March 2013

Dear Friend

February’s blizzard was both dangerous and beautiful. Fortunately for Peter and me we were safe and comfortable, but, as everyone knows, the storm was serious.

The Friday morning Nemo made her presence, Peter and I fled Stonington and stayed at a nearby hotel – the same one where we holed up for five nights during Hurricane Sandy when our village lost power. By late afternoon and early evening, the snow pounded down at over 4 inches an hour. Connecticut was more deeply hit than expected, having total accumulation more than any storm since 1880. Milford, Connecticut was hit with 41-plus inches.

During dinner that night, safe in a heated hotel, the lights went out. Peter, in his romantic style, smiled when the hotel lost power. “Ah, we’re having a candle lit dinner.” The darkness only lasted a few hours, then the power went out again several hours later, before coming back on for good. Just those two times we were without lights and heat we felt such compassion for all those families who had to suffer for up to six and seven days without heat in sometimes zero below degrees – 8 degrees wind chill. How those parents kept their children warm, safe and fed is an example of the strength of the human spirit. Friends warned us of ice and urged us to stay put. A rain storm followed by freezing conditions created treacherous conditions. We hadn’t lost power at our cottage but driving and walking conditions weren’t good.

We stayed five nights at the hotel. The coast was clear. The icy roads were salted and safe and a friend picked us up in the brilliant sunshine, returning us to our warm, colorful cottage with all our familiar, favorite things, especially sleeping in our own comfortable bed. The next morning we awakened to a new snow fall – five more inches on top of the several feet from Nemo. And, then, a few days later, four or five more inches!!

Our family and friends couldn’t have been more caring, and demonstrated their love and concern in a variety of thoughtful ways. We’re deeply grateful to every thoughtful gesture and enormous acts of kindness. We were indeed safe, and because we were prepared – we brought to the hotel plenty of fresh clothes along with all the gear we use on a daily basis. We were self-contained and happy. I knew what to expect at the hotel. We were in a handicapped room that had two large picture windows overlooking a lake with giant evergreen trees reaching high into the cosmos. The sofa was at a perfect angle to sit and gape at the sheer majesty of the snow. After the snow stopped falling, and the sun came out, some snow melted and there were large icicles hanging like holiday ornaments on Christmas trees, shining brightly in shades of pink in the reflection of the sunset on the lake. From our room, the view was spectacular. We read; we listened to philosophy lectures, I worked on my new book. We experienced noble beauty and silence, emerging from our retreat refreshed and inspired.

We bring ourselves with us wherever we are, under every circumstance. By living with an awareness that life will continuously surprise us, treating each experience as a fresh adventure makes inconvenient moments opportunities for contemplation, reflection and transformation. Because of our great good fortune to be together, Peter and I were able to have long, soulful conversations in the silent atmosphere of the blizzard. Because I brought scented candles, jasmine soap and two flowering plants, plus all our paraphernalia, we were not anxious, nor did we feel we were wasting our time. And, while we lived those days mostly in one room, the expansive view of the beauty of nature uplifted our spirits enormously. We definitely made the best of our situation, and having Peter’s safety the number one priority, we were successful in our mission.

Peter is turning ninety-one years old March 15th – the Ides of March – the same date Cicero died many years ago. I thought 90 was huge – 91 is over the top! He is going through an enormously sweet period of appreciation. He has achieved what all of us want, a happy life. To turn 91 and have his sense of playfulness and pleasure in the process of his life is quite a grand accomplishment and something all of us who are younger should try to emulate. Double thumbs up! “Go for it” is one of his favorite mottos.

We went down to Chevy Chase, Maryland, to visit Alexandra, her husband Peter, their precious children Nicholas, Anna and Lily, for a weekend. What a joy to observe their activities, hear the trumpet, clarinet and flute practices, have Chinese food for dinner at the breakfast room table when Peter and I sat for our “grands” when their parents went out to a party, and watching them swim in the pool on the roof of our hotel. All the fun, the laughter and joy, accumulate in our grateful hearts over the years.

We spent a few days in New York City before our return home to Stonington, visiting with Brooke, Cooper and Tony. Having these happy visits with our family over several days where we were all healthy and in good spirits means everything to us. I’m especially aware of how grateful I am for our wonderful family now as I eagerly anticipate the birth and launch of my new book, The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters: The Timelessness of Simple Truths, inspired and dedicated to Alexandra and Broke, my beloved daughters.

When I was interviewed for a magazine recently, the journalist asked me such intimate, wise questions about my daughters, what makes me most proud of them, and I found myself becoming quite emotional in my answers.

I received the actual cover of my new book and literally jumped for joy. The sunflower really speaks to me, reminding us to always follow the sun, and to remember the invisible light within us. The next step will be THE BOOK! My excitement increases with each new book published because of my deeply serious commitment as a writer to help my reader live the best life possible.

Please do plan to come see me to help me celebrate the launch of my new book, Tuesday, April 2nd, at 7 PM at RJ Julia Bookseller at 768 Boston Post Road in Madison, Connecticut. I will speak about the aspects of my book that touch me the most and it will be a fun evening where we will have lots of interaction. There is something so special when we share our wisdom when we are together.

Friday evening, April 5th at 6 PM, there is an exciting evening planned with a reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters at the Mystic Art Center at 9 Water Street in Mystic, Connecticut, hosted by Bank Square Books. For further information please contact Julie at the bookstore (860) 536-3795. Peter and I are happy to have these opportunities to be with you, friends and family.

On Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday, May 11th, from 10 AM to 3 PM, I’ll be at a wonderful store, Terrain, in Westport, Connecticut (where we moved to from Weston, Massachusetts, when I was 5 years old and where I grew up!). For more information, please call (877) 583-7724.

I received the good news that Happiness For Two will be published in Taiwan. It is always thrilling to have other cultures read my books.

My dear friend, Carl Brandt, who has been my friend and literary agent and who is responsible for the publication of all of my 28 books, is coming to visit us in Stonington in early march. This is such a cause for celebration and unending appreciation for his continuing contribution to my life.

We still have snow on the ground and snow is coming. We, who live in New England, are tough!

Quotable Cards is celebrating their 20th anniversary retrospective books where they quote from authors’ books. I am honored that I am the only author who has more than one quote in their book:

Slow Down, Calm Down, Don’t Worry, Don’t Hurry, Trust the Process


Live by, The Trinity of what is True, Good, and Beautiful.

I feel enormously blessed in my life and send all my loving energy to you and your loved ones.

Love & Live Happy

A Very Special Weekend

Mark Your Calendars and pack your bag for a celebratory getaway with your favorite author on Friday April 5th, 2013!

Start the evening at the Mystic Art Center at 6 PM: Share a special evening with Alexandra and Bank Square Books at the Mystic Art Center to celebrate the launch of The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters: The Timelessness of Simple Truths. There will be an author's reception with wine and hor d'oeuvres.

But WAIT, don't stop there ... make a very special weekend of it! Travel a little further down Route 1 to the beautiful Inn at Stonington in Alexandra's beloved Stonington Village. The Inn is offering a special 20% discount of the published room rate (if booked by March 27th). They can accommodate some Friday night only stays which can be reserved on a first call basis. So, don't wait ... call (860) 535-2000 and reserve your room while they last!

We look forward to seeing you there! {More details on Alexandra's calendar page!}

Hope to see you April 5th!

My favorite picture of Peter, taken before we were married in 1974.

Carl and Alexandra at a publishing party years ago.

An exuberant picture of Alexandra and Peter!

Have you taken photos at one of Alexandra's events that you'd like to share? If so, you can email them to AStoddardInc@aol.com. Please be sure to include the names of those in the photo and where and when it was taken! We will try to include them on the website in the future.

Grace Note

As a mother, I'll never be finished. I know that my formal role of motherhood is finished, but mothers never stop learning and never stop wanting to add some fresh insights or profound ideas which we feel will be useful to our daughters in the years ahead.

~~ Alexandra Stoddard
Excerpt from The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters