A Windy Day With Martha Washington

Winter is come to Rancho La Zaca and so have I–back from a whirlwind two weeks in New York and Atlanta. Everyone was all hepped up about the rain we were supposed to have today, but it has passed us by to the chagrin of His Grace and his grapes, and the oats he planted across the way.

The vineyard and mountains at Rancho La Zaca. Even on a ''bad'' day, it's good.

We get very little rain here as it is–that’s the good news and the bad news–so we really need what we get. It will come; it will come. Now it’s just cloudy and blowing like crazy. Sometime the wind whistles so loud it’s like it’s rushing right through the house. If a really thin person walked outside she would fall right over. (Definitely not a worry for me, ahem.) It can make one irritable, though, the wind. I heard that in France, if someone murders his wife during the mistral–a cold and punishing wind that goes on for tres ever–it is only a misdemeanour. I don’t believe it; but I heard it. The French are cranky, anyway, n’est-ce pas? For me, it’s a good time to hunker down on the next book proposal … and watch Smash tonight because I just couldn’t stay awake for it last night (bi-coastal jet lag: high-class problem) … and to remember the words of good ol’ Martha Washington (1732-1802):

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

P.S. If anybody knows the meaning of that quote, and lives it, it is my dear friend in Atlanta having surgery today. My heart and prayers are with her and her family, possessors of excellent “dispositions,” all. God bless.


  1. What words to live by. And Martha Washington would have known. I toured Longfellow’s home on Tory Row in Cambridge and saw where she would sit and listen to the British cannons firing on Boston. That day I learned a quote said of Longfellow: “In his greatness he was good and in his goodness he was great.” I hope your friend does well…

    1. Thank you, Kathleen, for your wonderful and informative comments, and for your good wishes. My friend is dong well and the news is positive, thank you, thank you. It is great to have you here.

  2. Dearest Frances,
    Many thanks for “the shout out”. I’m so appreciative of all the many thoughts and prayers……I am truly blessed. Happy Love Day to two of my favorite lovers!

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