Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life's Business

In the midst of what can be
a dreary time of the year
here in the northern part of
the Northern Hemisphere,
a long-anticipated season
finally arrived at our house.

Downton Abbey Season.

For one hour each week,
I'm whisked away from
sub-zero temperatures and
day to day concerns,
immersing myself instead
in the drama that is life ~
both upstairs and downstairs ~
in this beautiful English
castle set in the early
20th century.

Like any good series, each
episode touches me in some
way, makes me think, and
leaves me wanting more.

For example, this quote from one
of my favorite characters, Carson,
the head butler at Downton Abbey.

One of the acquisitions
deposited to my own

memory bank

happened on a beautiful June
evening when my husband and
I attended a Downton Abbey
inspired dinner party.

After watching DA last Sunday,
I reflected back to that June
night and thought it would be
fun to withdraw some of those
memories from my memory bank
to share with you....

Here we are, preparing to
set out for the festivities.

My hubby's mustache, which
I found at the same vintage shop
where I picked up his waistcoat,
was made of real hair.

He really got into it!

The host and hostess for
the evening are huge DA
fans and were so gracious
to open their elegant home
for this special night.

{While they do not have
a butler, this cutie greeted
us at the door.}

In the weeks leading up
to the party, we all put
on our creative hats to
come up with an outfit
worthy of Downton!

A lot of the ladies found
all or part of their attire
from thrift shops, including
me : )

The men found it a bit
more challenging to get 
into the spirit, but in the
end they were looking sharp!

Music of the era drifted 
through the house and out to
the verandah as we sipped
champagne and nibbled
on hors d'oeuvres....

The air outside was soft and
lovely.  June in Minnesota is
perfection. {Worth every 
minute of the winter months!}

The gardens were amazing.
The mistress of the house
has a fondness for flowers, 
and her touch was everywhere.

All the details filled me with
gratitude, because there was
love in every single one.

As the sun dropped low
in the sky and we lingered
over coffee and dessert, the
candles grew shorter and
the laughter grew louder,
as it tends to do when good
friends share a wonderful night.

I love Carson's idea that
the acquisition of memories
is our life's business.

That's a business we can
all invest in, because the
currency is only limited
to our imaginations.

We are all presidents
and CEOs of our very
own memory banks.

Let's fill them
to the rafters!


PS:  Click here to read about
the Mad Men inspired dinner
party at my house with this 
same group : )

{All pics except the one
of Carson are my own.}


Anonymous said...

A kindred DA spirit! Figures :).
The very night Carson uttered those words, I put them as my FB status. Love the meaning. And love your analogy of our being our own CEOs. So true.

What a fun evening! And I love that their "butler" is appropriately dressed in his black waistcoat!

Down Raspberry Lane said...

That looks like so much fun, and how lucky you ladies all are to have husbands willing to participate in such a dress-up-fancy event. I always have the TV to myself when DA is on, but that's ok with me ;)
- Cheryl

Lucy martin said...

What a lot of fun!!!
I love DA..looking forward to seeing season 4 when I purchase it.

kerrie of sea cottage said...

I have been a huge Downton fan from the very first show. We now own all of the seasons on blu-ray. I wish I could go to a Downton Abbey dinner party. You all look amazing and the hostess looks as sweet as sweet can be!!!! What absolute fun. I can't wait till Sunday. xxo

Sylvia said...

This is awesome, Suzanne! Love, love, LOVE it... ALL of it! What a fun (elegant) party! And you are absolutely right (as always) - we are all CEOs of our very own memory banks. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos!

Hartwood Roses said...

You have really, really fun friends! Thank you for bringing us along to the party with you.

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

I loved reading this, thanks so much for sharing your very personal experience. I tried watching the show but could not get into it, I'm probably the only person on the planet who can say that:) Nonetheless, I think you and your very handsome husband looked fabulous! and the party sounds like it was a blast. Here's to more good memories, friend.

The enchanted home said...

Suzanne, this is AMAZING. I feel like I am looking at the cast of Downton all look incredible and might I say you look like quite the lady and your husband such a dapper gentleman:) What a fun party, and the setting is sublime! It looks like it could easily be a movie set for DA!!! I love the idea and the group shot is fantastic..what a fun evening. Thanks fro sharing. I am going to have to include this on my next random musings post for all my readers who are big DA fans:)

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love Downton Abbey and the party looks amazing! It must have been so fun getting the clothing prepared. Your friend's home is beautiful and the perfect setting! It definitely would be a memory-making occasion!

Shelly W. said...

Oh how fun!!! I would LOVE to do something like that one day. All of the little details look so special. Just wonderful!

And I also love that you posted pictures of JUNE. Just a little sunshine to get us through this dreary. :)

Mary Timmers said...


So much fun, and what beautiful clothes and all! We all need to use more imagination when doing a dinner party. And you're right, what wonderful memories you're making. Thanks for sharing them with us!


Leslie said...

Wow Suzanne! I had to scroll back to look again. What fun this must have been and you all look from the time period. Your friend's home is the perfect setting. Wonderful party indeed! xxL

Laura Murphy said...

You look beautiful!

Have you ever read the book The Sisters (The Saga of the Mitford Family)? When I first saw Downton, I was reminded of that book. I think you'd like it.

Laura said...

My youngest tells me she has a memory box in her head and she puts all her special memories in there. The other day she was telling me she put Tish in there(my dads black lab which passed on Christmas Eve). She said she opens her memory box and let's her out whenever she feels sad that she's in heaven... I shed a little tear...

Tricia said...

Well goodness, doesn't this look fun?! You all look so great! I love Downton Abbey and look forward to it every week.

Have you ever seen the show Call the Midwife? I'm thinking that perhaps you would like that too. I watched the previous seasons on Netflix, so now I'm already ready when it starts up again.

Farmgirl Paints said...

oh the fun parties in minnesota. kinda miss that! what a fun one. you guys certainly pulled on the authentic look of that show. i have the whole first season on dvr and i have yet to watch more than two episodes. it's very cool...very you:)

Katherine said...

You looked fabulous! I'm ashamed to say I've not seen one episode of Downton Abbey - something I have been wanting to rectify. Maybe this will be the year x

Dianna said...

Such wonderful memories you've shared from your very own memory bank! Thank you, Suzanne for sharing with us! The home looks so elegant and it was great fun to see the outfits that were put together.

Daydream Living said...

Wow! What a great idea to host a party after a show. I have not seen one episode (yet) but will soon. Thanks for stopping by my new blog, and glad you liked Laura's post! Maureen

Palomasea said...

How splendid....oh that looks like so much fun...and you and your husband are beautiful....the wardrobe of that era suits you!
Another poignant post, dear friend....infused with great fun...thank you so much for sharing this...
I love Carson too...what a wise quote.
I thought yesterday's episode was one of the best...shall we now have a new nickname for the eldest..."Mudslinging Mary"... :)))
She was fantastic, I thought! A great way to add richness to the character...
Enjoy the week, dear Suzanne...a bit of a warm up today! :)
Much love,
- Irina

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Now that looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. Love your idea that we are all CEO's of our own memory banks-you are so smart!

Just a little something from Judy said...

You all added a touch of beauty and class to the series. I thoroughly enjoyed every picture, and think you all look so good and dressed the part perfectly.

I like the quote you shared that we are all CEO's of our own memory banks. Great post and so interesting!

Lili said...

Oh Suzanne this is WONDERFUL! You are simply glowing and gorgeous with your handsome man. And that photo of your friend in the garden is magical. What a great way to boil it down with that quote about the business of life. Love it! xoxo

Patricia Goins said...

What a lovely memory to cherish! I adore DA, we watch every MOnday, because zombies overtake our cottage on Sundays ;)

michele said...

gorgeous! haven't seen the show yet but my sis is a freak for it. you are a handsome couple, you two!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I am smiling from ear to ear as I sit here freezing in my writing studio, Suzanne!

From your excellent prose and brilliant metaphor to the delight of seeing photos of a typical but always impressive Minnesota mansion, I am delighted to see this. Even here in our little cottage, I have been wanting to have a Downton-inspired tea party where dressing up is totally required!

GOOD TO SEE YOU! I am off today indeed, and what a winter this has been for us, uh? But you are right in saying that the spring/summer months in Minnesota are worth every winter day's endurance. The acquisition of memories is indeed the business of life, and to think of how true this really is makes one want to invest wisely, because we take everything with us in this life and in the next.

HAPPY SNOW DAY! Love to you, Anita

Low Tide High Style said...

I've been down and out with the flu but just popped in to see this lovely post! What a wonderful way to spend time with your friends and make memories! I would love to host a Downton Abbey inspired garden party this summer, and you may have convinced me that I NEED to! :)

xo Kat

Melissa said...

Oh my sweet friend- I am desperately awaiting DA{3} here in Australia...I adore Carson- well I adore the entire show!

You all look amazing and what a night of memories- you would have filled up yours that night!

So glad you also took photos- as those images will be endlessly special for years to come!

What a STUNNING house and gardens!!
What a STUNNING dining setting!

M xxx

PS- our beautiful, big old English house had a room for servants connected to the kitchen and bells for the rooms connected to the little piece of Downton {sans any help!} ;-)