You are women, hear “MAR” roar

Working from my home offices allows me great flexibility to tend to my business, gardens and of course my miniature schnauzer Violet as well. From my office each window frames views that make me feel like there are paintings placed there for my enjoyment. The beauty of my arborvitaes are matched by how perfectly they are lined to create privacy and a lush dense hedge. Beauty beyond the imagination- not just the setting but the neighborhood as well. A wonderful place to renew the soul and get inspired and work. But sometimes I’m so close to it that it’s possible to be distracted from what is around me. My expectations are absurdly high for my home and gardens, and in my focus on that sometimes I lose track of how special it is. It takes the kindness of a personalized note to remind me just how wonderful and special it is.

Today, after hours of busy work and finalizing my Better TV fall line-up I walked over to my mailbox with Violet by my side to discover, in the midst of flyers, bills, and junk mail, a personalized hand-written note. Claire heard me speak last fall at the Darien Country Club, and had such fun (she even underlined “fun”) that she later took her 23-year-old to hear me at the Hill-Stead May Market. She referred to me as “Marvelous!!!” and had been meaning to tell me this for a while. For those of you who know me, I often refer to things as MARvelous, but when someone refers to me as “MARvelous” well, that basically brings tears to my eyes. It makes me proud, validates that I’m on track doing something I’m passionate about, and also appreciated for. Getting this note from this kind and generous woman made me reflect today on all of the women whose words and actions have influenced me. So sorry, men, this blog is about the women in my life and how since I was a child they helped groom me to become who I am today.

Of course, there were two special women who really helped sow the seeds. Most boys are never exposed to avenues that really challenge and encourage their creative side. Truth be told, growing up in Connecticut as figure skater one could say that my Father was not in the least pleased with the idea of his son doing a graceful and creative sport. Add to my artistic sport the facts that I tended to my Mother while she recovered from bone cancer when I was 8, and my Grandmother teaching me how to garden throughout my youth, and you have a little boy who loved creating, nurturing and making all things beautiful. This would later prepare me for what ultimately become my career and livelihood.

These two powerful women in my life embraced my talents and encouraged me to follow what was right and natural to me. I remember my Grandmother’s simple words: “Our gardens are parallel to our lives–forever changing and needing our attention. Your soul is your soil, the foundation to embrace and build on your strengths”.

For all the amazing women over the years who have supported me and followed my career, I thank you. I count on people like Claire to remind me to not take any of it for granted. Please know that it’s because of women like you that I’m living my dreams. Your support and comments are forever meaningful and powerful to my life. As I say, “I love my ladies!” and always will, and I’m grateful that Mother Nature doesn’t seem to be the jealous type! As for Old Man Winter? Well, I never did like him much.