America first celebrated Labor Day in 1894 after Congress passed an act designating the first Monday in September as a federal holiday recognizing the contributions of the millions of men and women in the U.S. workforce.
Labor Day also marks the unofficial end of summer, ushering in the busier, more intense fall school and work routines, culminating with the holiday season in November and December.
Hadley Court applauds the working men and women who are the salt of the earth and backbone of America.
And, as we stand on the cusp of the turning point of the year, we’d like to take a moment to look back at the best of summer living 2014 here on the Hadley Court blog. We hope these scenes and images can provide a “visual escape” that you can turn to from time to time during the busy fall and holiday season to help you relax and take a deep breath.
Ready to get started on our tour of Summer 2014 on Hadley Court?
Let’s begin by getting into a Front Porch State of Mind.
As described in Hadley Court’s blog on the American front porch here, the calmer, gentler pace of front porch living allows us “be quiet and tranquil, secure in the ease and comfort of our mind and heart. We need relaxation and a moment’s peace in order to live graciously, and when we do find this sense of calm, we experience greater dexterity in our performance.” Those are the words of world-famous interior designer Alexandra Stoddard, in her book, “Gracious Living in a New World.”
Once you’re in a front porch state of mind, you’re ready for a summer picnic, as described in our July blog on The Essentials of Organizing an Easy Summer Picnic, here.
My favorite picnic memory from the Summer of 2014 was a family picnic one Sunday afternoon inside the lush and lovely Arboretum on the campus of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)
Isn’t it a bit like an enchanted forest?
On your virtual picnic this fall, you might want to take along some canned vegetables or dishes such as the ones we outlined here in our Farm-to-table: Canning + Recipes for Summertime Family Fun! blog.
Ahh, just imagining the mouth-watering summer tastes of farm-grown corn, green beans, cucumbers and watermelon should give us all a needed momentary escape during the hectic fall season!
Driven by the values of authenticity, purity, healthiness and peacefulness, a new brand of gracious living is emerging in the farm-to-table movement. This philosophy and lifestyle that’s ushered in a growing number of sustainable local farms, a return to canning, gardening, craftsmanship and earth-friendly living is so pervasive that Hadley Court did a farm-to-table blog series in June and July, beginning with this one on Summer Weddings: From Farm-to-Table to Farm-Fresh Style.
Did you attend a farm-inspired outdoor wedding this summer? What a great memory for a cold November afternoon…
And of course, no summer memories would be complete without closing your eyes and visualizing your spot in the sun on a tropical shore somewhere, as shared on our July blog, Five Ways to Savor Summer’s Simple Pleasures.
Or maybe your summer look-back will take you poolside to a pool like one of those featured on our Memorial Day Weekend Tour of Designer Pools.
The elegant pool above is from the East Hampton home of iconic designer Charlotte Moss. Charlotte, in partnership with Century Furniture, made possible another highlight of Summer 2014 on the Hadley Court blog–the first #TimelessDesign Giveaway of the lovely Memphis Table she designed, as announced here in our blog, Charlotte Moss and Century Furniture: An Iconic Collaboration.
While poolside provides a relaxing “staycation,” there’s nothing like the real thing, especially when European travel is involved. This summer, on Hadley Court, our own Editor-in-Chief Leslie Hendrix Wood and her family vacationed in Paris and Salzburg. Here’s a look at the terrace at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris as showcased in Leslie’s blog, here.
While in Europe, her family also toured breathtaking Salzburg, Austria as beautifully recalled in Leslie’s August blog, Scenes from Salzburg: The Sound of Music Tour.
We also had the treat of traveling vicariously to the fairytale city of Venice and the coastal paradise of Cinque Terre, Italy, along with Amsterdam, Netherlands on Hadley Court this summer. That was made possible through the experience and photography of my daughter, Ashley, who studied abroad with UNC-CH, based in Florence, Italy.
She finished up her month-long stay in Europe with a weekend in one of her favorite cities, Amsterdam.
The full story is told in Hadley Court’s two blogs, From Italy with Love: La Vita E’ Buona and A Visual Feast for the Eyes: Rome and Amsterdam Part 2
Alas, unlike the wistful title of the Beach Boy’s hit, “Endless Summer,” all great summers must come to an end, and with Labor Day, the sun sets on the Summer of 2014.
But let’s not forget that, after every sunset, there is a sunrise.
May the sun rise for you on September 2, 2014, ushering in a vibrant, abundant, healthy, happy and blessed fall and holiday season 2014!
Kim Darden Shaver
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions