This Country Inn “Service” Day takes me to Hower House, a Victorian Mansion built in 1871 in the Second Empire Italianate style. Hower House is a twenty-eight room Mansion owned by Akron University and open to the public. Touring this historic house with its lavish furnishings from around the world is one way people of today can experience a bit of yesterday.
Because I am fond of old houses and Historic preservation I have recently become a Victorian, that is to say, a person who supports Hower House and its many programs. As a Victorian I volunteer my service to this house in various ways – helping out in the gift shop, serving at teas, or assisting at special events.
You see, years ago when I was searching for my purpose in life I stumbled upon a spiritual book entitled “A Daily Guide to Spiritual Living” by Jim Rosemergy and through this book I came to realize service should be a part of all our lives. After patiently reading the book’s 365 daily messages and journaling on each of those messages my purpose (and possibly yours too) was revealed. I was told the purpose of life is to try to know God, to do all our work with joy (whatever that work is), and to be of service to others.
So, besides doing for others on a daily basis in whatever way I can now and then I like to devote an entire Country Inn Day to service and on this particular Country Inn Day my service is devoted to Hower House.
Hower House is hosting its Artisan Fair and many vendors are filling each room of the mansion with their wares. Our hostess is ready and waiting for visitors to arrive and I will be posted at various locations through the day in order to be of service to vendors and shoppers alike.
What fun for our visitors to enjoy this beautiful house while at the same time admiring the creative efforts of various talented artisans. There’s the lady who works with chocolate
and my friend, Evelyna, who creates the most beautiful and delicious cookies and cakes.
There are artists who make the loveliest jewelry
and another who presses botanicals in all sorts of ways, preserving them forever. This particular artist frames flowers and plants, encasing them in trays and boxes, designing note cards … and her choice of color and design is lovely to behold.
When I wasn’t on duty I did a little shopping myself and these two pictures tied together featuring pressed culinary herbs were one of my purchases. I think they’re very nice hanging in a kitchen where these herbs are used on a daily basis.
I also couldn’t resist buying this exquisite cut work bed sheet from one of the antique dealers. They don’t make bed sheets like this anymore, but I think it will also serve nicely as a cloth on the dining room table of my 1853 historic house at tea time. Don’t you agree?
There were all sorts of artisans at this Fair, but I was particularly happy to see the aprons that were created by the Future Story Shop. This shop creates new aprons patterned after aprons from our grandmother’s closet. The aprons are made by the women who live at a place called Haven of Rest. Haven of Rest is a women’s homeless shelter and the apron project is part of ‘Lydia’s Purse International’, a project which teaches these homeless women to sew.
After speaking to the volunteer from Haven of Rest I think I have my next Country Inn “Service” Day in mind – a good thing indeed.
We don’t generally have the fun of shopping for our bath products in an antique bathroom
or have the pleasure of taking in the beauty of handcrafted art while at the same time viewing the historic art of period rooms, but this can be done at Hower House’s Artisian Fair each Spring.
I was able to enjoy service and shopping simultaneously on this Country Inn “Service” Day making it very easy for me to be of service with a smile and to do do this work with joy as directed by my spiritual book.
It truly is a good feeling to do for others helping out in any way we can. I might play the piano in a nursing home or pay a visit to shut ins on some other Country Inn “Service” Day or I could work in a food bank, volunteer in a hospital or help out in a school. I learned a long time ago when we give good things come back to us so giving of ourselves in any way at all is a very good thing to do. I’m sure you’ve experienced how much better you feel about yourself when you’re not only thinking about yourself all the time.
How are you being of service to others these days? I’d love to know. Maybe you’ll give me a good idea for one of my next Country Inn “Service” Days.
Sharing Doubles the Joy
and sharing ourselves as we serve others quadruples the joy.
But remember, only Service with a Smile counts!