Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stepping Back in Time

The other weekend when I went to visit Calypso I stayed in a Victorian mansion redone into an inn.  I broke out Boom-boom one afternoon to capture some of the details.  Here is one of the main sitting rooms with a view into the dining room and up to the guest rooms.








Care for a spot of tea while you sit?  Ok, you just sip it and I'll tell you a funny story about a lace table cloth like the one the teacup is resting on.










I own a lace tablecloth that my great grandmother crocheted.  I acquired it from a great aunt when she and her husband were preparing to move from Pennsylvania to Ohio to be close to their son so he could care for them in their declining health (about 17 years ago).  Mr. Lime and I helped to sort through and pack up their THREE housefuls worth of furnishings and accoutrements, as did my mother and grandmother.  At the end of it Auntie beckoned me to her bedside to say how much she appreciated my help.  She insisted I pick something to take. (I hasten to add I had not asked for any items nor did I intend to do so.) After my aunt's continued urging I remarked that I thought the one lace tablecloth was very lovely and would not mind having that if she were inclined to part with it.  She beamed, told me my great grandmother had made it, exclaimed how nice it would be for me to have the tablecloth to remember Grammy by, and expressed relief that it would remain in the family.  I was happy that Auntie was happy.  My aunt turned suddenly serious and said I could have the table cloth for $40.  I looked around the room to silently search faces to make sure I had heard correctly since I more or less felt pushed into choosing an item after declining to do so earlier.  Everyone else seemed as perplexed as I did.  I tentatively repeated, "Forty dollars?"  Auntie assured me it was worth far more and that was her non-negotiable price if I wanted it.  It was all I could do to stifle laughter over the absurdity of it all.  I looked at Mr. Lime as I wondered what to do because I was a bit shocked.  He shrugged and handed me the money.  I handed it to my aunt who expressed annoyance that I was not taking anything else.  I thought my grandmother was going to clobber her sister-in-law in her very bed.  All these years later, lace tablecloths still make me laugh and want to say, "Forty dollars, priceless family heirloom.  Good bargain!"



In the main entry hall there was this adorned mirror in the corner by a window.  One can only imagine what Auntie would have wanted for an old mirror!
















Though I don't care to decorate my own house in a  Victorian style I just love the attention to detail and the craftsmanship in even the most ordinary items such as this keyhole.  And is that not some gorgeous woodgrain too?




12 comments:

Just Me said...

You got more than just a price family heirloom. You got a priceless story too. That doubles the value of the heirloom!

Beach Bum said...

Great pictures!

Though I don't care to decorate my own house in a Victorian style I just love the attention to detail and the craftsmanship...

Yeah, several old houses in my hometown are the same way.

Bijoux said...

Love the details in the photos. Like you said, I don't want to decorate like that, but it's enjoyable to visit, and I'm glad it looks as though the inn wasn't cluttered with knickknacks!

Craig said...

Love those old Victorian places! If I ever win the lottery, I'm gettin' one on Mackinac Island. . .

I recall you telling the '$40 Gift' story before. A real 'Awkward Turtle' moment, eh? Glad Mr. Lime had the grace to bail you out of it. . .

Jazz said...

Good thing you didn't have a list of things you wanted. Could've ended up costing you a bundle.

Rob said...

The only thing "Victorian" I'm familiar with is a "Secret"... ;-)

Craver Vii said...

That's one of those stories, where we'd say "Bless her heart."

I remember that when I was very young, my parents had a lace tablecloth. I never liked it, because you can't write properly on top of it. I can appreciate these things more nowadays.

coopernicus said...

that's kewl. love old victorian places

Kat said...

Though I love and admire old houses I'm always afraid to stay in them for fear they are haunted. There is just so much history in old houses. Gives me the creeps. Perhaps I watch too much tv. ;)

Mimi Lenox said...

LOVE this post. Victorian is fascinating.

~Tim said...

That's a gorgeous mantle and fireplace in that first photo too.

And at least you got the family discount price on that lace tablecloth.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I agree - I love that Victorian detail in places I visit, but don't lean that way myself.

The story about your aunt demanding money for a gift - I bet you felt like you'd slipped into the twilight zone!