Wing Haven

 

Google pics

Most of my adventures are not initiated by me but by Ani. I grow up on them and get surprised that I actually follow them with more passion!

One Sunday afternoon, Ani decided that we would be going for a bird watch trip in a private garden in upscale Charlotte, namely Myers Park. This trip was basically meant for our 3 year old , so that he can have some outdoor time with trees, birds, squirrels and butterflies. Once back home, I dug out the history of this house and its garden and found that it had a fascinating story to tell.Perhaps, I became more interested in the gardener than the garden!

This is about a passionate story of a young couple who got to know each other while in college and the decided to get married in the year 1927.

Elizabeth Barnhill told Eddie Clarkson on their first date in Boston, where he was working and where she was attending the New England Conservatory of Music, how she and her mother had raised white-winged doves.  After five years of courtship in seven states and one foreign country, Eddie and Elizabeth became engaged. Eddie’s father urged, “Don’t let that pretty, little auburn-haired girl get away.” Eddie proposed and drove his Essex auto to Uvalde, Texas in 1925 to give her an engagement ring. 

Excerpts from;  A Bird in the House; The Story Of Wing Haven Gardens

By Mary Norton Kratt

 

 

Edwin purchased a house on a small lot on the Myers Park, Charlotte, before he driving down to Texas to propose Elizabeth. Edwin would add 8 more of adjoining lots in the next 10 years. The 10th lot was purchased in 1956 by Eddie and 11th lot was purchased by Wing Haven foundation in 1990.

Google pics

The garden was conceived by the two lovebirds, who met in Boston in the early 1920s. Edwin Clarkson was a real estate developer from a prominent Charlotte family. Elizabeth Barnhill was a passionate gardener from Uvalde, Texas, who was in Boston to attend the New England Conservatory of Music to become a concert pianist.

Elizabeth’s childhood years in Texas were spent in watching her mother prune roses and scatter larkspur and poppy seeds on the roadsides. She had raised white doves, squirrels, a raccoon and a pig. No matter where her musical career would take her, Elizabeth knew she would always have a garden at home.

In the months before exchanging vows, Elizabeth mailed letter after letter to Edwin, each containing detailed sketches and building instructions for their house. It would be a two-story house with a raised brick terrace off the living room so she could move the piano outside for garden parties. The rooms would have large windows, to draw the outdoors in.

The wedding took place in 1927, and when the Clarksons arrived in Charlotte after honeymooning, Elizabeth insisted on going straight to the home she’d only seen in her mind’s eye. As they pulled up, she was amazed to find the house surrounded by a red clay lot with no greenery except for a few pine saplings and a scrawny willow oak. The house had met her expectations, but she was sad to not to see the garden of her imagination around it.

Google Pics

The very next day, she began digging, tilling, and planting. Hence the garden-work started in 1927. Like the house, Elizabeth designed the garden herself. She laid it out around a cross of intersecting paths that run the entire property, each one ending at a fountain or statue.

But in 1930, when she was bedridden with for a long time as she gazed out of her bedroom window, she became fascinated with the various birds flitting about in the garden. She ,then made the decision to dedicate the garden to them, prompting the addition of birdbaths, feeders and fruit plants, for birds to feed on.

 

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Badass Kangana

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Idea to write something about the gutsy Kangana came when I read another post which said that the recent chat show on her  by Karan Johar was staged by Karan himself or the TV channel for their TRPs and that if Karan was indeed offended on Kangana calling him a ‘Movie Mafia’ and ‘King of Nepotism’, then he would have edited those scenes. The writer went over to say it was all for money and TRP and that Kangana deserved a 4th National award for her drama on Coffee with Karan.

Well, before the above mentioned writer could even blink an eye, Karan, opened his big mouth and said that, Kangana should leave Bollywood if she does not like it and that she has been playing the ‘Victim’ and ‘Women’cards all along her life in Bollywood. Kangana , as usual, gave him a slap across his face by saying that , she was now playing the Badass card and that Bollywood is not a small studio that he has inherited from his father and it belongs to everyone who wants to work here and she slammed up the whole fight by saying , now that he has adopted a daughter by surrogacy, he should be teaching her all the cards.

What I want to say is that if it had been a staged show, the later spat would not have happened. Kangana has come a long way , from rebelling against an over-strict dad , from living in a small city, to the struggling times  in Delhi to the wrong men of Bollywood, who of course she kicked out on time, and the sleazy actors who had a good time with her but chickened out when she wanted her relationship to be public. She has beaten all odds to be here where she is today. With 3 national awards and several back to back box office hits, she has proved that she is a hard working,honest and confident woman what we all should become. Sooner than later. She does not want to work with any of the Khans because she knows now scripts are written around her role and that’s a huge feat for a female actor in Bollywood.

She comes across as emotional, confident,brash at times but otherwise soft spoken girl who will treat you good until you rub her on the wrong side. You are a dead meat then….she will go tooth and nail to kick your butt and will win for sure because she had been nice to you while you were thinking of taking her on a ride.Look at her vocabulary now and you cannot believe that she has really worked hard on it. The way she trashes the mean and selfish people is amazing and the way she has risen in Bollywood without a godfather is unbelievable. People say she used Aditya Pancholi and Adyayan Suman. I hope they are able to help themselves first before helping anyone else.

Kangana Ranaut….way to go girl. Kick ass, badass, slut, witch….whatever they call you, you are a winner all the way!

And Im exasperated ,when I see women not supporting women….anyways.

Here wishing you a 4th one soon.

Things about Summer

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Morning walks, evening walks, no winter clothes, frappes, icecreams , summer dresses, cool breeze ….

Wow, summer is my favorite time of the year…okay spring is the best one actually! Summers back in India are like scorching hot. But I still like them better than the cold of nothern India where I grew up. In Assam where I originally belong to, the summers are wet because the monsoon starts in April already! So the memories of rainy, breezy, and cloudy summers during my collge years are something that I fondly remember!

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Since we have moved to this part of the world, its been different and nice too. The winters are like bad but luckily I have not yet spent any winters here so this year its going to be my first. I dont like them…my husband always asks me what will happen to me if we were to move to mid-west or east of this country sometime!! I’m sure I will learn to enjoy the snowfall sooner than he fears!

cocktail-summer-wallpaper

The onset of summer in California is marked with beautiful cherry blossoms and scores of other pretty flowers in the parks and on the streetsides.You know its summer when sunset is after 8pm and you have plenty of time to do your stuff. The feel of the cool breeze energises me while I take my evening walks now with my son and Ani joinning us on weekends. I can hear the birds chirping away at all times except in the noon when they too take a break and hide under the thick branches of the trees.

strawberry-ice-cream

 

Summers also reminds me of the onset of rains back in home. Back then , it used to be hot in Agra but childhood never feels it and we would eagerly wait for our school vacations during summers.

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I hope my affair with summer will carry on even if we have to move to a colder part of the country! Till then let me enjoy the summers of California which lasts almost throughout 8 months!

Last but not the least, a drive in the summers could let you see a lot more colors than anytime in the year!

Last

Favorite Physical Trait

Red rock

Well this one is tough…I do not want to judge people based on any of their physical traits. That would not be fair….

But when it comes to talk about the most important feature in our body , it has to be the physique. I like to keep fit and in shape. I have been using my size 28 jeans since 2 decades now. Okay I was size 26 then!

I have been walking like 3-4 kms five times a week since last about 15 – 20 years. That has kept my body and health in check. You really cannot do anything about other features that we have as per our genetics. Some people may complain about small eyes or thick lips, some may cry over fuzzy hair or a big nose.What can you do about it really? But physique can be altered as per your wish. You can put on decent weight if you are too skinny or reduce if you are on the heavier side. And then feel good about yourself!

I really detest people who are consistently overweight and feel no qualms about binging and being overweight. They do not realise that apart from being looking unpleasant and unpresentable , they also are in the process of harming their health. In due years, they would have numerous health issues. Fat and overweight people may be merrier or happier than their thinner cousins but are in immense health risk. They also are not able to inspire people to eat healthy. They really do not promote working towards good health.

So here we go….eat healthy, go for a walk and have a body to kill for ! You will inspire people, make some jealous , age slow and most importantly be happy in long run.

Cheers.

***I write this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Someone Who Inspires Me

Be like Sunshine

Be like Sunshine

It has to be Tanmay. My General Manager from the company I worked for 7 years. He is a living proof that good people still exist in this world and that kindness, goodness, excellence and other super qualities can come in one package.

As a trainer whenever I used to train an experienced batch of executives or managers , I came across scores of  people who would swear by Tanmay’s name. Tanmay is a nice, warm person and does nothing which is loud or visible. His actions and his words were both in sync and the best part was that he also had pleasant looks! So while the girls would go ga-ga over his looks, I had the opportunity to work closely with him and realized he had a wonderful personality which was way beyond his good looks.

Tanmay was an inspiration to be good to all and be humble whatever stage or status of life or career you are in. He taught me to be honest at all cost, help people in trouble, inspire people to be good and treat all without any prejudices or pre-existing notions.One good quality in him was that he had all the time in the world for everyone who knocked his door. He never rushed through any conversations or tasks. I feel that’s a rare quality in today’s world.

Last time I spoke to him was on his birthday and he was busy making drinks for his guests. He sounded so happy to have received my call. He earnestly said he follows me with great interest on FB! It made me happy to just listen to what he had to say. I made sure, I told him that he was my ideal. He smiled and said , “Ab rulaoge kya…! ”

I strive to be like him, atleast bring in some qualities that makes Tanmay what he is.

Tanmay undoubtedly is one of the great persons of all times.

Be Good

Be Good

Gratitude – A Blessing

Gratitude

Gratitude

I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

While Im a novice in blogging, Bikram is an old timer, I thank him and all such people who encourage me to do something worthwhile in my day to day life which is zooming away pretty fast!

Why start this Challenge-

  1. Life is Short and we tend to miss small moments. This will help in freezing the beautiful moments of life.
  2. To be Grateful is a good habit, it keeps you grounded and does not let ego enter your head.
  3. Ready made prompts always are blessings as you can start writing without having to break your head on what topic to write each day!

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