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March 17, 2014 / Linda Hartong


I started writing “Tales From Carmel” in January  2011.  I wanted to know the history and stories of this place I have come to love. 

I wrote of  Carmel’s curious customs,


its unique courtyards, 




and restaurants. 


I wrote about its stunning cottage gardens,




and exquisite setting. 


But what I loved the most was that I had an excuse to engage Carmelites in conversation. They were enormously generous with stories and tours of what they had created and held dear .

238 posts later, I find myself with little to add that is of significance. I am ready to take on a new challenge, one discovered by my experiences while writing this blog and while growing older. 

We are all aware, to some degree, that our lives are a story, parts of which we wish we could put in writing to live on after we die. As we experience the dying process of someone we love, we may hear stories that we have not heard before. We see sides of them we have not seen before. Their stories become a precious gift.

As Gail Lumet Buckley says “Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.”

Hospice helped both my Mother and Father die in the way they wished. I have looked for something I can give back and finally found something. 

Crossroads Hospice in Kansas City 

life journals

has started using volunteers to help patients create life journals to leave as legacies for family members . The Journals focus on heritage, special memories and  life treasures. They contain family photos, favorite recipes, memories , bits of advice and a place for the family to write their own memories. 

I have just started on this project, but you know how  I like to tell a story.

Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. It has really been a joy.  

If you are new to the blog please take a look at the post of which I am most proud

Hugh Comstock’s Fairytale Cottages By The Sea


Carmel’s First Courtyard- The Court of the Golden Bough


What The Heck Is a Fairytale Cottage, Anyway?


I  Am Invited To Tour Biddlestone Cottage and Garden


Maintaining The Essence Of Carmel


Carmel-By-the Sea’s Best-Kept Secret


Carmel’s Golden Hour


“On Little Cat Feet”





I will not be posting every week as I have been but will post from time to time as I find things I want to share. Until then, be well, be happy.


Leave a Comment
  1. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti / Mar 17 2014 5:56 pm

    I have always enjoyed your blog even though I have only visited Carmel once. It is an enchanting place to live, work and play, and you have always described all its joys and wonders so well!
    Best wishes in your new, very worthy endeavor. I will look forward to your updates!

  2. Marian / Mar 17 2014 5:59 pm

    Dear Linda, I will so miss your regular posts. They truly made my day when I saw them pop into my email box. Carmel is just a dream for me but with your wonderful discoveries and sharing through your insightful eyes and lovely words I felt that I too was a part of that very special place. Thank you. I wish you all the luck in the world with your new endeavour!

  3. Carolyn / Mar 17 2014 6:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing Carmel with us. It sounds like a worthy and rewarding task you will be engaging in.

  4. Marcia McGinnis Shortt and Paul Shortt / Mar 17 2014 6:13 pm

    We sure have enjoyed all of your postings and hate to see it end as your photos and choices are better than most of the Carmel cottage/garden books that are on the market. Congratulations on your new project/mission and do read “Hare with the Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Wall for a beautifully written account of 5 generations of a family in Vienna and a collection of art that has been passed down.
    Hope to meet you someday and wait for the book you’ll write about Carmel houses and gardens
    Marcia Shortt

  5. Susan / Mar 17 2014 6:19 pm

    I have personally enjoyed your posts and I send them along to my 85 yr old mom who enjoyed them too! Thank you for the virtual vacations:)… I understand wanting/needing a change in direction and a new chapter. May God Bless you on your new journey.

  6. jeanette sclar / Mar 17 2014 6:38 pm

    What a worthy undertaking!

  7. Annie Westlake / Mar 17 2014 6:41 pm

    238 posts which inspired me and brought me instantly to the place I hold so dear to my heart. To say I will miss this is an understatement. I thank you for all your beautiful work and commend you on your new venture. My parents, too, had the good fortune of being under the care of the visiting angels of Hospice, and I applaud your new venture. Bless you, Linda, for all you do to make the world a better place.

  8. Linda Kerekes / Mar 17 2014 6:54 pm

    Thank you Linda for your charming and thorough investigations of my favorite place on earth. I will look forward to every new post you feel moved to write. In the meantime I will enjoy reliving your old posts as they will be with me forever. Best of luck in your new very worthy endeavors.

  9. lynn momboisse / Mar 17 2014 6:55 pm

    Linda -I love the idea of hospice journals!!! You will do wonders for these people. After having my mother and father-in-law in hospice I know the joy that it will bring these precious souls to put down their memories. And what a joy it will bring to those who are left behind. I know there will be more Tales from Carmel, but in the meantime, know that what you are doing is what Catholic’s call a Corporal work of Mercy. God bless you on this new journey it is truly charitable and worthy..

    PS I am going to look at some of the Crossroad journals. My father is 98 going on 99. He is still in assisted living and we might find this an enjoyable activity.

  10. Carol Woodhouse / Mar 17 2014 7:03 pm

    I can’t express myself as eloquently as Annie but I feel the same way. Your blog about Carmel has brought me delight. I always look forward to one of your posts. They brought me cheer on days when I was in sore need of something bright. I wish you well in your new venture and I’m confident you will do justice to your journal. Perhaps you can pop in here on occasion to fill us in on how you and the journal are going.

    Best Regards,
    Carol Woodhouse

  11. Cheryl / Mar 17 2014 7:17 pm

    Sad to see you go Linda but wish you well, and look forward to an occasional post. Your new endeavor sounds both noble and rewarding. I told you how I found your blog right after our first (and fabulous) trip to Carmel, and am grateful for how you extended the experience for me right through a rough winter. Thank you for taking the time to share Carmel.

  12. Mara Lindstrom / Mar 17 2014 7:37 pm

    I have enjoyed your blog so very much and every time I travel to Carmel from Santa Cruz (and it seems to be more and more often) I think, “I sure would love to meet Linda Hartong and have a cup of tea with her!” Best wishes for your new project. It will be such a blessing to all connected with it and with you.

  13. / Mar 17 2014 7:55 pm

    Your regular posts will be truly missed, Linda.  Thank you so very much for over 3 years of gifts!   best wishes to you, Mary Condry

  14. Joyce / Mar 17 2014 7:55 pm

    I have very much enjoyed your blog and will continue to look forward to your posts and enjoy revisiting older posts. I am very happy for you that you have found another writing opportunity which seems to be both challenging and worthwhile. Best wishes.

  15. Linda / Mar 17 2014 8:02 pm

    Linda, You are a gifted writer, and we will all miss you. Using your gift to tell the stories of others will truly be a blessing to everyone fortunate enough to meet you. Thank you for giving us all a little break now and then with your lovely photos and delightful descriptions.

  16. Sandra Geiselman / Mar 17 2014 10:14 pm

    The joy you have brought to me over the months reading about the mystical …..magic places in Carmel and what my daughter calls my “happy place” will be missed so much. I only get to visit two or three times a year. October is the best as I am there a month. Thank you. I love Carmel so very much.

  17. Betty / Mar 17 2014 10:50 pm

    Dear Linda,
    Thank you so much for this lovely blog I have enjoyed visiting over the past year or so. You have opened my eyes to a wonderful place of delightful homes and gardens as well as beautiful scenery.
    I commend you and wish you well on this new undertaking you are commencing. The recording of my father’s life was done in a similar way by volunteers at the hostel/village where he lived and we treasure all of those memories.
    I will keep watching for posts from you and wish you all joys in the days ahead.

  18. leilani / Mar 17 2014 10:58 pm

    Noooooo! We’ll all miss these posts so much, they were such a joy to read – like eye candy – and such a treasure I am sure for the residents of Carmel to have the charm of their picturesque community recorded so conscientiously.

    But I was relieved to read at the end of your post today that the site will remain up, we can go back & take little mini-vacations whenever we need ’em by clicking on a favorite old post in the archive, and if the spirit ever moves you, you’ll even still add to your body of work here.

    Your new venture sounds so very gratifying. I hadn’t heard of hospice journals – what a wonderful idea and a fitting one for you to do as a talented documentarian. (That *is* what you’ve been doing here with Carmel, after all, so documenting patients’ lives for their survivors would seem to be exactly up your alley.)

    Best of luck with it. But be sure & keep that camera handy & (I hate to nag) don’t forget you still have to do the garden book! 😉

  19. Lynn / Mar 18 2014 12:28 am

    Dear Linda,

    THANK YOU so much for this blog. I have enjoyed it ever so much!! Your new project, helping hospice patients with Journals, sounds very rewarding. I wish you many blessings as you help these patients.


  20. Amber / Mar 18 2014 1:07 am

    It has been such a joy to read and then re-read many times over your lovely blog. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into it-my mother and I have loved pouring over the pictures for ideas for my own cottage. Best of luck with your new endeavor-they are lucky to have you!

  21. carmelcottage / Mar 18 2014 1:16 am

    Thank you so much for this blog. You have no idea how it brightens my day and it seems, many others too! When things are tough, I come here and leave a little lighter. Thank you so so much. I live in New Zealand and visit Carmel once a year (except last year, my Dad was dying with cancer and passed in February). He used to ask me, “you visit the USA every year, where’s your favourite place?” Carmel I’d say and tell him about all its beauty. I have been working on creating my own Carmel Cottage and cottage garden for a few years and when complete (they are never complete), we think we will name it Calpops Cottage because California poppies pop up everywhere from a few seeds planted years ago. We plant plants that we have seen on our travels to the USA and Carmel – Mexican bush sage is my favourite and so hard to find here, Alstrameria, roses, buxus, dhalias, rudebeckia, bouganvillea, geraniums. I come to this site to get inspiration, make notes, sketch some ideas and wallah, it kinda looks like that picture! We plan to visit Carmel again this October. Can’t wait. I’d love you to turn this into a picture book. I have a couple of Carmel cottage books I refer to often. Thank you again!

  22. Harold / Mar 18 2014 1:49 am

    Your bogs will be greatly missed. Love Carmel.

  23. Bud Glickman / Mar 18 2014 4:33 am

    Linda, Your posting were always interesting and will be missed. For your new role the following:

    On Friday I meet with the founder of ** as (at 81 Yrs. Old) I am “Chief of Elder Outreach” for **. These are two new successful startups you might want to check out. StoryWorth was written up in a one-half page article in last Sunday’s New York Times. According to the Huffington Post *Lively* is “the best gift you can get your grandmother”

    All the Best,


    On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM, Once upon a time..Tales from Carmel by

  24. Cyndia / Mar 18 2014 4:53 am

    Linda, I rarely comment but I want you to know how much I enjoy your posts. Through reading your blog, I found so many lovely spots to visit on my trips to Carmel. My daughter lives in Salinas and works in Monterey, and I try to visit her at least once a year. It is always fun to have new spots to show her! Thank
    you for bringing that magical place alive for me! I can’t thank you enough!

    As for the Hospice, a dear friend has worked with Hospice in New Hampshire for several years, and has found it incredibly rewarding. I hope you do as well.

  25. Barbara H. / Mar 18 2014 5:01 am

    I have so enjoyed the delightful homes and gardens of Carmel. Thank you for bringing such pleasure to your readers. I am so happy that you have found what sounds like a perfect next step that will add much to those lives that intersect with yours. Hospice is a wonderful thing – it helped so much with my brother-in-law. Many thanks to you, Linda.

  26. Wilette / Mar 18 2014 3:55 pm

    Let me express the enjoyment I have had reading your post and viewing pics of Carmel. I live in Alabama and I don’t know if I will ever be able to visit there but thru “talesfromcarmel” it has allowed me to take a little mini journey”! Wishing you happiness and fullfilment in the future!!

  27. Susan / Mar 18 2014 6:38 pm

    Linda, I discovered your blog several months ago. I have enjoyed it so much -thank you! I hope that you will leave it up, so that those of us that have recently found you will be able to look up your past posts. Best wishes to you on your new endeavor~

  28. Dan Smith / Mar 18 2014 8:09 pm

    Thank you for all the stories. We have seen Carmel through your heart and eyes. What a wonderful blessing you have been to us and many others. We live in Oklahoma and visit Carmel every summer. It is a special place. We will miss the parts of Carmel that have come to us through your weekly blogs. Although we live in dry and hot (or cold in the winter) Oklahoma, we enjoy our “weekly visits” to our “other home” in Carmel though your sharing. We have enjoyed and kept all your writings and read them over and over to get a “brief visit to Carmel” when we need a pick up. Don’t be a stranger and blog as often as you can. Blessings as your work with Hospice. Dan and Julia Smith

    Sent from my iPhone


  29. Linda Cranford / Mar 19 2014 2:57 am

    Your writings have been a joy to me…a beautiful escape to the fairy tale…I anxiously await your next update and wish you well in your worthy endeavor…you are truly gifted♥

  30. Linda Beck / Mar 19 2014 4:27 am

    i have enjoyed your writings and photography immensely.i will look forward to your occasional postings and wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. i can’t think of a more appropriate way to ‘give back’ … thank you for many pleasureable hours, linda.

    linda beck

  31. CashmereLibrarian / Mar 20 2014 9:29 pm

    Thank you, Linda. It’s been lovely. Hopefully I will retire to Carmel in the next decade and perhaps we can explore together!

  32. Becky McGinnis / Mar 21 2014 1:47 pm

    Dear Linda,
    I wish you the very best in every aspect of your life. You have graciously and beautifully enhanced my own with everything you have shared here. Blessings and Namasté. Becky

  33. Carol Daugherty / Mar 21 2014 2:13 pm

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your postings. The allure of Carmel by the Sea is amazing. I appreciate too the time you devoted to capturing the essence of the story behind the beautiful homes. Thank you and I look forward to future postings.

  34. Ruth / Mar 21 2014 8:00 pm

    I will certainly miss your tours of Carmel and posts of daily living there. It is a dream of mine to one day vacation there. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us that can only dream about this beautiful Carmel. I look forward to hearing more about the journals. It sounds like something every family would cherish and love to have. I know I would have loved to have one from my parents or grandmother. I know you will truly make a difference to many families. Blessings to you!

  35. Kathleen / Mar 21 2014 9:11 pm

    Your posts are always so inviting – I will certainly miss your posts. Will look forward to when you can. What a wonderful new adventure you are taking on. Blessing to you.

  36. A. Robertson / Mar 23 2014 6:07 pm

    Your eye for beauty, your camera catching that beauty and your storytelling have been first rate! You have provided great benefit to Carmel and to all people who know it.

  37. Bobbie Belvel / Mar 24 2014 4:10 pm

    Linda – I first started following your posts back at the beginning in 2011. Your beautiful photography and astute comments have done more for the Carmel community than you know. I stay there as often as I can. You have kept the Carmel feel alive for me and I hope someday to live in the area and perhaps meet you. Til then, THANK YOU so much for the gifts you have given through your blogs. But now you deserve a rest. I look forward to your occasional blogs about my favorite town. Thanks again!

  38. Michael Smith / Apr 1 2014 5:15 am

    Thank you very much Linda, enjoyed all your stories and descriptions; keep in touch…best of life to you! Michael

  39. Mary Reed / Apr 3 2014 3:34 pm

    Linda…I want to send you the history of Reed Bros.. and The California School of Woodcarving that started in Carmel in the 50’s. My husband, Duncan Reed, is a graduate of Carmel High and goes to the reunions regularly and knows a lot about Charles Marshall Sayers.

    Mary Reed…. Reed Bros.

    PS the history is on our website.

  40. / Apr 15 2014 8:22 pm

    Hi! Linda, I just wanted to wish you luck and thank you so much.  In October 2013, I fell broke a hip and also became very ill and didn’t get back home till the end of December.  When at home I recovered reading all your post.  Lol, little did you know you already started on your new mission. I will really miss you.  Thank you again and sending you my love. Carole

  41. John Pagan / Apr 22 2014 4:27 pm

    You may find this blog post Informative about an early Carmel Resident. Pauline Gibling Schindler

    “By 1924, RMS had also essentially replaced Wright as Barnsdall’s personal architect and by 1928 replace Wright as the Freeman’s architect. Beginning in 1928 Schindler was also hired to design furniture for Wright’s Sam and Harriet Freeman House where, over the next 25 years, he designed two guest apartments and other alterations and over 35 pieces of furniture. (See “Freeman House, 1928-1933, Hollywood Hills” by Jeffrey M. Chusid in The Furniture of R. M. Schindler, UCSB, p. 88). It has been speculated by some that Schindler was having an affair with Leah and/or Harriet which could have contributed to Pauline’s 1927 departure from Kings Road and might have come into play in Philip Lovell’s decision to award Neutra the Health House commission. See both Hines books for the most complete analysis. (See also my Selected Publications of Esther McCoy for much more discourse on the Lovell Health House Commission).

    Despite an offer to stay at Ellen Janson’s house in Halcyon over the winter of 1927, Pauline left for Carmel on October 19 where she would remain for the next two years. (Sweeney, p. 103). She likely heard great things about the artist’s colony and bohemian lifestyle of Carmel from Galka Scheyer who had arranged a Blue Four exhibition there in 1926.

    As she had done at Kings Road, Pauline rapidly assimilated into the Carmel arts community. She soon began contributing an unsigned column, “The Black Sheep”, to the Carmel Pine Cone. (See photo below). Appearing 11 times between November 1927 and March 1928, she described it as a “new critical department which does not promise to behave itself too well,” but that it would be, “young, fearless, honest, and vital.” She focused mainly on music, local issues and events. Pauline was also named drama critic for Carmel for the Christian Science Monitor. (Sweeney, p. 104). Thus, she may likely be responsible for the four late 1920s and early 1930s Monitor articles on Neutra projects listed in my Neutra bibliography. During her tenure at the Carmel Pine Cone, the Harrison Memorial Library designed by Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck was opening on Ocean Avenue. (See below).”

    and much more.

  42. Louise / May 6 2014 10:18 pm

    Thank you so much. This has been a wonderful blog. We visited Carmel because of it, and look forward to going back again!

  43. Lily / Jul 7 2014 9:41 pm

    Thank you very much for the beautful tour of Carmel. I have only found your blog last night but am already back today to see more of the beauty there that you have made a available to enjoy.

    Blessings upon your new passion. Having just last week had a very special family member leave us while being assisted in Hospice care, I greatly appreciate what a gift you will be giving to family through your writing of their history.


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