Beauty ~ The Gentler Side of Life ~ October, 2020

“Those who seek beauty shall find it.” ~ Bill Cunningham

Good morning, dear ones and welcome to ‘The Gentler Side of Life.’  As I write this, I feel as though God has lovingly smiled upon me this morning.  The window beside me is open, the house is completely silent, and the only sounds I hear are the sweet birds singing to me from our dear garden.  The huge sugar maple in the yard behind us is dressed in gold.  In our garden there remains a few honeysuckle blooms on the arbor, the hydrangeas are their deep rusty pink, and many of the peonies are ready for their long winter nap. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such beauty and I do hope you have a lovely view from a window in your home.   

Years ago, I was reading one of Alexandra Stoddard’s books, and she said, “From every window of our homes, we should see something of beauty.”  I believe she was trying to teach us to open our eyes and see the beauty which surrounds us.  Her words have never left me.  There is always gorgeousness, in some form, right in front of us.  Something just waiting to charm us, we just have to look and find eyes that see.

” Because beauty matters.” ~ unknown

Yes, beauty does matter.  It is most important to the human heart and soul.  There is so much written about the subject from wonderful minds, how could we possibly doubt its significance in our daily lives?  Beauty softens our lives and our hearts.  And, if only for a few moments, seeing such clears our heads and allows us to actually appreciate what we see.  It puts us in a stress-free zone.  Beauty holds great power and it can be life-changing.

“It is what I was born for ~ to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world” ~ Mary Oliver

As you know, I enjoy the writings of Mary Oliver.  And the above quote is an example.  I believe Ms. Oliver and I are kindred spirits.  Even as a young girl I could be moved to tears by the magnificence of a fabulous bloom.  I have always been my happiest in a “softer world.”

This past Sunday morning, when I came downstairs, my husband greeted me with, “You must read Dear Abby.”   He had already read the Sunday paper.  I don’t know if the Dear Abby column appears in your local newspaper, but Mike always enjoys reading it.  Anyway, this past week it was about beauty and a woman who suffered from Alzheimer’s.  The woman’s daughter would take her mother for daily walks.  Sometimes the woman knew her daughter and some days she did not.  But, on their walks, they would always pass a house with beautiful flowers and for a few brief moments, the woman would have complete clarity.  She would remark, how she and her husband would always plant such flowers. When the woman passed away, her daughter wrote a note to the lady who lived in the house with the lovely flowers.  She told her how much joy the beauty she had nurtured and planted had given her mom during her final days.  She not only enjoyed the gorgeous flowers, but they returned her to the beauty of her own life.  Amazing power. 

“Dishes are one of the tools that support life. Please take great care when using them.” ~ Shoukei Matsumoto

There is so much beauty in this world, it is hard to know what to talk about first.  I am most passionate about my love for the beauty of gardens and nature.  And next, I imagine I would have to say it would be lovely and delicate china, especially vintage china.  It never ceases to captivate me and I have many wonderful memories of finding special items over the years.  As well as memories of lovely and special gifts.

One such memory was being with my mom in one of our favorite antique haunts.  Mom had a magnificent eye, she could spot something lovely a hundred yards away.  And such was the day she spotted, under a table, a set of Haviland china (now mine).  

Apple Blossom, Haviland china.

The set included twelve cups and saucers, six dinner and salad plates, and six soup bowls.  Not a piece had a chip or crack.  The serving pieces included a sugar and creamer, and a beautiful covered soup tureen with an underneath platter.  I treasure this set not only because it is beautiful, but especially for the memories of a wonderful day spent with mom.

The Christmas following our adventure mom gifted me with her set of Fostoria, Pink Navarre.  She said, “They will be happy with your Haviland,” and they are.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.”  ~ John Keats


“Antique things have an appreciation and worth. Something can be old, but it can be timeless…” ~ Cee Lo Green

“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.” ~ Rumi



Dear friends, thank you so much for your visit.  I hope you have enjoyed your time in the “no-stress zone.” 

Please know, I wish you a perfectly beautiful day.  And until we meet again…

May your path be lined with loveliness and kind souls.  Stay well!

“Beauty gives us hope” ~ unknown





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18 Comments on "Beauty ~ The Gentler Side of Life ~ October, 2020"

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Wonderful treasures and sweet remembrances of your mother. I also love those amazing landscapes.Thank you for such beauty!


I love the story from Dear Abby – beauty has immense power and speaks such gentle truths about God who created beauty. Your Fostoria glass is just beautiful. What wonderful remembrances of your mother.

Penny Carlson

The china and glasses are beautiful. What a lovely gentle post this morning. Have a wonderful day Sandra.

Pam Richardson

Sandra, I so appreciate the calm in the chaos. I love the story from Dear Abby, so very sweet. Your post brings a smile to my face this morning. We have so much in common…the beauty of flowers, the love of dishes and antiques. Thank you for your uplifting posts, my friend. May your day be filled with beauty!


I love everything in this post, every word, every photo, and I agree with it all. But the line I loved the very most — “They will be happy with your Haviland.” Your mother and mine would, I think, have been great friends and of all you shared here, this story of your antique day will stay with me a long time. I have some of those memories of my mom but she left too young. I’d like to imagine that is my story too.

Brenda @ It\'s A Beautiful Life

There’s so much that’s beautiful in your post today, Sandra. I am drawn to this line and then that line. It’s a post to revisit again and again. Thank you for your lovely words and those you share by others, like our beloved Alexandra Stoddard. And I loved the little story of the daughter taking her mom past the house with the flowers and how the mom “not only enjoyed the gorgeous flowers, but they returned her to the beauty of her own life.” Awww, that’s just precious. xo

Bobbi Duncan
Sandra, I so agree that we can always find beauty. When I was just a small child, there was the most beautiful yellow trumpet tree in a neighbor’s yard and when I’d pass it I’d usually say “thank you, God, for this pretty tree”. I’ve always tried to find beauty and happiness wherever I could, and I believe it has gotten me through some very difficult times in my life. Your Apple Blossom & Pink Navarre are at the top of my short list of things I love. How fortunate you are to have gotten them from your dear mother.… Read more »
Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors

Sandra, I so loved this post! I think we are kindred spirits in our love of pretty china. I so enjoyed reading about the sweet memory you had of you and your mother finding the pretty Havilland china….what a special treasure! Take care, sweet friend, and have a week filled with lots of beauty!

bonnie morgan
Dear Sandra, I scrolled back to check something and lost my comment. Anyway, my mother’s crystal is Meadow Rose by Fostoria which is very close to Navarre in shape and pattern. I love your mother’s pink Navarre. It is very special with the wonderful Haviland china you found together. That is a sweet story. I also love the story from Dear Abby your husband found. Very sweet. It is special to think of our mother’s with beautiful flowers and lovely china and crystal. Beauty is found on each page of your post with lovely images. I love the share of… Read more »