November 11, 2013

O, to have a little house!

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and feel rested and ready for the new week to begin.  I don't know about you, but I'm still struggling a little with the time change--watching the sky start to grow dark mid-afternoon is mildly depressing. I bought peppermint tea, Lady Grey tea and peppermint mocha instant coffee for my office this weekend in an attempt to stave off those mid-afternoon slumps.

I'm not the only one who feels this way at 3 pm, am I?

But if a cup of tea or coffee doesn't do the trick, maybe closing my eyes and dreaming about sunny days of easy living at a summer cottage, sunlight warming my face and making the water glisten will give me that much needed five minute pick-me-up.  And if my modest cottage recollections can give me such pleasure, what do you think the Vanderbilts felt when they would arrive at their little summer cottage by the sea in their carriage?

I suppose for them it was just ho-hum home, considering their New York mansion was much larger and even more ostentatious.  But for me, well I tried to not be the dorky gawky tourist but I must confess, it was hard to look unimpressed when surrounded by this display of wealth.  I think a few soft "ooohs" and "ahhhs" came out of my mouth even though I was trying hard.  I chalk it up to my obsession with all things English--when you have visions of Pemberley and Downton Abbey dancing through your head you can't help but wish you were wearing Regency dress and if you squinted your eyes just right, Mr. Darcy might be walking up the backyard, dripping wet from a swim in the sea!

Oops, sorry! I digress---Back to the mansion at hand---and besides, lucky me, I have my own Mr. Darcy to tour the grounds and house with (even if the real Mr. Darcy probably didn't own a Steelers baseball cap..)

So let's start with a quick tour of the lawn and gardens and tomorrow we'll peek (gawk) inside the house itself.  We were lucky to be there on a week day so the crowds were light and we had a wonderful time wandering the beautiful gardens.

Back entrance of the home

I love this lamp post!

Statue tucked away in corner of the back entrance

Rather intimidating statue that greets you in the carriage entrance 

Garden side of house and statuary

Front view, which faces the ocean

View from the house (I thought of Manderley when I looked down the stretch of lawn to the sea and wondered what Max de Winter's wife felt on her arrival at her famed new home) 

I found the statuary rather grotesque and mildly terrifying... 

And I couldn't help but wonder what goings-on shocked these two tree nymphs?

But whether it reminded me of Manderley:

or Pemberley...

or Downton Abbey...

I was just happy to be in the moment.  But after we've admired the magnificent sights, here's a poem by Padraic Colum to bring us back to reality.  It reminds us all what we really need in a home!

An Old Woman of the Roads

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping the hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loath to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house, a house of my own,
Out of the wind's and the rain's way

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