I go for the shabby chic look, I’m embarrassed to say. I can’t help it — maybe that’s why I stick to white, otherwise EVERYTHING would be chintz.
But I was in a house the other day (I look at tons of multimillion-dollar houses because of my work), and, as I wandered from room to room in the semi dark (I told the realtor that he did not have to turn on the lights because I knew that’s a pain), I’d sit and make notes. When I finally got to the library, which was sparsely furnished, I sank into the leather couch. So soft and supple and it smelled wonderful. Not sure how to describe the color, a greenish brown, I guess (it was dark), but it made me smile.
I’m not a huge fan of leather furniture (although who can resist Ralph Lauren?), but when leather is soft like that and cared for, it reminds me of the days when Dad was determined to make horsewomen out of my sister and me.
You know those Irish. They have a thing about horses. Dad was a horse vet. Uncle John was a horse-vet-turned-trainer, and PopPop was the equine veterinary surgeon at University of Pennsylvania — something there is actually named after him.
Anyway. I was probably 7 or 8, Cindy,a year younger, and we had been going to riding lessons all summer. Great fun, because, after riding, we were able to spend time with other kids at the instructor’s barn — and summers on our farm were quiet and uneventful.
Well, at summer’s end, Cindy and I were to compete in our first show, the walk-trot class. I was on Snapshot, a little Welsh pony. and Cindy was on a Shetland, Sir Charles.
We were all decked out, new jodhpurs, rat-catcher shirts, jackets, borrowed boots, and off we went around the ring. Me, a bit stiff — too dam intense. Cindy, a natural, and easy-going as always.
Uncle John and Uncle Jere showed up for the occasion — can’t figure out how that happened, because those two were late for just about everything.
I can still remember posting and getting on the right diagonal…Cindy won the blue; I won the red ribbon. What a day! Cindy, the horse whisperer, continued riding. Dad and Mom bought her a little black Shetland pony, Mr. Onederfil (Cindy’s spelling). I went back to reading my Nancy Drew’s, more my speed.
Somehow, I have a photo of that day. And I also still have my velvet helmet, and Gerie Langdon, god bless her, gave me a riding crop she had around. Those few items, along with a third of my Dad’s antique horse paintings, and I guess that makes me some kind of horsewoman, too — maybe the leather armchair type? Hmmm, and I’m still posting!