The Weather in the Window.

By: Jen Shoop

I see her most clearly when I do no willing at all,

When I am driving and happen to pull up behind an old-model Volvo, or when I am in Church, and a female cantor sings “Ave Maria.”

Did she even sing “Ave Maria”? She was a trained soprano, and I remember well her Wednesday commitment to voice lessons —

The gaps in my own recollections haunt me.

Today, pink flowers bloom on the branches outside the front door, and in a few weeks, leaves will collect across the lawn, and sometimes I find myself fretting over how much more of her I will lose in that time, as though the calendar’s sole purpose is to strip me of my memories. I know, of course, that the windmilling seasons are far more benevolent than that: they have softened and made bearable her absence. They have also returned her to me in unscheduled ways: in the roses growing on the side of our house, in the hot July cobblestones of Georgetown I visited last week, in the Volvo and the Ave Maria and the Greta Gerwig and the ordering of my daughter’s plaid uniform for school next month.

And so I know she is there, a force steady but incorporeal, the weather in the window.


+All of this “Barbie” talk has reminded me of Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird, which I will forever connect with Elizabeth.

+Let’s live life instead of visiting with it. (Andale!)

+Reflections on a Mary Oliver poem I love.

+It’s OK if you’re a wool-gatherer. (I am, too.)

+If you want more Magpie, you can subscribe to my Magpie Email Digest for a weekly roundup of top essays, musings, conversations, and finds!

Shopping Break.

+If you’re still looking to beat the heat, this $35 Amazon dress is a great everyday option.

+Ordered this ribbed tee. Will look great tucked into statement denim and denim skirts this fall.

+We’re taking a little road trip with the children soon, so I bought some new car activities: this “Would You Rather” (for kids) book, this Dot It sticker art book, this scratch and sketch book, and some new Usborne sticker books.

+A pretty transition-to-fall dress.

+LOVE this new pattern from Mille — the top would be so cute with fresh and on-trend jeans.

+Are you an Ugg gal? Honestly, they are so comfortable. I kind of like this one with the zippered side (somehow on sale?), but these pink/lavender ultra minis are calling my name for chilly morning dog walks.

+This is urgent: do you have a Staub? If not, now is the time to buy, while over half off. Get the 7 qt. You won’t regret it — we use it ALL THE TIME and it will last a lifetime. We use it to deep fry, saute big batches of vegetables, make soups and stews, etc, etc, etc. We bought one for my brother and he has told us many times over the years that he could not live without it (like Mr. Magpie, he does almost all of the cooking for his family!). Great gift for an adult child / married couple / etc.

+One of my most-used notebooks. I love the top-binding (a God-send for us lefties!) and of course anything to help me stay on top of ideas, tasks, planning, etc…!

+I do not need a new highlighter…I do not! But. This is in my cart.

+This station necklace is on its way to me now! Can’t wait to layer with my everyday Jane Win pendant.

+This cableknit tank is SO good! Very Ralph Lauren in the 90s.

+Have heard such good things about this stain remover. Just ordered to test.

+Love this chic cropped knit cardigan as a transitional layer. Look for less with this.

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