Her outlook on life was always positive. If my kids broke something or something didn’t turn out the way I wanted it too, she’d loudly say, “NEVERMIND, it’ll all work out.” Or, “Nevermind, it’s replaceable.” Her attitude was: move on, no big deal, don’t dwell on it. She was right!
She had a wonderful way of decorating all of her homes, little funny things all over. She always had a small lamp on the kitchen counter with a beautiful simple glass jar full of honey underneath it. First of all, having a low light source in your kitchen is different and provides such warmth. I made sure to have that in my little temporary apartment. And then, having the light above the honey made it absolutely glow. In her den in the large NJ home, she placed a chair and footstool, smack dab in the middle of the room, sideways in front of the fireplace and facing the view of the city. A bold positioning that made perfect sense, but definitely quirky – definitely Harriet!
Dish cloths with clothes hanging scenes, clothespins to close chip bags, stores of tipsy olives for her vodkas, these things completed her kitchen. She drank her vodkas out of Simon Pearce glasses in every house. We liked them so much, we made sure to get some for us for our country house. One burner on her stove would never light the normal way. She’d take a skillet and give it one hard bang and voila, it would light. She loved to put an apron on me and then arrange a dish towel through the waist tie a certain way – her way – which she insisted was best.
And one of the best things she taught me and said over and over again while we were moving back into the city, “Don’t second guess yourself, Mary.” I keep hearing her saying that to me often.
We are in Vermont now, vacationing with my two brothers and their wives. My brother Steve has a beautiful home overlooking Crystal Lake. Harriet loved her big old house in Dorset. We have so many happy memories from there, skiing in the winter and relaxing in the summer.
Love you Harriet and miss you.