T A S H A T U D O R
I am going to write a post in the style of Tasha Tudor. I have admired this woman who is extremely artistic, creative and independent, a “kindred spirit”. She set out to create an environment in her home and outdoors that replicates life in times past. She created a life of hard work and self sufficiency, yes, but one that included beauty in everything she did. I would love to do a similar thing with my own life.
“We view the world not as it is, but as we are.” Yes, if we follow the media, we know there are really bad things going on here at home as well as overseas. Some people would choose to make this the focus of their lives and keep up with all the horrors taking place. I have done this myself but then ask myself, “why”? Why not build the world I would love to live in? Even if it extends only as far as what I own? In my home and outer environment, why not create what truly feels safe and beautiful. Do I have to place myself in the chaos and fear driven world outside my environment? Does it exist within my perimeters? No, it doesn’t so why bring it here in my mind?
I’m sure in the times of Tasha Tudor, famous author and illustrator of children’s books, there were plenty of things going on in the news that were hard and depressing but she chose to build a wall around the outside world and focus on the things she created within her own territory, starting with a home her son built for her in an exact replica of a home she admired in Vermont. He built this using “old world” tools and skills while reciting a book from memory as he worked! (It sounds like her offspring were as unique as their mother, choosing a life of style, grace and creativity. Below are views of Tasha Tudor’s world.
I see the inner beauty radiating from Tasha Tudor’s eyes and in her gentle mannerisms. She has a strength as well, though, and I see nothing wishy-washy or lukewarm in her determination to go out and build this life, against strong detrimental forces. For example, when she first moved to her home in Vermont, she carried (then planted) over a thousand daffodil bulbs by wheelbarrow up a dirt, muddy road as it was impassable to traverse by vehicle that time of the year.
She was also usually found barefoot, weather permitting, as she liked to feel the ground beneath her bare feet, something I prefer doing myself.
This has been a very short intro into the life and ways of Tasha Tudor, someone I admire and would like to model my own life and lifestyle around. She has done what I long to do.
Fifteen years ago, I married a man whom I felt had a similar lifestyle in mind that he wanted to live as I did. He is very close to nature and marches to his own drum. He likes the “homespun lifestyle” and surrounds himself with things to be able to live as much off the land as possible. For most of these years together, we have actually lived off the grid and heated and cooked over a wood stove.
“The Fire Builder”
I, too, have learned the art of building a fire. I know the steps in starting a fire and then the various sizes of wood needed to keep it burning all night long; using a super hot fire for cooking or a low simmering fire to warm a room over a long period of time. The secret lies in the graduated sizes of wood used, from kindling to great logs.
I am drawn to a small home. I no longer have the need for a large, sprawling home with cathedral ceilings (very hard to maintain the correct temperatures for summer/winter comfort.) I like a cozy home that is suited to my current needs. I am also attracted to a more rustic, simple cottage look and have this exact building situated on a lot we purchased a few years ago. The little cottage was built in the 1800’s, or so the story goes, and certainly looks like it was built long ago with the stone floor and one-room architecture. My husband has already re-roofed it in used, corrugated tin we located; keeping with the old look. You can no longer see daylight through the rafters above and it has proven to be water and air tight. This is a major first step in its preservation.
My dream is to renovate this sweet little cottage into a “Writer’s Studio” where I can have things set up to retreat to for peace and quiet in my writing time. Notice the beautiful rock-work they put into the chimney. The rock-work wall next to the cottage must have been used as a cooking area, I don’t think they had Bar B Q’s back then so I am thinking there was possibly a fire pit or something similar for group food preparation.
My hope is to add unique, custom doors and windows to this place, as well as the home we also live in, situated on this same property. I love the bike-horn on the red door to be used as a door bell!
An Old-English Garden
I already have a vision of what I want the landscaping surrounding this little cottage to look like. I want to create a garden of flowers, trellises bearing flowering vines such as Morning Glories and Grapes as well as an herb garden with the lusty scents of Rosemary and other herbs. I shall also have little pathways that lead to quiet places to sit and contemplate and just relax and dream.
“If you can dream it, you can manifest it.”
“….and but for the sky, there are no fences facing.” ~ Bob Dylan