Friday, 21 May 2010

Dear Lise,

Sunny, warm, temps 24

Dear My Assistant Lise,

As I write, Michael and I are sitting in the screen porch sipping ice tea and looking across the pool, past the perennial garden and the parkland to the pond beyond. The water at the pond is calm, like glass.


Wayne and Shirley came yesterday and cut the grass...and while Wayne finished off Shirley and their new puppy Twinkle (from Animatch) joined Trudy and me on the porch for a lemonade.

Right now we can hear only birds in the background, the hum of hundreds of bumble bees in the sage and honeysuckle and lilac, and the lapping of the water in the pool. Just heard the Oh Canada bird. I looked it up last summer, trying to find the real name. Michael finally found it by consulting an audio guide to North American birds. I was upstairs working and confused by what sounded like a sudden menagerie in the kitchen. It was Michael, going through the birds on tape, one by one. He finally found the Oh Canada Bird, but now, of course, we've forgotten it's real name again.

From here I can see the crab apple by the pool in full and spectacular bloom, as you pointed out yesterday.

Did you see the Canadien's game last night? 5 to 1!!! For us. Very exciting...but we didn't exhale until the final buzzer...Philly is just that good, and determined. Next game tomorrow at 3pm.

Doug and the kids (four of them) and Buttercup Penny - you'll be happy to hear - are arriving tonight, as is Michael's youngest son, Vic. We did a big shop. Planning burgers on the BBQ tomorrow night after the game, and steak sunday night. Might take the kids in to Knowlton Sunday for crepes - they love real Quebec crepes - and some shopping. The girls are 14 and love shopping. The boys are 12 and don't - but young enough to bribe, I figure. Give Doug and Vic and Michael some quiet time.

It was so great to see you and Donna yesterday....and all the time and effort you've put into the garden is so worth it. They've never been lovelier. The just purr with pleasure when the two of you are working on them. And next week the annuals go in!! Always a sign of summer.

More lilac in vases - kitchen fairly reeks of lilac - and putting small vases in each bedroom.

Thank you, My Assistant Lise, for this glorious garden. And for giving Michael and me Paradise.




Marjorie said...

Buttercup returns? Good luck!

--Marjorie from CT

Jodi Kaplan said...

Google (which features pac man today!) says the Oh Canada bird is a white-throated sparrow.

Marjorie said...

Oh, and Lise, thanks for all you do to keep Louise running on all cylinders.

--Marjorie from CT

whalewatcher said...

Louise what a lovely way to say thank you to Lise.
A good friendship is more important than many things in life and you have just put another solid brick into that relationship.
Sounds like a wonderful garden....makes me want to get out and work in mine. 4 more days of school this year and then I can!
Have a wonderful family weekend!

Reen said...

To Lise. :)

Diane said...

What a beautiful letter to Lise. How valued she must feel. Life can be oh so sweet sometimes.

Cece said...

Lise does us all a service by enabling the world of Three Pines.

People who blend friendship with talent and help are like gold. Without Jimmy, Fritz and Jamie, our house would fall around our ears (and I would not have my wonderful new pergola), our gardens would strangle themselves, and the dust would overcome us. All three do what they love, and yes, we pay them-but we also feel blessed by their company and the time we spend just chatting.
So cheers to Lise and all her ilk. May we all fill a like role in someone's life-helper, friend, employee, whatever-just being a valued part.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hello all,

Yes, Buttercup - aka BC, aka Brain cell (because she seems to have only one), aka The Hound from Hell - is baaaack. She's actually hilarious - not a mean bone in her body (though her body does contain socks and plastic bags and anything we leave on the counters) - she simply has a surfeit of joy and a tail like a baseball bat.

Thank you for reaching out to the remarkable Lise as well. She is a treasure in our lives - and you're quite right, she makes it possible for us to tour and for me to concentrate just on writing. And she does it with great patience and humour.