In August 1990, Country Living Magazine featured Sharon Lovejoy as the proprietress of Heart's Ease Herb Shop and Gardens in Cambria. My admiration for her obvious affection for feminine bonding with the natural world was instant and lasting. Meeting her for the first time at a Garden Writers Association event two years back confirmed my initial impression. This is a woman who might sprout wings at any moment. If she did: I would want to be there to write about it ):-
Now, I in this new role as a grandmother in-waiting, when the children's author, illustrator and speaker's book tour brought her to Redlands, of course I would be there.
When it comes to creativity- Sharon knows no bounds in getting children to smile. Don't you just love her very neutral clothing- and then these vividly wild sandals and pedicure?
Four of her books came home to inspire a love of garden and nature in our family's impending population explosion . Somewhere in a file it doesn't belong, is the card with the name of the woman pictured with Sharon. She is evidently a master gardener and cook. The "recipes" they bantered from their dinner- I'm still salivating.
You can order personalized book's of Sharon's here.
We said our goodbyes. It was time to explore the magnificent A.K Smiley Library. Just a few images to whet your appetite. We will revisit this palace to literacy on a stand-alone visit.
For now- admire the building's likeness in an oil painting.
Let the center rosette stained glass window fill your spirit with awe.
The hand-carved oak banisters - this building wasn't just built with money . It was built with love.
Illustrated Redlands has a lovely story on the history of the identical twins, Alfred H and Albert K Smiley. East coast educators, the Quakers are probably better known as real estate developers. Their
Monhonk Mountain House resort in upstate New York remains in the family.
Taking up residence on the west coast, they brought their shared spirit of philanthropy with them. Alfred wanted a park. Albert, a library. Neither demanded their names be attached to the projects. On behalf of their residents, a grateful City Council surprised them.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this snippet about men who did a great thing not for honor or glory- but simply because they could.