Be it resolved that: I will not be discouraged when the weather interferes with planned outdoor activities at Topsmead. Example: the first ever First Day Hike at Topsmead was planned for the first morning of the first day of 2020. I had invited a friend with the ulterior motive that for sure, she would be totally up for joining the Friends of Topsmead State Forest. Well, the iceman cameth, and while the sun glittering on ice-sheathed tree limbs and tree boughs was otherworldly, the DEEP felt (and legitimately so) that falling ice was a hazard and closed the park for the event.
Be not discouraged.... Save the Date—Saturday, February 15! All of that planned, free hot chocolate will surely be put to good use at this first event of the FTSF 2020 monthly “Lectures on the Lawn” series. It will be a one-hour presentation about bald eagles of Northwestern Connecticut by Ginny Apple. Meet in the “garage”/shed next to Chase House at 1:30pm and be sure to dress for whatever the weather may bring (which we hope will not interfere!).
Be it resolved that: Before the end of January, I will re-schedule my Topsmead walk with my friend and encourage her to become a Friend of Topsmead. You, too, can resolve to encourage a friend to become a new Friend of Topsmead and enter into the very special world of this property that Edith Chase so generously designated for others to enjoy. And you still have until the end of January to renew your own membership (if you haven’t already).
Be it resolved that: I will volunteer to help with at least one Friends project this year. There are so many great ones in the works for 2020, from improving handicap access to adding more directional signage to finishing the shed welcome center to participating in a springtime grounds work-day, just to mention a few. There is something for every interest and ability. Watch for them on the website or just email Friends of Topsmead (email@example.com) for more information!
Be it resolved that: In this New Year, I will expand my knowledge of Edith Chase herself and her world beyond Topsmead with a visit to Rose Hill and its Waterbury neighborhood. I already feel a kinship with Edith because of our common love of poodles. I am welcoming a retired show poodle into my household and am eager to introduce her to walkabouts in the meadows of Topsmead. As we romp across the landscape, I know that the spirits of my three former poodles and the spirits of Edith’s poodles will be joyously romping along with us.
Finally, be it resolved that: We will all romp joyously into the New Year!
“Tis the Season of Gift-Giving!
As a new member of the Friends of Topsmead, I am honored that President Carol Gould has asked me to take over the writing of her “News” page on the FTSF website. I will be weaving in my reflections and experiences of Topsmead along with Carol’s news items. So here we go...
One morning after Thanksgiving weekend, as I was burning off the first set of holiday calories by walking up the lane at Topsmead towards Edith Chase’s cottage, I was struck by the peaceful repose of the landscape. The songbirds of summer had flown south; the leaves of fall were composting; the gardens had been put to sleep; the cottage had withdrawn into its boarded, curtained winter dreams. The repose reminded me that I have always been sad for gardens in Santa Barbara, CA where one of my sisters lives, because they have to grow and bloom all year round without the reflective, rejuvenating respite of winter.
As I continued walking out into the fields past the cottage, my thoughts turned to holiday gift-giving. After all, “tis the season” is fast approaching. But the consumerism afoot in the world, especially after the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, got me thinking about a gift of sharing something special versus a gift of more stuff.
Renewing or gifting a FTSF membership is so easy. Just go to the following link to pay online or by mail. https://www.friendsoftopsmead.org/become-a-member.html Why not do it before the snow flies and check off a few folks on your holiday gift list? Membership benefits include:
And hey, why not give a gift to Topsmead itself? Here are two ways. It’s so easy!
Here’s to a “tis the season” of rejuvenating gift-giving and reflection!
FTSF New NewsBlogMistress