Yesterday afternoon Beverly Eichenlaub sent me a message:
“Fresh Item: Cufflinks! Come on over and choose your pair!”
She’s heading off to represent her jewelry, Essex Glass, at a Father’s Day show in Rhinebeck later today, so I zipped right over this afternoon to see what she’d built. Bev and her husband Bryan Burke are the architects behind Premises Architecture + Design, but like so many of us living in Essex, she prefers to wear a couple of hats. She’s an inspired (and inspiring) artist. “July”, a patriotic three dimensional collage created by Bev adorns the wall next to my desk, and my bride wears her beautiful earrings all the time. In fact, they’ve become one of her favorite gifts for family and friends!
So it came as no surprise that her glass cufflinks were handsome works of art. She even designed a beautiful pair (the ones on the left in the photo above) to match a pair of earrings that she’d made for my bride. Can you imagine us showing up at The Depot Theatre with matching accessories? Snazzy! And better yet? She gave them to me as a gift. Today is Thursday, June 16, and no, it’s not my birthday. Or Christmas. It’s just another day in Essex… See why I love it here? Thanks, Bev. I love the cufflinks you gave me, and I’m excited to give the two pairs I bought as gifts. I know they’ll be well received. Good luck in Rhinebeck.
On my back to Rosslyn, I dropped into Essex Provisions for a mid-afternoon snack. They have the world’s best (bar none) oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and they’re always warm and gooey. Perfect pick-me-up for a few more hours at the keyboard! My bride is unable to eat chocolate (Aaahhh, the injustice!) so I picked up a fresh berry muffin for her. That was the plan, just a quick snack times two. But when I arrived at the cash register, two exquisite quiches were smiling up at me. Both vegetarian, fresh and delicious smelling. A quick call to my bride: “Susan, Essex Provisions has just baked an exquisite tomato basil quiche and a shrimp and herb quiche. Would you like one?”
“Sure, one for now and one for later.”
“But they’re huge!”
“We can freeze one…”
Gluttony. Essex Provisions has tapped into our visceral appetites since opening less than a month ago. The food is delicious. The shop is spotless and charming with an outstanding view of Lake Champlain (out over the marinas). And the two ladies who run it are gracious and friendly. Win, win, win.
I convinced my bride that the shrimp quiche would be plenty for now. Dinner tonight. Perhaps lunch tomorrow. And then we could swing in for a fresh quiche this weekend or next weekend.
Feeling totally spoiled by this point, I headed back to Rosslyn where I bumped into Tom Duca. Tom was one of our first friends when we arrived in Essex. He’s the unofficial Essex cruise director and an all around good guy. His laughter and hugs are intricately woven into the Essex experience. Not just my Essex experience, but everybody’s Essex experience. I’m not kidding! Ask around…
In addition to town ambassador and hugger, Tom’s a gifted and hardworking carpenter. He spent the last two days building and installing a hook/hanging station outside our sports closet. I’ll share a photo soon. But the amazing thing about Tom is that each time he’s worked for us, he’s divined additional projects that need doing. And then he does them. Just like that. Sometimes before we’ve even realized something needs fixing! In the photo above, he’s painting a gate that needed touching up. Earlier he’s discovered that another gate wasn’t closing properly because the stone wall into which one side was mounted had shifted during the winter. He brought a jack and fixed the gatepost for the second year in a row without even being asked. And then touched the gate and gateposts up with paint. This morning I spied him touching up another gate, one of a pair of unique gates that he built and designed about a year ago. You can look forward to a full post with photos and drawings in the not-too-distant future. Tom solves all of these problems quickly, efficiently and perfectly. All without making a fuss. Trust me, this is extremely exceptional behavior for a contractor! And we feel incredibly fortunate for his work and his friendship.
What an afternoon! And these are just the three most recent perks of life in Essex…