Harp in the Garden
by Michele Roger
It’s a beautiful, spring night. I’m out listening to the peepers, young frogs, newly awakened after a long, hard Detroit winter and ready to sing. A small bonfire crackles at the edge of the deck. I hold a glass of Pinot Noir in my hand, and as I look over at my Kiwi partner in crime, I pick up the phone to set the wireless sound system to play.
It’s the first opportunity we’ve had to play music outside, and it’s kind of a big deal. For the outdoor speakers, it’s a maiden spring voyage. I’m a harpist and hence, I often enjoy listening to the work of fellow harpists crazy enough to fall in love, like I did, with an instrument that requires time, talent, and patience to handle an instrument twice my size. The sound system is primed, and the garden is under a blanket of stars.
Perhaps your garden is unpredictable and flourishes with colors and new shoots that are both beautiful and surprising. Then, you and your garden may love some jazz harp. I suggest streaming some tunes by harpist, Carolyn Sykes. While her list of music is vast, her most popular album… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue
Hand Fan Museum
by Emerian Rich
In Healdsburg, California, about an hour and a half northwest from Contra Costa County, is America’s only Hand Fan Museum. Opened by Pam Sher in 2002, the collection started with about one thousand fans, but now is about four thousand.
Pam was a history teacher in Oakland when she became fascinated with fans. As she collected more, she wanted to share them with the public.
Most of the fans on display are from the 1700s of French or Japanese origin. Their oldest fan is from the 1600s. Every fall they invite an American collector to show their fans in their museum for a special event.
The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 4pm, except on rainy days, when they close to protect the fans. Director Liz Keeley is on hand to answer questions and give more information about the fans, and they have a few fan related items you can purchase so you can take… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue.
Benefits of Culinary Herbs
by Suzanne Madron
During the winter months more often than not two things have happened. We’ll have been huddled over a bowl of steaming soup or a steaming cup of tea. When the winter chill gives way to the spring, some things change. Others stay the same, such as our love of herbs, be it in those soups or teas.
Not only do herbs enhance the flavor of our food, but they provide health benefits as well. For example, that calming chamomile tea not only soothes nerves and helps you relax, but it also can be used as a hair rinse, skin toner, (let it cool before applying) and to calm a stomach upset. Fennel is also an excellent stomach soother, but may not be appealing to those who are not fans of the taste of black licorice.
Some other ingredients for herbal teas include mint and lemon balm, which are both mints and both helpful for stomach upset and calming the nerves. Lemon balm can also be used dried in a sleep pillow (a sachet of herbs) with lavender and hops to help you catch… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue
What’s an article you’ve written for SEARCH that you enjoyed? And why did you enjoy it?
I enjoy them all, because I’m the lucky one who gets to write almost all of the humor articles for SEARCH. People may not believe this, but my articles are all based on true stories in my life, and there is no hyperbolic exaggeration for effect. And because they’re true, I have great fun remembering the incidents and getting them down on paper, to share with the readers, rather than just friends on the deck. One of my favorite stories, though, is the one about Santa, Seniors, and the Goat, mostly because it revolves around my favorite time of the year, Christmas, and one of my favorite places on the planet, Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
Make believe. Whether, making up covert ops for my G.I. Joes or creating plays for my two sisters and I to perform for our parents, it was all about make believe.
Do you have a hot tip for us?
I’m an introvert. I’m really not a big fan of listening to conversations I’m not part of or hearing other people’s music pulsing out of their headphones, but I spend so much time on public transit….continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.
Bartram’s House & Garden
by Murdo Morrison
Philadelphia’s role in the history of the United States is well known. In 2016, 41 million people visited the city, and many surely visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the other historical sites and museums located throughout the downtown area.
However, the visitor willing to make a short trip away from the city center will be amply rewarded with the opportunity to see an amazing survival from the 18th century, the Bartram House and Garden.
John Bartram (1699-1777), often described as ‘the father of American botany’, established his house and garden in 1728 after purchasing land bordering the Schuylkill River. In addition to his important role in the early history of botany in North America, Bartram and his friend Benjamin Franklin were among those who founded the American Philosophical Society in 1743… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.