A Retrospective on Fashion, Family, Food…Life

All the balloons have waned onto the confetti trampled floor, the popped corks littered here and there, our recycling bin heavy with empties, and we are left with nothing but to select the stand-out Nine Cent Girl posts of the decade. Not an easy task where there are over 400 individual posts to look back on. Of course every reader will have their own favorites, but I thought I would share mine, using my tag line, Fashion, Family, Food…Life as a guide.

Let’s start with Fashion and a most creative photo shoot. A day spent romping about with my favorite camera gal in tow, @artcitycreative, letting loose as she clicked. Coincidentally, the post celebrated my 100th post: Love.

Awww May, always a welcome time after a long Vermont winter and I was ready to play. There are never enough flowers or color this far north in early spring, so I made a trip to Michael’s and left with several bags of cloth blooms to brighten every look I planned. That shoot centered around Prabal Gurung’s 2013 “Love” collection from Target. Remember the hoopla over that!?! Every piece made by the Nepalese-American fashion designer was inspiring, and worth our two hour drive (which involved a ferry ride to New York because at the time, Vermont still didn’t have a Target!) to buy what I could.

In nature every moment is new; the past is always swallowed and forgotten; the coming is sacred. Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit…Life is a series of surprises…” (Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”).

Rising out of the old, into this new day, one in which we perhaps have less control than we wish, I invite you all to join me for the next 100 posts as I continue to question, stumble and stand. As Prabal Gurung’s collection suggests, Love is undeniably worth all the energy we can devote; perhaps love is the only constant we can offer each other…  

Oh I so loved playing that day with all those bright and love-filled accessories! To me, the best fashion is what makes you feel the most alive, the most daring, and the most yourself. I hit that mark on that day.

Moving on, but how to pick a favorite from the Family category? This is a tough one for there have been over four dozen posts dedicated to my family over the decade of blogging. Of course memory does direct much of my writing, and family takes me far far back. As part of a three part post series I wrote in 2014 I tried to capture a favorite room in my childhood home, The Den. There was a fireplace, my father’s desk, and the ability to play loud music, all within this very multi-purpose room. At times it was absolutely dark except for the reading lamp shinning over his shoulder, and other times it was the very hub of a large gathering. My favorite time was when the room became the very center of a family dance.

 

Dance night. Once that new stereo got hooked up, 60’s rock entered the den. The front of the fireplace transformed into our stage. The reading dancinglamp twisted to shine upwards on our lip-synching. Fire pokers and longish twigs meant for kindling converted into microphones. Bursts of energy of movement of sound. Us riding the crest of pandemonium. Dogs too, jumping along like they couldn’t get enough of what we felt.

Images pop into my head even now, forty plus years afterwards. We snaked through early life with no one looking too far ahead. Nothing rocked us out of the moment. We were cemented into that time and place. Body and soul. We were a force.

I have danced in every living room in every home I’ve had ever since, and have taught my children to do the same. When life cracks me into bits, dancing helps to pull me straight back into a joyous sensation, right back into my younger self when all I believed possible called loudly. It is easy to still hear that when I am lost in those memories.

Picking a Food favorite is an easy choice, and a timely one, as December approaches. This post, The Joy of Cooking…Cookies, is one of my earliest, but hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t stop by my site to have a read. Perhaps the title helps, but regardless, making holiday cookies is a tradition that we loved right from the start, and is one that will endure past the trials of 2020. If you have a hankering for ginger snaps, shortbread, macaroons, or to roll out sugar cookies, you will find the recipes in that post. Perhaps more than ever, we should all work out a safe and friendly exchange to share some treats this season. Hanging a bag filled with these tasty cookies on a friend’s door might be the light they need to survive these dark days.

Which brings me to the largest category of all on Nine Cent Girl: Life. 244 posts to be exact. Apparently, I have much to say about this living we all are swirling within. There are numerous travel posts, along with my nine cents of advice on politics and gift-giving and art and exercise and losing my way and finding it again, and of course hope. If you indulge me, I’ll direct you back to last January, as we crossed into this year which will live on in infamy for the next 100, to a post that reflected on the whole decade: A Decade Worth Remembering. In the post I celebrated friends, those who live close or those scattered about this globe, all who I hold dear, but I also reminisced on adventures that I had the good fortune to take, from Italy to the Grand Canyon. The post always mentioned the losses of the decade as well.

This last decade did bring the birth of some quite marvelous and zany little people but it brought death too. All our mothers are gone. God-mothers and birth mothers and even special aunts. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss them. They were bigger and brighter and wore everything better than we will ever, and their legacy courses through our days and nights; our happy moments sitting in the Metropolitan Opera or dipping toes into the Long Island Sound bring back their laughter. They remind me to tell the very best versions of life. To ask for more. To accept what comes instead. Their’s were not the only deaths this decade. I would be remiss if I did not mention the horrific gun violence, made worse on the daily. The rise of school shootings, as well as violence propagated by anti-semitism and anti-queer, as well as every form of racism, has filled our headlines. This painful reality is our America now, with no clear vision to curb the epidemic. We have lost our way. Perhaps it was inevitable in a country driven by lobbyists and the 1%, but I do hope that protecting children will become more of a priority than stockpiling military-style weapons. Imagine that world? That would be miraculous.

Looking back and ahead, there is really only one thing that I know for sure, which is all the wonderful beings that pop in and out of my life, at odd moments or the most critical ones, and who love and understand me, are at my very core, driving my purpose, connected in ways that unfold as they do, with crazy. Love is binding.

bold pink lipstick and wig on model

Keep the joy alive, and nurture your playful spirit. We will close out this long year with sorrow for all we have lost, but perhaps with gratitude for what we still have within. I know I have much to be thankful for, including all of you, dear Nine Cent Girl readers. Do let me know which posts are your favorites…

I’d love to hear from you all, xoxo

 

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