Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving week

It's late fall and the season is winding down, which gives Chris and me the opportunity to do some maintenance and home improvements. The first two weeks in November saw the complete renovation of the bathroom in Oak Knoll, as well as installation of central air conditioning in each of the guest rooms -- yeah! We finished the former just in time to welcome guests in Oak Knoll this past weekend. Whew!

Around the village, most of the leaves have blown off the trees. Here in the garden, only the hornbeams are still hanging onto their fading summer foliage. Walking through the Southampton Village this morning, we saw the village crews putting up the annual display of Christmas trees that line Main Street and Job's Lane. Additionally, this year, a number of the deciduous trees have been strung with tiny twinkling white lights, magical at night. With or without snow, Southampton will be a winter wonderland this season. And there are so many events planned for it, beginning next weekend! See a sample of what to do here.

Thursday of course is Thanksgiving, and this year Chris and I will be enjoying traditional turkey fare at Seasons of Southampton, the pretty catering facility literally steps away from A Butler's Manor. (We'll join friends for a late Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.) In the meantime, the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season begins the day after Turkey Day with Black Friday. But as residents of a small resort town with no big box stores or malls and owners of a small business ourselves, we are especially excited about Small Business Saturday, a promotion to encourage shopping at local, small businesses. American Express is doing the promotion of this nationwide event, offering a $25 credit to the first 100,000 shoppers who shop a participating (i.e., American Express card accepting) small business. I doubt I'll get out to the shops in time to qualify for the credit, but I'll be there. Our wonderful small shops are too precious to lose to the chains and the malls and the Internet, and need our support.

So as guests enjoy the fireplace instead of the pool, as hot tea rather than iced beckons after a walk on the beach, we settle in and enjoy the calmer quiet of late autumn season in Southampton. Still beautiful and, to many, even more appealing than during the hectic summer days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quote of the Day: I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ragamuffins on Parade

Yesterday was Halloween, and in the village of Southampton, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors an annual "Ragamuffin Parade" of little (and not so little!) children in costume, followed by a Pumpkin Trail of local merchants who hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. In recent years, the event has been joined by a doggie costume parade sponsored by Little Lucy's on Job's Lane, a boutique that features the wardrobe of clothing, costumes, and jewelry your favorite pooch never knew she wanted. Not being parents, Chris and I haven't attended the event before, but our neighbors Lynn and Gary's 14-month-old twin girls were planning on participating, along with their two king Charles Cavallier spaniels, so we had to see them iin action! Little Pearse and the Blenheim (reddish) dog were bumblebees, while Gigi and the King Charles (black and tan) dog were ladybugs. Are they cute, or what?
And...wow! Main Street was swarming with familes, more crowded than on the busiest August weekend. There was barely room on the sidewalk to stand and watch the children collect their treats from participating merchants. After awhile, Chris and I repaired to Silver's and selected a seat in the window where we could watch the action from the warmth of the restaurant while enjoying an an elegant lunch ...something we never have an opportunity to do in August.
The weather is currently picture-perfect Autumn, with clear, bright, chilly days and a breeze to help blow the leaves from the trees. Out in our garden, Chris spends his free time digging up the bulbs that require overwintering (e.g., acidanthus, dahlia), while I am cutting the very last of the dahlias and roses for our rooms, augmenting the arrangements with the brush heads of ornamental grasses. The leaves on the Japanese maple at the back of the pool have turned their autumnal burnished orange, but the gigantic sycamore maple still has most of its leaves, all mostly green...it's always a late-season holdout.
There's still lots to do in the towns...birdwatching walks, weekend entertainment at many of the vineyards on both the South and North Forks, plus Long Island Restaurant Week, which starts this Sunday (three courses, $24.95!!). This Friday, the Parrish Museum's Business Council will host its annual Friday night jazz event, which we hope to attend, pending arrival time of our check-ins.
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The fire is crackling in the fireplace, and the pumpkins adorn the front porch. Come enjoy it with us at A Butler's Manor!
Quote of the Day: For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ---Edwin Way Teale