Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Friday, August 1, 2014

pantries and cupboards and sinks

Today we drove down to Manchester, VT to see Hildene, the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln. To read more about it, click here. I am very sad that the public is not allowed to take pictures inside the house, because that's where some of my favorite things the humble little pantry, with its rough wooden counters and cupboards, and sink with brass taps coming right out of the wall. The skinny room where the walls were lined with storage cupboards and the ironing board were set up just made perfect housekeeping sense. And Mary's sitting room equipped with a desk, books, lovely sofas and half finished handwork projects that overlooked the lovely formal gardens would have been a perfect place for a cup of restorative tea. 

Yes, there were much more "proper" rooms, with heavy drapes and silver tea settings and fringed armchairs, but those were not for me. The kitchen and cutting gardens, tucked behind the Visitor's Center were much more my style than the manicured gardens out front. We took notes on the netted structure that housed the berries, grapevines and apple trees (translate "I want").  

The siting of the home is spectacular, built out on a promontory with mountain views on three sides. An observatory perched on the edge of a steep drop off caught Batman's eye, and I'm pretty sure he's wondering how we might create a sliding roof here at our "bit of earth" to accommodate his telescope.
Have you been to a historical home or farm or place that has inspired you with ideas for your own life? Or just supplied you with dreams? Do tell! 


  1. Sounds like an interesting visit, Karen. I loved, in the past, visiting historic houses in England and learning of the customs of years ago. Happy you and Peter came away with ideas for your own place!

  2. The (to me) historical home which inspired me with ideas and supplied me with dreams was the home I was blessed to be born in with my parents and seven siblings.
    The memories, sweet and tough ones, are still (ful)filling me and my life with happiness, contentment and creativity.
    Sending love and blessings,


  3. Oh yes, 10 km from here is the house/castle where George Sand lived. I visited her house once. Her kitchen is such a beauty, so gorgeous, so old and so well made.

  4. Oh I alwYs find something in a house or garden that I would like to replicate at dreams. Xxxx

  5. Sounds lovely! In Akron, Ohio there's an estate called Stan Hywet that was owned by the Seiberlings of Goodyear Tire. On the first floor just inside from the gardens there was a flower cutting room where flowers from the cutting gardens were brought in and arranged. It had large sinks and counters and cupboards to hold all of the vases. It was probably my favorite part of the house.

  6. Lovely! I didn't know about this place. Thanks for sharing!