April 2013

Dear Friend

Happy April!

When I think of the weather issues I covered last month, I realize that our friends now consider “snow” a four letter word. Everyone is now focusing on Spring. The daffodils are blooming, the boats are returning to the harbor, and I’m feeling the great refreshment of renewal, the sense of being restored by the miraculous wonders of nature.

Tuesday, April 2nd, is the launch of my book, The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters and joyfully our daughter Brooke and precious Cooper, age four, will be with us at R.J. Julia Booksellers to help us celebrate the publication. Two years ago when Peter’s book Figure It Out was published, Brooke and Cooper were here in Stonington with us – a lasting memory. I couldn’t be happier. It is a most exciting experience to give birth to a new book, and while this one is to be published May 28th, my appreciation seems to grow in intensity and humility.

As we all how, nothing is automatic, and no matter how hard we try in our lives to be successful in accomplishing our goals, things don’t always work out as we hope, but when they do, it is great cause for celebration. I am rejoicing in anticipation of all the meaningful encounters we’ll have with friends and readers in the weeks ahead.

I’ve had several interviews about The Shared Wisdom … and it only increases my passion for my book and the subject of sharing our gifts, generation to generation. I’ve had several editors who believed I should choose to be a woman’s writer. I’ve resisted this with strong conviction that there is little difference between genders in our desires to live well and beautifully. While I’m delighted mothers and daughters will read and enjoy my book, I feel my message about the timelessness of simple truths is equally important to men as to women. The reality that I have two daughters and no sons is cause for my book title, but, I firmly believe that if I had two sons, not daughters, the message would be the same. Friends who have sons may disagree, but I’m confident that inspiration and information I’ve written about is for all of us, and should not be thought only appropriate for females.

I would be only half alive if the men in my life didn’t read my books or enjoy my thoughts and emotions. One man who interviewed me is single, obviously has no daughters, and yet realized I was writing about how all of us – men, women and children – can get our priorities in order and live with greater happiness and success.

One woman who interviewed me inquired about how I feel now that Peter and I have chosen an environmentally sensitive lifestyle, living day-by-day in a seaside walking village. I have never felt more meaning and poignancy because I feel so enormously supported by the extraordinary beauty of nature – I also feel the support of the life in a small, caring village.

Now that Peter has celebrated his 91st birthday – something that consumed his days and nights the entire month of March – it is clear that he is celebrating his life completely.

91 So much fun
Still having fun
Peter turns his heart to the sun.
91 Not married to a nun –
And, still having fun –
He is certainly not done!

Peter’s happiness is my great joy. Old age is not guaranteed. Not everyone has the blessings of being able to grow old with pleasure and gratitude for a well-lived life – so far. He is my hero and my mentor. I hope I can learn from Peter what is of our highest interest, what is of our greatest value, and what we should do and what not to do in order to feel the bliss of being alive.

My mentor and former boss, Eleanor McMillen Brown, lived to be five days shy of 101. Peter and I visited her weekly for the last ten years of her life. Much of that time she was resting gently after having lived a long, productive life – bedridden in a coma. She worked at her interior design firm until she was 88, and when she stopped going to the office, her health declined. One lesson I learned from Mrs. Brown’s life is to keep moving your feet, keep actively engaged, stay focused on the things that most interest you in order to stay stimulated. When Peter and I married in 1974, Mrs. Brown was 84 and looked so handsome. As I look at our wedding pictures, I see this beautiful, successful lady who believed that if you create beauty for yourself, if you create beauty for others, you will live a long, healthy, happy life. I believe she was right, but, as her years advanced, she’d smile and tell us “old age is a bore.”

Peter has taught me all the lessons I need to know in order to live wisely and well when I become old. Until Peter turned 90, he wouldn’t let anyone know his age. It wasn’t, after all, anyone’s business. Now, however, at 91, he is proud to have reached old age and can be our teacher about the inevitability of slowing down as we grow old. We live our lives in chapters, and when property understood, maturity can be lived with grace, dignity, and love.

I’m grateful Peter is setting such a wonderful example for our family. When we’re together there is an age spread of 87 years. Peter and Cooper have a very special bond – Peter always says, “Bless your heart, Cooper.” When we were in the car going to the aquarium when Cooper was two, she put a sentence together, “Bless your heart, Peter Rabbit.”

Appropriately, our lives are lived simply. We walk about in our charming village. We live with the precious awareness of our time together. We tend not to take anything for granted. We feel the glass is half full, and if it evaporates, we fill it up to the brim.

As we all learn from experience, happiness is an achievement and is entirely dependent on our mental attitude. Peter never complains. He is courageous and has noble character. I feel a deep appreciation for the privilege of spending our days and nights together in our sweet cottage in an atmosphere of celebration and love. The entire month of March was homage to Peter. I’ve never seen him happier and this makes my life so meaningful and significant.

In April, we will celebrate The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters: The Timelessness of Simple Truths – focusing on our appreciation of the love and caring we share.

Let me end by saying thank you to you, dear friend, for going on this exhilarating journey with us. I hope to see you face-to-face in the weeks ahead.

Love & Live Happy

AlexandraStoddard.com is Back!!

As you may have noticed, my website was down for a few days. Our web host, Agency of Record, appears to have been experiencing technical difficulties. Thank you for your concern and inquiries!

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

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!

Cooper and Peter Rabbit in the garden

Peter & Alexandra

Spring is coming! Soon our garden will be in full bloom

The daffodils are blooming!!

Grace Note

The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters is available where books are sold April 2nd!