May. It’s a month we all know and love for flowers (thank you, April Showers), and know and love too for that special day each year when many of us bring or send those flowers to Mom! Yes, May is famous for our celebration of flowers and women.
Maybe it all starts with celebratory flowers when baby is born. Before long, those babes are starfish-fingered pre-schoolers earnestly drawing flowers with fat crayons and all their love. Mommy is their world. A little older, a little more independent, elementary school-aged children and pre-teens still sign their cards with hearts and flowers. But they’re, perhaps, a little more careful when they color, trying hard to stay inside the lines on their construction paper while testing lines and boundaries elsewhere. Mom may be cool one day, annoying the next. Teen years are a challenge for most parents–forget flowers, moms are often just grateful to be given the time of day! But, come college and after, smiles return. And so do the flowers.
From my slightly clichéd meditations on motherhood, to others’ somewhat more provocative inferences regarding women and flowers, connections between the two abound. Christian Dior is quoted as saying After women, flowers are the most divine creations. And who has not blushed, even slightly, at Georgia O’Keeffe’s resplendently feminine floral paintings? Extending the metaphor, I suggest you think of this issue of Inside Chappaqua as a hothouse for exceptionally beautiful blooms! Yes, the women we highlight are each unique and special. They’re mothers, daughters, sisters, wives. They’re friends, they’re co-workers, they’re inspirational yet often very humble about all they’ve done and all they do.
In fact, speaking of Georgias, our cover girl is none other than Georgia Hobaica Frasch. Known to many as the behind-the-scenes face of the Chappaqua Moms facebook group, Georgia sits down in her beautifully restored, turn-of-the-last-century home with none other than our very own Grace Bennett. These two powerhouse women discuss and dish all, from Georgia’s humble childhood to her fashionista career to her busy life here in the ‘burbs. Talk about an Inside story!
As powerful women go, few can keep up with Robin Murphy! A wearer of many hats, she’s a whirlwind of activity; tending her children or her upstate home’s animals, supervising her cleaning industry staff and, lately, overseeing the busy weekly orders of the Wholeshare Group she founded. In fact, I barely caught Robin in time to make this issue’s deadline–she was busy as usual; this time, she explained with much joy, leaving for her first real vacation in over ten years!
The list continues with the incomparable Varda Singer. A longtime resident and business owner, Varda is as well-known for her distinctive personal beauty and style as she is for her stylish and beautiful jewelry designs and welcoming boutique. We share her story, photos and some mom wisdom too–A mom is a mom forever. Your children depend on you whether they’re three years old or forty years old.–in a profile piece you simply won’t want to miss.
We also meet New Castle’s new Historical Society Executive Director, Cassie Ward. Cassie comes to us from National Park Services in Washington DC and Virginia’s 400-acre Longbranch Plantation. What’s more, she comes with an engaging enthusiasm and passion to energize the NCHS with new and exciting ideas for community projects and involvement.
Often the most moving stories resonate because they come from a place we can all relate to–a need fulfilled. One such remarkable tale is that of Girl AGain, the brainstorm boutique born of Marjorie Madfis’s desire to help her autistic daughter find happiness, comfort and learning. Modeled on the American Girl Doll store in Manhattan, it’s a very special place for those with special needs.
What else? Plenty! Let’s not forget that May is also the month in which we honor the men and women who serve and have served our country. The stars and stripes fly high above marchers and wave proudly from sidelines during Chappaqua’s Memorial Day Parade. The annual event boasts famous names and service corps members, school bands, scout troops and others. It’s always a great day to come on down to town and show community support and spirit in addition to national patriotism.
Another highlight–Penny Vane, beloved by so many and from such wide and varied circles, is also remembered and celebrated with stories and photos that share her vibrant life with the rest of us here in town.
Speaking of memorial observances, I too pause and reflect as this holiday approaches. Two years ago, I lost my father right after Memorial Day. A veteran, as well as a man who fought a brilliant fight against the horribly debilitating disease Parkinson’s, dad was inspirational to the end.
One of my favorite songs as a young girl was the folksong Where Have All the Flowers Gone? On a loop in my head as I sign off this issue, I wish everyone a May filled with peace, love and flowers to every purpose.
Breathe and enjoy,