Happy Thanksgiving 2018, well, a day early, but I’m actually writing you from beautiful Conway, Massachusetts. Or, as they fondly call it here, western mass.
Where is Conway, MA?
It’s nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire mountains. I only arrived yesterday, a completely uneventful trip, until my car decided that it had to have coolant, NOW when I was about 25 minutes away from son, Cale Israel.
No worries, I found a general store in the town of Whately, MA called “Muffins”. And yes, they had coolant– oh, and I discovered later some pretty amazing muffins. haha.
A kind man put it in my car for me and refused any money. So nice. Cale arrived because it was dark and I never would’ve found his house, nestled in the hills. But, the general store, had so many cool things and we bought a delicious beef stew for our dinner.
Today, we had errands to run and so Cale drove me around to show me part of the area. The largest nearby towns are Amherst and Springfield a little further south. But, the town of Williamsburg is a classic New England town.
Between the towns are lovely farms with hills in the background.
I feel quite at home here, for some reason. In fact, they’ve already put me to work; I don’t mind. In fact, I think that the change of pace will do me some good.
Of course, this couldn’t have been from today, ;] because there is currently a substantial snow cover here. And, just now as Cale and I came back to his home, it was starting to look a lot like Christmas, not Thanksgiving.
Fortunately, it was only snowing very lightly while Cale and I were driving around and just as we walked in, the sky fell!
Earlier, this morning, I snapped some picks of the view outside the home he has been renting with his girlfriend, Mary Joy. If you recall, Cale was living in Boston for ten years but has yearned to be living out in the country. They still commute to Boston to teach and play gigs once a week. And, they are teaching locally, as well.
Pretty gorgeous, huh?
The owners of this home only use it for a month or two in the summer and so Cale and Mary Joy have it until July, I believe. It is a 3-bedroom, two-story home. Sorry, no pics yet of the exterior or interior. The house is in terrific condition, but alas, it’s decor is quite dated, and too funny, but there is a combination of stained wood and white trim, just like we were talking about the other day.
Our first stop for errands was in the town of Buckland, MA which is actually on the other side of this bridge. And yes, Laurel stood in the middle of the road to get the pic. haha It was one of the fastest ones I’ve ever taken and the fact that it’s reasonably straight is 100% an act of God. Thank you!
The side of the bridge where the photo is taken is called Shelburne Falls. This is a historic area; not in an obnoxious touristy way, but it does have its attractions.
One is this wonderful market where Cale and I did some last-minute Thanksgiving shopping.
The most famous attractions are the lovely falls in Shelburne Falls. To the right is an area known as Potholes.
There’s a placard on the fence just out of view here.
I guess that this means that the Europeans who settled here could use the land for hunting and fishing and the native Americans would be cool with that? Did they have a choice? I reckon not.
We stopped for a treat at a wonderful bakery in Shelburne Falls, but I don’t have a photo of that.
On our way back home, Cale and I stopped at a charming farm called Atherton Farm. The owner, Susan Atherton came out to greet us.
Like, where on earth in New York does anyone do that? (Okay, maybe further upstate, they do.)
That’s because people in these parts actually TALK to each other and smile. (and help those who need anti-freeze!)
In the short time we were there, we found out that the farm had been in her family since 1945 and that she has proudly taken it over. She was busy inside making wreaths for about 100 customers, all word of mouth.
Well, it’s a very short post because it’s the Thanksgiving holiday week.
And, of course, I really don’t want to be tethered to my laptop the entire time. However, I also want to update you on what’s going on with a few things.
One, Laurel’s Rolodex.
Some of you are probably scratching your heads wondering what is going on, because I said that the price was going up today, but as you can see, nothing has changed.
That’s because I’ve decided to extend the promo period until the end of the day on Cyber Monday, the 26th. At 11:59 PM ET, the price will go up to $229.00. Final answer. :]
A few of you have asked me if I’m having a Black Friday sale and the answer, is no, I’m not. And that’s because I don’t think it’s fair to the many people who have paid full-price in recent days. However, I feel that my digital products are worth a lot more than I’m charging. Each one took 100s of hours to create and is crammed with information. Please click here to read more about my products.
However, there are already a myriad of sales and you don’t have to wait until black Friday.
Of course, on Friday, there will be a far more comprehensive review of the new store and I’ll be sharing many favorites with many vendors. But, in the meantime, please visit the Hot Sales Pages because my favorite vendors are all there.
In addition, on Monday, I visited the brand new One King’s Lane Store in New York City. It is gorgeous and if you’re in Manhattan, I definitely recommend a visit. There will be more about that on Friday.
I will leave you with two photos to whet your appetite (hopefully) for more.
The beautiful Brampton chair in a fun print. I did sit on it and it’s delightfully comfortable and beautifully scaled. They are already running low on inventory on this particular version.
Moi hanging out on this wonderful Robin Bruce curved sofa. This is also incredibly comfortable and I love the shape and scale. Photo by Lotte Meister (a little more about that too, on Friday). If you recall, Lotte shared her beautiful home in Rye, NY with us last month.
Here’s wishing each of you, in the U.S. the happiest, warmest Thanksgiving Holiday 2018.
I am phenomenally grateful to be able to spend this time with my son and girl friend’s family and to learn more about this area that they moved to last August. But, I’m also so grateful to all of you– because each of you brightens my day immeasurably and it’s not something I ever take for granted.
Happy Thanksgiving late!! Finally getting some alone time and just read your blog!! You are so funny and an excellent writer!! I love your decorating advice and the picture of you is gorgeous!! Nothing better than spending time with your kids!! Thank you for being out there for us to have something intelligent to read!! Happy Holidays!!
Thank you so much Patti! I so appreciate your kind words.
Western Mass looks wonderful. wishing you all the very best this holiday season. Is it true that I will finally get to meet you in a couple of weeks in NYC??? Can’t wait.
All the very best.
Yes! I’m going to meet you and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that. xoxo
Love all the photos! Enjoy your weekend!
Happy Thanksgiving sweet friend!!
Enjoy time with your boy and being in that beautiful scenery!!
and the pic of you is GORGEOUS!!!
Welcome to my neck of the woods! Did you know that bridge is in the movie The Judge with Robert Duvall? Your picture looks just like the movie. Shelburne Falls is famous for all the flowers on the bridge all summer, you’ll have to come back!!
Enjoy your time in the woods. So glad you are spending time with family and taking in the giant sky. Refresh and rebuild.
Happy Thanksgiving to you too.
Hi Deborah! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Yes, it’s a blessing to be here!
You are looking really good on that green sofa!!! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving in that wonderfully ‘over the river and through the woods’ location.
Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
Happy Thanksgiving, and I loved this post. Small, quaint towns are my absolute favorite places to visit. Lucky you!
Love the photo of you on the sofa–you look really pretty, and happy. I imagine you will be reading this after the holiday is over, so I hope it was a really great one.
Well, the kitchen is small, and I gather that Cale’s GF and mom have it all under control, but I will go down and offer my help in a sec. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
Happy Thanksgiving Laurel! Enjoy your time with your son in this beautiful little town. What a perfect place to be for the holiday! Thank you so much for all you share in your blog! I am so grateful to have found it a couple of years ago. I don’t comment often, but I read every post, to guide me as we remodel an 1888 family farmhouse in Indiana. Blessings to you and your family!
Oh, how cool Karen. You know I was raised in Evansville until I was 15. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
What a lovely spot to gather for Thanksgiving! And with your son too!!
Yes, it’s a classic!
I have been an avid reader for many years.I always look forward to your posts.Thank you for giving all of us such wealth of information.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day with your handsome son and his girlfriend’s family. You look beautiful and comfy on that sofa!
Happy Thanksgiving to you as well and thank you so much for your kind words!
Hello Laurel, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your extended family! There is nothing more charming than these small towns. But to be fair, I have also met with extreme courtesy in New York City.
Thanksgiving (and Fall in general) is one of the things I miss most about the U.S. Shelburne Falls reminds me a lot of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Thank you and to you as well! Of course, there are lovely people in New York City! When my wasband and I used to walk around, without fail someone would ask him directions. It got to be a running joke. I said, “what are you wearing a sign saying, If you’re lost, just ask me for directions?” haha
Hi again, That is funny about your “wasband”; I had started to write a longer comment telling how some people in New York gave me directions, saying turn right here and left there, then saying Oh, I’ll just take you there myself, I’m kind of going in that direction anyway (even if they were facing the other way). –Jim
Laurel..I so look forward seeing your name drop into my inbox. I get dozens of newsletters and a lot of them I just delete, but yours, I read every single one. This morning , at first, my 5am eyes thought you needed “coolant” for your ears! Had to reread that one..haha. I live in a small village in Ontario, maybe not as quaint as a New England village.
People seem so very down to earth and friendly here as well. Hubby and I walk several times a day and always somebody is waving at us. We don’t even know them. But it is nice. (I’m a country girl and even a small village seems to busy to me..ha! ) My daughter lives in downtown Toronto and loves the hustle and bustle of the city and would die if she had to live here..lol..I hope you enjoy the beauty and quietness of your surroundings. Do you find the quiet deafening? Maybe you will decide to move away from the city at some point in your life? Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you for such a lovely comment. Actually, we lived in northern Westchester County for 22 years which is more or less the country. Where I am now, it is far more urban, but it is nothing like Manhattan or other cities. It is village-like. It doesn’t matter where I am, I love a little white noise to block out just about everything.
What I have said since my teen years is: “It matters not where I am; what matters is who I’m with and what I’m doing.” I still believe that. I do wish I had more family and more family close to me. Life didn’t work out the way I imagined it would be. Some parts have been hugely disappointing, but many aspects far better than I ever thought possible. The latter gives me hope for the rest. xoxo
Happy Thanksgiving Dear
To You and Yours
Same to you Susan!
Looking super glamorous, Laurel! I follow your blog from Longmeadow,MA. Really enjoyed your photos of Western Mass. The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls is beautiful when in bloom, so come back!
Yes, so I have heard. It was there, but of course, only a shadow of what it must be in full-bloom.
My Gosh Laurel, I thought the “girl” on the sofa may have been Cale’s girlfriend … I looked and read several times , it is you !!! You look beautiful, happy and oh so youthful!!
I was blessed with great lighting! But, thank you just the same!
Happy Thanksgiving, Laurel. It’s going to be super cold the next 2 days so I’m glad you will be cozy with family, friends, hot drinks, food, maybe a board game or movie. Enjoy your New England holiday!
Oh, I know! Too cold for November!
It’s a charming town, in the middle of some very gorgeous scenery. That’s for sure. Hope you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving, Laurel.
Same to you Lisa!
Wishing you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, Laurel!
Same to you Janet!
loved THE MILKMAID PHOTO!!!! YOU CRACK ME UP! GREAT SCENERY IN WESTERN MASS..THANKS FOR THE LOVELY POST!
Thank you Gilda!
I live in West Whately on Conway border and yours is the only blog I follow. Can’t believe you are referencing all my spots.!
Moved here about one year ago
And oh yeah- I am in the midst of stripping wallpaper and painting the dark trim white…using your posts as inspiration 😀🍷
Oh wow! We are all so excited that so many locals are reading!
You are a gift to all of us subscribers and fans. Thank you for generously sharing your talents.
Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving ever!
Thanks so much Ani!
Laurel, I live in Northampton, Mass, 20 minutes from Conway. We also own a 54 acre farm in Ashfield, next town over (currently for sale via Sotheby’s). I’ve always lived here – it’s lovely, for sure. I *think* the Mohawks and the Penobscots were both American Indian tribes, so perhaps that was a treaty between tribes. Not sure. But I’m so glad you had a chance to see this lovely little piece of Massachusetts.
Smith College Botanic Garden Victorian greenhouses and Museum of Art; Alina’s Restaurant in Hadley; Jake’s also in Northampton for breakfast; Thornes Market and Main Street Northampton for shopping; Pekarskis sausage charcuterie in Conway.
I’m thrilled that you’re here. If you want a break from family, give me a holler.
How kind you are for all of those recs Tracey! No joke. We were just at the Lake House restaurant! I had an abnormally good fish ‘n chips!
I forgot to mention that my cousin and his wife own that ‘Muffins’ store that you visited. Small world, after all.
Happy Thanksgiving from Atlanta, Laurel!
I wanted to let you know that one of you favorites, Ben Pentreath is speaking at the Cathedrals Antique Show here in January. Also Charlie McCormick!
Check us out at cathedralantiques.org
Oh, lucky you!!! It is soooooo cold here now!
Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures of the snow. It’s clean!! 🙂 Love the dark green curved sofa (velvet?)my new favorite color. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for all of your wonderful, clever, and insightful post. They’re a joy to read.
There’s a little snirt, but it got covered up.
Happy Thanksgiving Laurel. So Happy you have this time with your son , that is a gift to be very thankful for. I am thankful for you and your blog I look forward to it every week. Have a blessed holiday and safe travels.
Thank you Karen. You too!
Great post! And I am excited because I see you got eyebrows! That’s a wonderful look for you.
Happy Thanksgiving, lovely lady!
Thank you Elizabeth. You too!
Much love to you, too, Laurel. Enjoy your holiday with your talented handsome son in that gorgeous “postcard” town. Happy to hear that someone rescued you with coolant! XO from Marc, Lily and Me!
and you as well Nancy! xoxo