Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Missing in action?

It is very strange to own a bed and breakfast and not meet your guests.

Last Wednesday, I had some minor foot surgery that I'd been putting off awhile. Doctor's orders were that I remain in bed or in a chair where I could keep my foot elevated for at least 5 days. Me, off my feet!?! Difficult even to imagine. But it's not like I don't have capable help. I do the cooking here at A Butler's Manor, but those who've read A Butler's Life know that Chris used to prepare and serve multi-course gourmet dinners. So aided by our able housekeeper Kristen, Chris (easily) handled the breakfasts and enjoyed our weekend guests. Back in our quarters, I could hear bursts of laughter from the dining room. And felt a little left out...though I did get a lot of restorative downtime. And I certainly couldn't complain about the the sound of birdsong, nor of the view of the budding trees and spring blooms outside my window that I had the time to sit and enjoy.

Bonus of living with a classically-trained butler (not to mention a wonderful husband!): I got the full silver service treatment...meals in bed, cups of tea, a laptop and a phone and a pile of books to keep me occupied (and immobile). Yeah!

I'm back to work now, though still in my "boot" -- not quite to speed yet, but healing nicely, thank you, and looking forward to flip flop season!

(Special note to the lovely guests I missed meeting this time: I look forward to your next visit!)

Quote of the Day: Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening! ~Author Unknown


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A touch of whimsy

Weather report here at A Butler's Manor: Sixty glorious, sunny degrees, with a touch of breeze to waft the scent of daffodils in bloom. The ocean at Gin Lane Beach this morning: Calm blue, with no surf to speak of...as docile as a bay beach.

Even prettier was the bare mist rising off little Lake Agawam, which begins at the back of Agawam Park on the southwest end of Job's Lane in Southampton and ends just steps from Gin Lane Beach, across from St. Andrew's on the Dunes church. The flora that surround the small pond haven't yet filled in, affording passersby with a lovely view of the houses on First Neck Lane reflected in the mirror-like water.

Overlooking this view on the Gin Lane side of Lake Agawam is a large house currently undergoing an extensive renovation (in the estate district, there doesn't seem to be such a thing as a minor renovation). And in this house's back yard, just visible through the bare trees and as-yet leafless hedges, is this old treehouse. Not one of those modern ones that double as a jungle gym, or a freetanding platform "clubhouse," but an old-fashioned structure made of wood built into the architecture of the large tree.

Oh, how I wanted a treehouse when I was young! Even just a platform with a rope ladder, where I could climb up and read my books and feel like I was spying on the world below. But my childhood home was a tract house, brand new when my parents bought it, and not until I was an adult living away from home did any of the trees on our street get big enough to support a treehouse. Now of course we have a giant sycamore maple anchoring the garden here at A Butler's Manor, big enough to build a condo in -- if only I were ten years old again!!

The Gin Lane treehouse is (or was) quite a posh treehouse; it has windows and rustic operative shutters and all the faces except this one are shingled like the main house. Perhaps when it was built, the owners saw no need to shingle the back side of the treehouse, as it couldn't be seen anyway...not, that is, until winter, when its summer occupants are far away. I'm guessing the (probably new) owners of the remodeled house will eventually get round to having the treehouse pulled out when they turn their attention to the landscaping. But until they do, I'm happy to have found it and recorded its existence for posterity.

Another house in the estate district, reputably occupied by the writer Tom Wolfe, also has a treehouse in the front yard. It's quite a bit smaller, and has a lovely round porthole window in it. This one you can see if you know to look for it, but once the tree fills with leaves, it's nearly invisible to the unsuspecting. Still, knowing the treehouses are here delights me. In the midst of opulence, a touch of whimsy.

Quote of the Day:  That which we surround ourselves with becomes the museum of our soul and the archives of our experiences.  -- Thomas Jefferson