The Catalpa Tree

Wandering around in the woods or strolling through an open meadow has always brought me joy. Solitude in nature is a balm for my soul.

On Saturday, we had a picnic in the convertible in one of my favorite parts of the city, on the grounds of the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center. The well-maintained grounds include acres of wooded areas, a pond, and rolling hills.

My look for the warm sunny day included smooth waistband ankle pants in camel here. My shirt is from last year. Here is a similar one.

Similar sunglasses are here. The necklace is here. The other jewelry is years old, so I’ll share similar items. RingEarringsLink Bracelet – Bangles here and here

My bag has sold out now, here is a similar size and style of summer bag. The shoes are here.

One of my earliest childhood memories includes standing at the base of this massive tree and peering into the fairy houses looking for tiny winged creatures.

I marveled at its massive girth and stared into the face of its beautiful flowers that have always amazed me. The stunning Catalpa Tree is abundant here, but this is the oldest one I have encountered.

Today is Memorial Day. It is a federal holiday set aside to honor the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

  1. What a beautiful place to have nearby. Nature is so essential for us all especially during these still trying times. We have often shared our gratitude for the many open spaces we have nearby and felt great sympathy for city dwellers who have no outside space to enjoy b

  2. A beautiful place to enjoy. Happy Memorial day to you and thank you for your service too. Happy picnicking.

  3. When I was young one of my teachers read a book to us titled That Summer on Catalpa Street. I’ve always loved catalpa trees for their wonderful shade and interesting leaves. There are so few of them in central Illinois and I get excited every time I see one. I would order a live one from the Arbor day foundation but they eventually grow too big for my smaller subdivision lot. You are so fortunate to have them in parks near you.

    Have a blessed Memorial Day.

  4. The title of this post drew me right in, because we had catalpa trees in Minnesota, where I grew up, and I always loved their big, bright green, heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers. I think I’ve only seen one catalpa tree since I moved to Texas, which surprised me. They’re great trees, and your post took me back in time. Thank you for always writing such interesting posts, and Happy Memorial Day to you and Mr. Mickey!

  5. Just a word, please don’t say, “Happy Memorial Day.”
    It is a day to honor people who died in service to their country. Hardly a “happy” reason for salutation.
    But, it is meant to be a day of salute & reflection of those who have passed.
    No offense towards those who’ve said it. It has become a day to kick-off the beginning of summer. But, it’s more than that.
    I’ll climb back down off my soapbox…
    (I understand if you don’t wish to post this)
    Thank you for your service, Susan.

    1. Appreciate this comment. I cringe when I hear “Happy” Memorial Day. Your comment is right on.

  6. They are the most beautiful grounds. I’m proud to say my brother is there since 2016. In honor of all who are there today.

  7. My grade school recesses were spent playing under great catalpa trees! Many wonderful memories.
    Thanks to both you and Mr Mickey for service to our country! God bless America ❤

  8. Beautiful posts. Thank you. Is the white blouse shear? I have a very hard time finding a white blouse that covers and sometimes it’s too warm for a camisole. Thank you! Ordered the pants! Thank you to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. God bless America.

  9. Maybe I’m just hungry, but I was looking for photos of the picnic! Did you pack anything special?

  10. I think you look absolutely stunning in this outfit. Well coordinated and classy.

    Clara from Iowa

  11. It’s been years since I’ve even heard anyone mention catalpa trees! When we were kids (50 plus year ago) we loved going fishing with our dad on one of the many ponds dotting the property of the large farming company he managed here in central Alabama. We had a big catalpa tree in our back yard, and it was always a good source for fish bait – the bright black, yellow and white catalpa “worms” (caterpillars actually) were always in abundant supply during the summer months. Thanks for awaking a fond, old memory. And your outfit for the day is lovely, as always!

  12. Hi Susan,
    I received a blog post yesterday, entitled Styling Elements and purporting to be from you, although the email address it came from was vlinkdesign@gmail .com
    I didn’t open it, but I wonder if you have any knowledge of this?
    I really enjoy all aspects of your blog, you are a great teacher!
    Best wishes

    1. I apologize for the confusion. We were having some issues with people not receiving the newsletter, so my web designer used that email address to try to pinpoint the issue. Problem solved! Thank you for your patience.

  13. I heard the phrase, “forest bathing” for the first time recently. It is used to describe the same soothing, calming, enriching experience one feels while walking by the ocean or sunbathing. We can experience this in the forest as well as at the ocean.

  14. Interesting post, I have never heard of the Catalpa Tree, I don’t believe they grow in AL It is a beautiful tree! Thank you for your service and your inspiration to us over 60 girls!

  15. Thank you for your service Susan. The grounds you were walking thru look heavenly. Have a great week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.