this great state.

One can only imagine what this place must look like in the fall. Both times I’ve come have been off season, but they were still extremely pleasing experiences.

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Something I’ve noticed from visiting great mansions like this is that the grandness of it sometimes leads you to miss the details of things. I tried to really take in the grounds, as the next time I come here will probably in the summer when we can do a home tour. Today, I took my time and roamed amongst the large shrubs and trees. I tried to hone in on those little details, the things that we sometimes look over. Some of these little buds were stretching off the vines and I couldn’t help but reach out and touch them with the very tips of my fingers.

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Let me know if any of you frequently go to Lenox, or if you’ve been to Edith Wharton’s home. I thought it was incredibly breathtaking. I truly did not want to leave.

 

“Set wide the window. 

Let me drink the day.”

-Edith Wharton

 

Bookstore Part II

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Here are some more photos from my bookstore trip a few weeks ago! Enjoy 🙂

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I am hoping that the weather will get nicer soon so that I can go on some more adventures. It’s hard to do anything when you’re tunneling through snowbanks. But spring is on its way!

To see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Nearer (A Trip to a Bookstore)

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I recently read a poem by C.S. Lewis that goes like this:

“If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if  you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.”

I have found that the best thing for me is to love things abundantly and to do something as soon as I have the urge to do that thing. Sometimes the concept of something in our minds is enticing, but the act of doing it becomes a burden.

One example is that I loved bookstores and I constantly complained that there were none if close proximity to me like there were when I was in Boston. The truth is that I just wasn’t trying very hard, I was in my head dreaming of them instead of looking them up and getting out of the house and exploring. So today, this is what we did. We got up out of our usual lives and we ventured out just a little bit and we explored in a beautiful new place.

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The bookstore that we went to was called Broadstreet Books in Northampton, MA.

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Bookstores are magic, and not just because they are beautiful inside with many treasures to buy, but because they house hundreds of whispers waiting to speak to us, waiting under our fingertips as we hover over their spines. They allow us to wander through stories, through countries, through gardens, through fantasies, through history, space and beyond. Walking into a bookstore is like greeting endless strangers that are staring silently for us to discover them.

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Here I am contemplating how many hundreds of books will be taken home today. (I actually only bought 1, and I am proud of that)

If you are going to a bookstore, let me give you some important advice, go with someone you trust, or go alone. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have stepped into an otherworldly bookstore and was rushed along because I was with people who are just simply not book people (beware of those). When you know you will go to a bookstore, only bring people that will also get lost alongside you amongst the shelves and won’t meddle with your searching. The space is special, charged with calming energy, and the wrong people can ruin that. Bring those who have beautiful souls who are willing to stick it out while you peruse.

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What are you favorite bookstores to go to? Or perhaps you prefer the library? I happened to by my third Emily Dickinson book, as well as some gifts for friends. We got dinner and chocolate after, and I feel very, very good about my day of getting nearer to the things I love.

If you want to see what I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

-Heather

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Hello, Sunny Day | A Trip to Lenox

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Hello Everyone,

Today I went to Lenox, MA to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was the perfect day for a ride and especially for walking around a historic town. The little shops and cafés were so charming!

I went last fall as well and bought a few things for my dorm. It’s amazing to me that here we are a year later and so much as changed. Because it’s a bit later in the season it was actually empty. There were a few people in the streets, but not nearly as many as there is in late summer/early fall. A lot of the trees still had their leaves and it was wonderful to admire everything without shivering to death. So many of the shops were enchanting, we had to eventually pick and choose which we went into because it was getting so late!

Look at these beautiful bath accessories. It made me wish for a nice hot bath so badly! I have been seeing a lot of white-on-white decor lately. I really enjoy it, very minimal and clean. This packaging is also beautiful.

The best part about Lenox is the shops are so unique, some of them being in historic brick buildings and some being overgrown with plants. I loved walking on the stone streets and enjoying the sights.

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Aren’t these little mouse matchboxes adorable?!

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We also went to one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever been to. It was very old and used to be a courthouse.

Here was one of the main rooms that you walked into from the front. The photo unfortunately does no justice. Everything was beautifully preserved and the rooms were gorgeous. If you’ve ever been inside a library like this, let me know where it was. I love discovering new ones.

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So many of the leaves this year are browns and yellows. I think they aren’t as saturated as usual because of our lack of rain this summer, but I love the golden colors. They covered the sidewalks and and decorated the streets, giving the best picture of a New England town in Autumn.

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This is the outside of the library. It was also huge in the back. How incredible! The brick work and architecture was jaw-dropping. We were speechless the whole time inside.

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This was one shot of the main room inside.

If I had a library to go to like this near me, I would be very happy!

I think there is something magic about libraries (did I mention I got a job in one?). Seeing the shelves and shelves of books is incredibly comforting. The world is getting a little crazy and a little scary. But going to a sanctuary like this is a beautiful thing, and we are so lucky that they exist. It was a lovely, lovely place.

 

Have you ever been to Lenox? Let me know your thoughts/suggestions!

-Heather

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“I see the turning of a leaf dancing in an Autumn sun” |Newport Trip|

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I think one of my favorite things about Newport is the homes. And while The Breakers is a huge mansion unattainable by most standards, the craziest part about it is that at one time, it was simply someone’s home.

The other houses in Newport are fascinating too. They are all unique, boasting something different. They have differing windows and arches. The colors of them on the day I shot these were wonderful. My favorite colors are browns and grays, and all of this looked perfect with the overcast sky. I was swearing a big scarf to keep me warm and it certainly felt like October. Rhode Island in the fall is magical.

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The sea was beautiful too.

My new camera was able to pick up so much detail, and I am so so happy that I decided to bring it on our trip.

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The comparison of The Breakers (grandiose, stone, castle-like) and the other small houses around it are startling. But the tiny cottages sprinkled around the coast are just as charming with their stone chimneys and little gardens. I had just as much fun taking pictures on the street as I did near the mansions.

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Going back to Newport reminded me of when I was much younger. I haven’t been back in many years, and when I had gone back, we didn’t get to see all of this. I remember when my father lived down there and we would go into downtown at night before Starbucks closed. We strolled through the galleries again to see the new artists that have emerged.

I gained a lot of inspiration from this trip. Not only did the pictures come out good, but I had an idea for a story. As you may know, National Novel Writing Month is in November and I am participating! I was lingering around the story I wanted to write because I couldn’t decide on a location. I think I’ve made my decision now.

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I truly had a wonderful trip walking by the sea and bundling up against the wind. There is something wonderful about October, especially in this place. Old meets the new and people of all types can be found enjoying it together.

Have you ever been to Newport? Let me know your favorite places to go. We love Ma’s Donuts, we go every single time we’re in town. We also ate at Benjamin’s in Downtown and I had the best Haddock of my life. I’ll be remembering this trip for a long time.

You can see what I’m up to on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest, if you’d like!

-Heather