Dear Forgiving Readers,

Pardon me my extended absence from this storytelling endeavor. I wish I had exciting news to explain my long absence from this blog. News like I finally unloaded, I mean, SOLD that drafty garden shed with running water and electricity, I mean, CHARMING COTTAGE where we live. Alas, I have not sold any real estate and, further, I do not have any legitimate excuse for not writing. Forgive me. Please. 

At last writing in January 2015 I was making a contingent offer on a lovely farmhouse in a charming New England village. As far as I was concerned, it was THE ONE. Through my beloved real estate agent, I made an offer. There was a counteroffer. I countered the counter. They rejected my counteroffer to their counteroffer. Confused? Well, the deal was no deal. At the sage advice of darling daughter, I walked away rather than cave in like a sandcastle at high tide. For one so young, she gives astute and outstanding advice. 

In hindsight, it was the right move. That offspring of mine is brilliant, if I do say so. As fate would have it, our real estate situation worsened (“I can’t even talk about it!”). I have had to make additional downward price reductions which would have precluded closing the proposed contingent offer. I think my daughter might possibly be omniscient. 

In any case, I spent the winter in Massachusetts during the record-breaking snow-fest. Having survived over eight feet of snow and the worst winter on record, I am convinced I am capable of moving back to New England. Eh, it is just snow. 

Like so many others, we were continually digging out and had problems with too much damn snow on the roof, damn ice dams, and where to put all the damn snow. But we are survivors in New England! 

Truthfully, I was more a hibernator-survivor. I managed quite nicely and give my thanks to the man who snow blows the driveway, the super-duper energy-efficient furnace, the boob tube, the Keurig, boxes of frozen blueberry waffles, and Etsy! 

Do you know about Etsy? I didn’t until one fateful day in January. It started innocently enough. Somewhere or other I saw a coffee mug with a sassy quote advertised as being available on Etsy. Intrigued, I tracked it down on the Etsy website. One coffee mug led to another. And another. And another. 

Suddenly I found I had created an Etsy user account, downloaded the Etsy app to my phone, and started a favorite file entitled “Mug Shots”.  Then, like the blossoming of an enormous flower with millions of petals, I browsed endlessly through listings for all kinds of unique handcrafted and/or vintage items. I was entranced. It was snowing out. I had the luxury of browsing from the comfort of the sofa, under a warm blanket, with a cup of cocoa. Endless snow meant endless browsing. 

I am a world class shopper. Seriously. If you need proof, take a look at my favorite items on Etsy. Look for Merryweather Smith. As of today, I have sixty-two followers. And I am not even selling anything! I just pick things out. It is hysterical. Check it out. Just be careful. It can be addicting…

Yours, Merryweather