The Perfect Place

Mary Randolph Carter and I sort of met on the internet. I’d received a review copy of her book, A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life, loved it and wrote about it.  She wrote me back.

We’ve exchanged a few emails since then.  It was in an email that I asked her to pass along a compliment to Joan Osofsky for whom Carter had written the forward for You Should Love Where You Live.  I told Carter that her short piece of writing at the beginning of this very good book made me think that if circumstances were different that she and I would be friends.

She emailed me back and said, “The circumstances are right and we are friends.” So I should not have been surprised when I asked her recently if she wanted to have coffee when I was in New York and she emailed back, “Why don’t we have coffee at my apartment?”
Should not have been surprised because no one feels more than I do that there is often an immediate connection between people and sometimes things.  Should not have been surprised when she greeted me with a hug and invited me to sit at her kitchen table and have a bagel with her husband, Howard.  

Should not have been surprised as this is exactly how I would have welcomed her here given the chance.  And just as she did, I would walk her around the house and show her all the crazy things that make sense to nearly no one else that she would surely understand.

I know that she would, as that is what she has done with the homes of some very personal collectors in her new book, Never Stop to Think…Do I Have a Place for This? The best thing about Carter’s books is that they tell a rich story of people, and ultimately it is the passion of the collector that gives the collection its life.

You can find links for Never Stop to Think… Do I Have a Place for This? here.

Never Stop to Think…Do I Have a Place for This? by Mary Randolph Carter, Rizzoli New York, 2014.  Photography, Carter Berg.

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11 thoughts on “The Perfect Place

  1. Dear Mrs. Blanding,
    I know that is not your real name, but I love to think of you as that romantic character which now that we have met and had coffee (as you mention) and a bagel in the kitchen with sweet Howard I know that you are. So no matter your name I am always so touched when you write about me and my books and my writing because everything you say is real and from the heart and is a kind of poetry that is so touching.
    Thank-you, Mrs. B/Patricia O'Dell Schackelford
    and warmest thoughts to you from my cluttered nest to yours…MRC

  2. This makes me happy. Very very happy. And, I'm going right out to get these books. Long live creativity!

  3. OK, this is fantasy becomes reality. So I have to think that if Nora Ephron were still alive and you set next to her on a plane, you'd be friends by the end of your destination. Always love when you write from that deepest place of authenticity: the heart.

  4. Patricia, how wonderful to meet this incredible author. Making friendships and connections like this makes life all the sweeter.

    The Arts by Karena

  5. I love this because it speaks of what happens when one is fully open to another. Friendship. Authenticity. Memories. I've purchased the two books you mentioned and I cannot wait to read her words and look at the beautiful pictures.

  6. I think the same thing about all you girls -we would probably be sitting on the porch tonight having a drink and talking about how I just bought 20 bistro chairs but really have no where to put them!

  7. I have long been an admirer of her laid back personal style. Thanks for giving me a heads up about her new book…and…soooo glad you are posting more frequently…you inspire us all…

  8. Oh my goodness, what a breath of fresh air!!!! I have to buy her books. Thank you so much for introducing her on your blog. I have to admit if not for your post I would never have heard of Mary. Well, maybe I did but have forgotten. The photos are beautiful. I'm a firm believer of turning wherever you live into your safe place, even if it's a hotel room for a few days. Again thank you!

  9. Correction! I do have her old book! I tend to always like the same style so I thought it was odd I didn't know her. What's odd, not really if you knew me, was I forgot her name. Well, this is a must have on my lists of books.

  10. She is my friend too….although she does not know it. THAT book, "Misspent life…" takes center stage on my coffee table. And NOW. YOU two – together – for coffee, oh how jealous, umm, I mean delighted, I am for you. Glad to know of her new book. Ordering NOW.

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