Sunday, December 12, 2010


Revisiting the scene of last weekend's tree-trimming party, I was confronted by these awe-inspiring out-of-season peonies setting themselves off against freesias and green hydrangeas.

The tree stood silently in the naked sunlight of Sunday afternoon, product and reminder of the labor of many children assembled under the supervision of Mabel Watson Payne. Her daddy stuck the star on top without even using a ladder.