Country Inn Days are days when I take a break from my ordinary life. I may host a tea on such days or enjoy a day of spa activities. I might linger around the inn relaxing and partaking in favorite activities or I might enjoy an outing day. That’s today. Outing days take all forms. They could involve nature, culture, shopping, adventure, city sites or country pleasures.
Today it’s Country pleasures. . .
as I return for the umteenth time to Hale Homestead and its surrounding historic village. As you can see from the sign out front The land for this Homestead was purchased in 1810 and the house built fifteen years later. When I come here I not only feel I’m off in the country, but I also feel I’m going back in time. I love the old world so visiting historic properties is one of my favorite things to do.
I enjoy Country Inn Days off by myself for this way I can stroll around at my own pace, stopping here and there, thinking and reflecting upon all I see without distraction. To be in nature is always a treat, but especially on a beautiful Summer’s day. I don’t know what it is but every time I come to Hale I keep hearing strains of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” in my head. Thinking about people long ago forging their way through untamed nature, creating homes and farms and lives in unsettled territories – it’s awe inspiring. Could you do it? I wonder if I could.
My Dad grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and he would take my Mom, sister and me back to the country every July. I know it was July because the day lilies were always in bloom along the roadsides. Dad loved the country and so did I and so do I yet today. The smells, the space, the animals, and all that gorgeous nature; it’s like heaven on earth.
I love getting close to the animals
I do love getting close to animals. I love animals and this reminds me of what a penfriend, a Hindu nun, used to say. She said, “Love animals. Don’t eat them.” Are you a vegetarian?
If you are a vegetarian or simply if you like to garden you would enjoy seeing the gardens at Hale. There’s a big one at The Goldsmith House and small gardens here and there. I love to garden. Do you?
I peek inside the fences and try to identify all the plants.
My Dad told me he went to school in a one room schoolhouse so I’m always interested to visit such places. Imagine what such an education would be like. I stroll down the path to the school house and I like to imagine I’m back in time, my father’s time or the time of the Hale family.
And here it is
On another visit I’ll take you inside the schoolhouse.
It’s easy to feel I’m going back in time when I can talk to people dressed in period clothing telling my about the details of daily life back then. Take this lady . . .
Earlier I visited a lady who was spinning. She explained what yarns were used for what, but this lady talked all about how yarns were dyed. Today I go into a yarn store and find a million yarns in beautiful colors ready for my knitting projects, but long ago it wasn’t that easy. First you sheer the sheep, then you spin, then you dye the yarn and finally you begin your project. Nothing was fast or easy back then. How easy we have it now.
I love needlework. I knit, embroider, do counted cross and needlepoint. Do you enjoy needlework? Growing up my extended family would get together for dinners regularly and after the meal the men would congregate in one room playing cards while the ladies went to another room and pulled out their stitchery. That was great fun. We loved seeing what each of us was making. We’d talk and stitch and the time flew by. . .
so when I saw this embroidery inside one of the houses at Hale it brought back memories from my own life. I still enjoy needlework but now the young women in my family busy themselves with other things – tennis and taking their children here, there and everywhere. They have no time for stitchery. I now stitch on my own. It’s still fun, but I miss the old days.
And when I came upon this dining table set beside a window in one of the old houses it reminded me of a sweet lady I used to visit down the road from my grandmother’s house in the country. I was about six years old then and Nora was a retired school teacher She had the most beautiful flower garden outside her window. When I asked her how she created this garden she said it was easy. When the bouquet of flowers on the table drooped she’s opened the window and tossed the flowers out. Apparently they’d go to seed and automatically create the prettiest scene. I should try that.
I do love old houses. Do you?
“All houses wherin men have lived and died are haunted houses.” These are the first lines of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The houses are still here, but where are the people who inhabited them? I can’t help but wonder.
To walk inside the very rooms where people of the past enjoyed daily life is magical to me.
“The stranger at my fireside cannot see the forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear; He but perceives what is; while unto me all that has been is visible and clear.” That’s a little more of Longfellows”s poem “Haunted Houses”. I love that poem. Google it. Maybe you’ll love it too.
Of course the one thing about old houses that never did appeal to me was the lack of a proper bathroom. I’ve had personal experience with the alternative, the Outhouse.
This particular outhouse, freshly painted, looks pretty cute, but I recall as a little girl going out in the dark to the outhouse at my grandmother’s place… the wet grass, wondering what you might be stepping on in the dark. . . and then the smell. It’s been a long time but that experience is pretty hard to forget. I think near the end of my Grandmother’s life she did have indoor plumbing and I bet she loved it!
Coming to Hale Homestead is always a Country Inn Day “Country Day” that is a real treat for me. I shared with you just the tiniest bit of my experience there. To be out in nature on a beautiful day communing with plants and animals and looking back through the window of time at houses and their interiors, chatting with people who looked to be of the period – a wonderful thing. Much to reflect upon and as Lord Byron said, “A life without reflection is a sad affair.”
I hope you have opportunities to go off to the country and to explore the past as well.
Step out of your daily routine now and then and give yourself permission to enjoy any or all of your favorite things. – Focus on beauty. It feels wonderful. Then share the joy; for sharing doubles the joy. I’ve sure enjoyed sharing my Country Inn Day with you.
So till next we meet
Love from Carol Ann, Lady of Letters