'Farewell gesture from winter'

An Audubon Society nature center in Southbury, Conn.

An Audubon Society nature center in Southbury, Conn.

"March brings many things, but not hurricanes. But yesterday it brought a storm and a temperature drop, a farewell gesture from winter. The pipes froze again in the back part of the house. And as I viewed the solidly frozen bath mat in my shower, I felt I could do without any record-breaking statistics.''

-- Gladys Taber, from her book The Stillmeadow Road

The late Ms. Taber wrote books about living in a 1690 farmhouse in the Stillmeadow section of Southbury, Conn.

From the Trust for Public Land:

"Long before Martha Stewart made the world safe for country chic, Gladys Taber ruled the rural roost in Connecticut. Her home base was Stillmeadow, an agricultural enclave in the southwest corner of Connecticut. Gladys Taber's 40-acre farm, her 17th-century farmhouse, the village of Southbury, and the surrounding countryside became her writerly muses, beginning in 1931, when she moved up from Manhattan, and continuing until her death at age 81 in 1980. She is buried here, too, in the graveyard of Southbury Congregational Church.

"Stillmeadow was the 'main character' in Taber's popular monthly columns in Ladies Home Journal and Everywoman's Family Circle magazines and later in more than 50 books set and written in Southbury. These writings not only established her as America's arbiter of all things authentically country, but her gentle musings on the simple life and her wholly ungentrified approach to the seasons, gardening, cooking, raising livestock, and breeding cocker spaniels helped the country get through the Great Depression--partly by following Taber's pragmatic example. In those years she answered between 7,000 and 8,000 fan letters annually.''