A beautiful woman

It was hard to find what Sei Shonagon would say about a woman living on a dairy farm in Dutchess County, New York in the 1970’s.


Elizabeth Titcomb Blow
October 4, 1917 – November 7, 2013

This photograph of my mother was taken at Hardstone Farm, where we lived for over twenty years. It was a working dairy farm outside of Rhinebeck, NY. Here she’s in the lower field which flooded every spring. My sister and I love this picture because it shows her vibrantly alive, running in the muck of the fields and she is happy. Just out of sight her dog is chasing after her.

She didn’t shy away from adventure. When I lived in Colorado in the early 70’s (and she must have been in her 50’s), she drove her VW convertible Beetle across the country to visit. It was a long, hard drive and she camped out along the way with three fellow travelers who pitched in for the ride. You could do that in those days. She and I then drove her car down to Santa Fe through the four corners of Monument Valley to New Mexico because I wanted to share this amazing place with her.

She loved it. One night we were on the road to somewhere outside of Santa Fe and got lost. We were way out in the desert. It was summer. The convertible was down. The sky was a black bowl of stars twinkling endlessly. The road stretched straight ahead for miles and miles illuminated brightly by starlight and nothing else. There wasn’t a sign, a gas station, a motel, a city lit up in the distance. Nothing as far we could see.

We  were hopelessly lost, but so completely enveloped by the perfect endless universe –  that all of a sudden it seemed absurd to think we could be anywhere else but at home. We started to laugh and laugh. It was a kind of epiphany. We laughed so hard she couldn’t hold onto the steering wheel and had to stop the car. We didn’t even pull over because as far as we could see the road stretched before us and behind us with nothing in sight.

We were at home in the beautiful, vast universe that seemed to just swallow us up in it’s perfection.

French Parrot tulips for her Memorial

French parrot tulips for her Memorial