Two weeks ago, I ventured off to my old stomping grounds…sunny California. San Francisco to be more exact. There was the Gift Show to attend and several dear friends to check up on and the need to see what the other Coast is up to. Our first stop was Flora Grubb. This, my dears, is a jaw-dropping experience. We just don’t have places like this in New England! There were palm trees galore and succulents and vibrant pink-air plants and odd bits of sharp leaves growing on moss and chairs on a barn-board wall. My heart could barely take it all in…there was no question that, after Flora Grubb, I would need a salted carmel ice cream cone from Bi-Rite. I mean, really, what better way to revive oneself than with a hit of salt and sweet!
Whenever I return to California, I wonder about life on the Snow (or lack thereof) Coast, and then I remember my little store and all those dear friends and my own little corner house that could sure use a copper rock or two. That is when I know more visits are in order out West. I do love this four-season world of New England…we could just use a bit more whimsey and an air plant or two!
My old friend Janette has a fine life, a lovely get-away at Stinson Beach, a superbly elegant flat in the city, which she shares with two dogs and a dear husband. Janette and I go back more years than I care to recall. We have shared divorces, births, deaths, wine, a wee business adventure, and endless pots of tea. She is English, which naturally makes her a dog lover and an exceptional gardner. I know, I know…not all English folks garden nor do they own dogs, but bear with me here, she does both quite nicely.
What I must tell you, in between all the waxing on and on about friends and California, is this…the show in San Francisco was terrific! I bought many unusual things for the store, including a remarkable Teak Spirit House from the late 20th century…which will reside in the store for years to come. Arriving soon will be a few antique items from an importer I rarely get to visit. Watch for the antique carved carp that may have held up the roof of a business in China many years ago. Oh! I had such fun!