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Thursday, December 1, 2011

What a Week

I certainly didn't intend to drop off the blogging radar last week - it just happened. Of course - this time of year has all sorts of seasonal challenges - not the least of which is trying to settle back into a work routine after wallowing in carbohydrate heaven for the 5 days of a long Thanksgiving weekend. It took all day Monday for me to get a handle on the ADD behavior - the people part of my job was just too tempting. "How was your Thanksgiving?" "Yes. We have those Martha Stewart Christmas books." "Look what just came in to the collection!" I was still being a librarian - but really I was doing what the front desk people do just as well - and they don't really know how to do the back room stuff I was avoiding.

Then there is knitting - gift knitting - something one doesn't natter on about because either the recipient might read about it or it is just ubiquitous sock knitting. Do you really want to see a photograph of a self striping stockinette stitch sock slowly spreading towards a toe? No. I didn't think so either. 

There was a retirement party - where all the community turned out to cheer a local official off into bucolic relaxation. He's delighted to settle into the life of country squire and his wife told me she's counting the days. 

There was also the unexpected challenge of the funeral of neighbor that drew half the county to the colonial churchyard up in Loretto. Though usually I consider myself too old and too important to stand at funerals, I knew this one would be so full of family and closer friends that I didn't bother to get there early. The church was packed but they kept the door open so you could listen to the sermon and eulogy, but there were actually more people standing outside than in. The internment was at the family cemetery, with people gathering at the big house afterwards - so many people the catering staff couldn't even bring trays around. We stayed only long enough to hug the widow and tell her a sweet story we remembered about her husband. Farewell, old friend - it looked like the heaven's had lit up to receive you that night. 

Homes for the Holidays!TheQueen's productivity picked up as the week progressed - a fortunate thing since there were half a dozen little extra meetings, planning sessions and bee yooo tee appointments, as she fit in hair cuts, manicures and a stop at the dry cleaners in preparation for the Big Event of Saturday -Christmas House Tour of the Big Houses up my end of the county. 
This was my station - on the second floor at the top of the stair case - telling the ghost story. Not that there's so much to tell - their ghost is merely a lady in a long silken dress carrying a candle and brushing past people on the staircase, darting into the first bedroom and slamming the door. BD's grandmother saw one of those harmless night wanderers at another local Big House when she was a  teenager.

Nothing half so exciting as the Mount Pleasant ghost - a man in chains who appeared in the mirror of a new bride who then went running down the staircase, tripped and fell to her death - and you could still see the bloodstains where she landed. (that's always the end of the story)  But a ghost in a Big House is a good thing and the story was just enough to get people to stop and listen in the hallway while the previous group of sightseers wandered away.

BH was in charge of it all and she organized everything splendidly. Not that she didn't have an army of helpers - I figured she had to have about 20 volunteers to help guide people through this mansion. It's called Blandfield, btw and you can, if you want to have the Lady Baltimore experience, actually get married here.
The told us not to take photos inside - but I don't believe these two shots - of TheGeneral and TheQueen - display anything revealing. The house is chock a block full of antiques and art as befits something this old and this big. And we had such fun I just have to share the smiles.

So. Here it is Sunday morning and on the agenda today is a little light housekeeping and an afternoon of watercolor painting with a little buddy - an utterly charming young man who has inherited his great-grandmother's talent. How fortunate that I have so many good toys - and that I share.

And now - I believe it is time for breakfast.

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