Living

But what defines “living well” ? For me, living well has always been a very abstract idea. Sort of an “I’ll know it when I see it” state of being. For my former business partner living well meant that he had become affluent enough to have a phone in the bathroom. I thought that having a car and driver would suffice. If I had to boil it all down, I would say that the easy and elegant life is simply more gracious and enjoyable.

This site is my attempt to define how I could live a little more elegantly — living well, and well within my means. Together, we’ll explore what the French call “l’art de vivre” (what those folks in the photo above seem to have grasped so well), learning what constitutes elegance, how to cultivate your particular tastes, how to entertain your friends with style (and within a certain budget). In short, how to make your life a little more gracious.

As for Juan Les Pins? It’s changed since the photo was taken, but there is a wonderful jazz festival there every year. If you can get to it, you won’t be disappointed.

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13 Responses to Living

  1. barG says:

    Congratulations on your new format/layout. I see you have streamlined — no
    blog links, email address, etc. Continued success and best wishes to Mrs. E,
    BarbaraG

  2. Thanks barG, It was out of necessity and is a work in progress. The updates did a number on the formatting of the site all the way back to the beginning! Anyway, the blogroll is still here, but I can’t make it display yet. Yet.

  3. maja says:

    living well…? good question… being and economist, my version of your “living well” would be “financially independent” meaning I can choose wheather to work or not meaning I have enough and can work for the fun and pleasure of it.

  4. Maja, financially independent would be a boon. Since that isn’t in the offing for most of us, I’m trying to figure out how to live better without breaking the bank. Appreciation for what we have surrounding us is a start. And if we become liquid, well, that’s just fine, too.

  5. Mitchell Chapman says:

    Being a sheriff’s deputy has afforded me the opportunity to interact daily with those much less fortunate than me on both a material and mental stability level. Some would say I live “well” when compared to those I serve but to really define it, I think one must come from a personal perspective. It’s the simple things in my life that tell me I do indeed live “well”. For instance, each morning before the sun rises being able to enjoy a cup of coffee sitting in my favorite living room chair, the room dark except for one lovely lamp’s illumination, listening to the early morning chatter of the birds outside is pure luxury. Having a gin & tonic in a heavy crystal cocktail glass with a friend, in that same room, me sitting in the same chair with the sun setting behind the fir and aspen trees outside my windows, another bit of luxury. Over the years, I have collected many “fine” things. I see a great deal of misery, often on a daily basis. I remind myself that life is really pretty good by using those “fine” things even if it is setting the TV tray with “fine” china and sterling flatware and watching a favorite program while eating dinner.

  6. Dep. Chapman, exactly. Keep fighting the good fight! Thanks for reading and reminding us that it is the little things in life that make a big difference.

  7. Rosanne Allen-Hewlett says:

    In pursuit, always, of the better things in life. Thank you.

  8. david says:

    I just want to meet Mitchell!

  9. Phong Nyugen says:

    Lovely insights Mr. Chapman.

  10. Iñigo says:

    Two years in a row we saw Keith Jarrett play. They day after one could be swimming under the moon while melody gardot sang for us at the pine stage. Best place. And on the way back is worth stopping at Grasse for the Perfume Museum.

  11. Chris says:

    Igu! Grasse is lots of fun, I agree. Hope to get over there to see you next summer. That’s the plan now!

  12. Dorinda Duncan says:

    Oh Chris, it’s so good to read you again! I got married at 65 yo after a whirlwind courtship, and we are still dewy eyed after 8 years. We have moved from the hustle and bustle of Dallas, TX to the country in the Piedmont region of North Carolina into, of all things, a log cabin with soaring ceilings and wood floors and authentic log/mortar walls. Quite a difference from my all white modern home in the city. I’m afraid to hang any art as the wood walls are busy already, but I don’t want to revert to anything cliche, either. Not hanging any stuffed deer heads, thank you very much. Got any ideas?

  13. DD, congratulations! I do love the Carolinas, although I’m more of a coastal guy. What a fun project. One thing I miss about moving is the opportunity to redecorate a house. Get rid of all that isn’t the best stuff and start over. A habit of a military brat who didn’t really begin to settle down until 2001. Thinking about your living quarters is a challenge. I’ve never lived in a log cabin or in the mountains. Mrs. E.’s grandmother did live in a pre_Revolutionary War log cabin though and it was rather nicely put together. Oriental rugs lent color and (more) warmth. The furniture was mostly 19th century English and American mixed with Chinese and Japanese pieces from her life as a Navy wife. There was a true library, too. The paintings were hung up, but there was plenty of wall space to be seen. In fact, that was one thing I remember most. Compared to the overstuffed rooms I’m used to, it was sparsely furnished which let the architecture shine.

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