Nothing in Life is Permanent, What Will You Take Time to Notice Today?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Life is fleeting.  It isn't constant and it isn't stable, it isn't permanent.  It isn't guaranteed and it comes with no promises.  The same can be said about the people in our lives.  Now, more than ever, we live in a world so changing, so unpredictable, so full of questions.  We motor through the day, the weeks, the months and even the years, often without giving a second thought to much beyond just getting from point A to point B, focused only on the moment at hand and possibly the next moments ahead of us.  Breathing, focusing, savoring, appreciating are sometimes unthinkable, almost impossible, in the chaotic world we're trying to navigate.  Then all of a sudden something happens - something happens that makes us stop for a moment and take notice.  Sometimes it's when someone we know dies.  Sometimes it's when a tragedy strikes, sometimes it's something much more trivial when we're reminded that nothing in life is forever.

I try to make it a habit to live in the moment - savoring, thanking, enjoying, noticing - but even on my best days there are moments when the issue of the moment steals my focus.  And then there are days, like today when something snaps me back to attention and I'm reminded.  Today that reminder came in an unexpected and rather trivial form.  We were driving north on Route 9 after some errands when I saw a bulldozer doing some demolition.  Normally that wouldn't even make me look twice, but today that demolition was different.  That demolition (which was pretty much complete) was of the barn in the photo above.  That barn is located just north of Guptill's, before Boght Corners.  It's probably been there for 100 years.  Growing up in Cohoes, I've probably been past it dozens and dozens of times.  Yet it wasn't until this past July that I was moved to stop and photograph it.  And today...that same barn is no longer.
 Like me, you've probably driven past this yourself.  Have you noticed it lately?  I bet that unless you drove by today or are reading this, you might not have even missed it.

So what, you say.  What's the big deal?  Buildings are demolished or collapse all the time.  All true.  Here's another beautiful structure we happened on - a very, very old structure, that is also now gone.
 This is what sits in its place......

And this is just two of many.   Each time we visit Easton, we drive past one of my all-time favorite barns which stands tentatively, but proud.  Still, I know from the condition of its roof, it's only a matter of time before it too will collapse onto itself.  Each visit as we turn the corner, I hold my breath wondering if this time is the time we'll find it gone....a once charming piece of history now just but a memory.

This building sits behind the beautiful barn.  It has already met its fate.

The big deal about this is that the idea I'm referring to doesn't just happen to buildings.  Other things change ..... values, morals, religion, government.  Many would agree the world today isn't what it used to be.  Folks over 70 can be heard saying things like, 'what's the world coming to?'  I mean really....think about it.  I remember when we used to send birthday cards. I remember I'd call my friends on the phone (that was wired to the wall and had a rotary dial) and talk for hours....I also remember getting grounded a lot for that one back in the day.   I remember when we looked up to political officials, priests in our church, teachers and parents.  It isn't just buildings being destroyed or left in ruin.

While we're busy living life the people we love are aging.  So often I hear people say to me, 'I never thought about my loved one dying.'  Sometimes their loved one was in their 90's.  Sometimes their loved one was in their 50's.  Life holds no guarantees.  Whether the people we cherish are 30 or 90, whether they're in perfect health or aging and frail....sometimes life takes our loved ones from us when we aren't expecting them to leave.  Even when we are, the loss is devastating.  As we approach this holiday season of giving and celebrating, consider the topic of this blog.  If there's someone out there who you care about, whether it's a relative you've been too busy to see or talk to, an old friend you've lost touch with, a previous co-worker, or someone from your church or workplace who just means the world to you.........take time to be with them, call them, write to them.  One day perhaps, like the barn in the opening photo, like so many of our loved ones, that person may be gone and there's nothing worse than wishing you'd made that effort to reach out and reconnect.  If you do it today, hopefully you won't be too late.  If you put it off, you just don't know.  Even resting places aren't impervious to ruin.
Quote by Charles Bukowski

Look at What Santa is Cooking Up at Schuyler Pond

Monday, November 27, 2017
One of the things I aim to accomplish in bringing you my annual Christmas series is to showcase a variety of family and individually-owned shops in a variety of locations in the Capital District and beyond that offer quality, unique holiday decor and gifts.  Today's shop meets all of these criteria.  Located in Saratoga Springs, Schuyler Pond at Scallions is full of Santa worthy gifts and just the right holiday baubles to jazz up any decor. I always say, I want to spend one day inside the mind of each of the shopkeepers I feature and Amanda Crames has long been on that list.  From her talent with interior decorating to the art of the curated gift, this gal is brilliant....and she has a heart of gold.  She also employs the nicest people too!  Need a gift for the wee ones on your list?

How 'bout the cook on  your list?

And if you need a little something for that person who loves Christmas.....

See what I mean?  Schuyler Pond confirms what I always knew....great things come in small packages and clever shop owners can fit mountains of great things in tiny stores!  Make the trip to Saratoga Springs soon and check out Schuyler Pond.  While you're there, have a bite to eat at Scallions.  I haven't yet, but I can tell you that the day we were there, whatever was cooking smelled so delicious, my granddaughter left starving!  Schuyler Pond at Scallions is located at the corner of Lake Avenue and Henry Street.  For hours and more information, or to follow them on Facebook:
I've got one more shop to go (unless I come up with more).  I promise I'll have that one up by week's end.  You won't want to miss this one!  Heck - you don't want to miss any of them.  This is #9, so if you're here for the first time, be sure to check out the earlier ones.  Thanks for reading.  See you soon for more Life As I See It.

If You Have a Passion for Primitive, You'll be in Heaven at Crow Cottage in Chatham NY

Saturday, November 25, 2017
So it's Small Business Saturday and if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I'm all about local small businesses.  I like to shine a light on small businesses I find or ones that are recommended to me, and today's business is one that was recommended over and over.   It took me a while to get there, but last year when I did I knew immediately why so many folks sent me.  I'm referring to Crow Cottage, a charming primitive shop in Chatham NY owned by Jody Sauca whose big smile and infectious laugh make visiting Crow Cottage a little like hanging out with your best friends.  I'll confess I'm not a 'primitive' decorator and that's what explains my delay in making my way to Crow Cottage, but I think you'll see from my photos - it doesn't matter.  There's something for everyone here and whether you decorate in the primitive style or not, you'll probably come home with something you couldn't live without.
You won't even get in the door before you find great stuff.  

 As you browse the photos, keep your eye out for painted surfaces and gorgeous stitchery - both the amazing work of artist Terri Littlefield.  That name - and her style - may be familiar because I wrote about her last year.  Her work just keeps getting more and more amazing.  That red truck!

Terri's work again!  Is this not gorgeous?!?!

Terri's owl on the snowshoe....

 I had a little helper for my Chatham visits - my 7 yr. old granddaughter, Elena.  She was using one of my older cameras and helping me shoot.  These next two photos are hers.   She's a fast study!

Now you don't need to be a primitive lover to love Crow Cottage.  But if you've just found heaven!  Crow Cottage is located at 3 Railroad Avenue in Chatham.  While you're down there, don't forget to check out Chatham Flowers (Chatham Flowers & Gifts).
I've had so much fun sharing some of my favorite small businesses with you this holiday season.  I have two more left, so come back soon to Life As I See It.   For more information on Crow Cottage:
on Instagram @thecrowcottage
To read about Terri Littlefield: 

Now go out there and support small businesses today!!
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