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Nesting: Tales of Love, Life, and Real Estate

Nesting: Tales of Love, Life, and Real Estate

by Lois Wyse, Wyse

A place to call home...few ideas conjure up such a heartfelt sense of contentment, security, and simple happiness. As bestselling author Lois Wyse reminds us, each time we move, we set about finding a home for our hearts -- and therein lies the true art of nesting.

And so we turn to this delightful celebration of adorable honeymoon cottages, rotten first


A place to call home...few ideas conjure up such a heartfelt sense of contentment, security, and simple happiness. As bestselling author Lois Wyse reminds us, each time we move, we set about finding a home for our hearts -- and therein lies the true art of nesting.

And so we turn to this delightful celebration of adorable honeymoon cottages, rotten first apartments, houses to remember (and forget), mortgaged mansions -- and that warm place in the heart we call home. With her trademark humor and insight, Lois Wyse has written a moving collection of stories, anecdotes, and poems that reminds us of the life lessons we learn as we repaint, refurnish, and redecorate in search of a place to settle down. Here are all the paths to our dream houses...and to the lives and loves we make there. It's been said that no woman ever met a man or a house she couldn't make over, but this wise little book shows us that what we are really making over is ourselves.

With short and sweet stories exploring both the emotional importance of home and the practical dramas of houses -- their quaint charms and their mysterious plumbing -- Nesting helps each of us remember that, after all, there's no place like home.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A collection of vignettes, essays, and poetry organized around a central theme: Home is where the schmaltz is.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.67(w) x 7.34(h) x 0.66(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter Two: Of Honeymoon Cottages, Rotten First Apartments, Mortgaged Mansions, and That Secret Place in the Heart We Cal HomeAll The Houses in the World

The first day Morgan apologized. "It never rains here," he began. "I don't understand this."

"Your cook said it's been like this for three days," the widow replied and then added, with just a hint of provocation in her voice, "But we're not really here to check the weather." She gave him her most beguiling smile.

"No, you're right. Weather be damned. Besides, I'm going to be on the phone with the office, so it's a good thing you've brought some books."

She nodded and went to her room. So much for her first attempt at a romantic response. She wondered what her three-year-old granddaughter was doing at this moment. If she were at home, she'd have the little girl with her because it was Saturday. But perhaps his concentration on business was just his style; maybe it had nothing to do with her. She'd try harder. When she came to dinner, she was wearing a long red caftan; her hair was pulled back, and she was wearing long earrings.

"You are so beautiful," he said. "Thank you for coming."

She smiled demurely.

"How did you spend your afternoon?" he asked.

"I did something I've been meaning to do. I finally had the time to begin reading the new Roosevelt biography. There were some things in it I'd never realized about -- "

"Just a minute, dear," he said. "I think there's a fax coming through."

The widow looked around the pretty dining room and realized she had no one to talk to.

At the end of the second day, another wet day he spent on the telephone with his broker and at his fax machine, she realized for the first time in many years that she felt lonely. By herself in her apartment she'd always sensed the presence of friends and family. Here she was isolated with a man wedded to his business and the people who worked for him.

At dinner the third evening he had his finest champagne served, raised his glass, and asked, "Now are you ready to make this your life?"

"You are such a fine man," she began as she raised her glass. "I wish I could say yes to you, but -- "

"Look at all I can give you," he interrupted. He looked closely at her. "I think we're compatible. We share the same values. I'm as devoted to worthwhile causes as you are." Now he set his glass down and put his hands on the table, the gesture he always made before announcing his best offer. "I'll give you thousands of dollars every month just for a clothing allowance."

She smiled sweetly. "That sounds like clamshells to me. I can't even translate that into how many dresses it would buy."

Now he pressed his hands into the table. "You can have all the money you want for charity. You'll have four houses, more if you want."

She shook her head. "Morgan, sitting in that little cottage, pretty as it is, made me realize that I felt very lonely. You have your computers and companies, but I want more than reading alone in a lovely place. Besides, loneliness isn't about being alone; it's about feeling alone."

She stood and walked around the table to where he sat. She kissed him gently on the cheek. "I'm going to leave tomorrow."

When Morgan returned to the city, he asked his second son for a list of eligible women, and three months later he announced his engagement to the widowed mother of one of his daughters-in-law.

Said the widow who spurned him, "I wish only the best for him, and I do hope his new wife will like me. He is a wonderful, generous man, even though he couldn't understand my decision. But you see, when a woman's been alone as I have, has learned to make a life for herself, likes nothing better than good conversation with bright and interesting people, how can she exchange it all for a rich man with a fax machine in all the houses in the world?"

Love is about the number
of hours, not the number of
houses, a man will share.

A Scene of Changes

She changed her name to Fred the morning of her thirty-fifth birthday. "I need to do something different," she explained when she phoned her best friend, Victoria. "I am getting nowhere with Mary. Frederica is my middle name, so why not use it? That name has just been sitting around on my birth certificate. It's time to try it on for size, and as long as I'm just trying, why not see if I can change my luck with a man's name?"

"The name is not the game," Victoria answered.

"But the only players in the game are named Fred or Joe or Bill. How many straight men who want to be married are still single at thirty-five? My biological clock is on eastern standard time and my life is three hours behind on Pacific time. At this rate I will never get married or have a baby."

"Is that so bad?" Victoria wondered.

"Maybe not for you," the newly minted Fred answered. "But I've got my body in pretty good shape for someone who lives on yogurt and take-out salads. I hang out at the gym because Mimzy -- remember Mimzy? -- met her new husband on the treadmill next to hers. I put in enough miles for cross-country expertise on that damned treadmill, and the only men next to me are potbellied guys getting over heart attacks or other women's husbands who don't want to leave home. No matter where I look, the only thing I see is a million other women like me. I see them in the deli and the take-out store. I see them at my office, in the movies, and on the bus. I'm damned tired of going home at night and wondering which Seinfeld episode they'll replay tonight."

"Maybe if you fixed up your apartment, you'd feel better," Victoria advised.

"That's what I said before I fixed up myself," Fred answered. "But if a new body didn't bring the boys around, why will a new sofa?"

"Because," Victoria took a deep breath and paused. "Well, I honestly don't know, but you have to go home and look at something besides old cheese in the fridge and those four green walls."

"You think I'll feel better if I throw away the cheese?" Fred laughed.

"Not necessarily. But maybe if you get rid of those green walls -- "

"I don't know why I'm listening to you. You're not any more married than I am. But I'm ready to try anything. So you're telling me guys don't like green walls...."

Copyright © 1999 by Garrett Press, Inc.

Meet the Author

Lois Wyse has published more than sixty books, including Women Make the Best Friends and the New York Times best-seller Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother. She has been a long-time contributing editor at Good Housekeeping and writes a syndicated weekly advice column called "Wyse Words," which appears in newspapers across the country and on the Internet. The president and co-founder of Wyse Advertising, she lives in New York City and East Hampton, New York.

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