I had the opportunity to have a mid-week mini vaca on Tuesday night. Ahead of an approaching snowstorm, I scrambled around and found bed and breakfast lodging so that I could be certain that I would be available to convene my class on Wednesday morning.
The B&B I selected for my nighttime lodging was a huge brick home. The proprietors greeted me kindly when I arrived at about 7:30 pm and they proceeded to give me a mini tour of their mid-1800s home which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The proprietress graciously showed me the magnificent, large and ornate downstairs rooms, each decorated lavishly in Eastlake style (part of the Victorian era). I was tired from the drive and needed to prepare for class, so I didn’t spend much time chatting before I excused myself and retired to my room for the evening.
That’s when it hit me – in my rush to find lodging ahead of the storm, I forgot something critical: I am sometimes a little afraid of the dark.
My room was at the far corner of the house and there were no other guests at the farm and the owners’ suite was tucked into a nook near the dining room on the opposite end and one floor down in this very large, unfamiliar, ancient home on a dark and stormy night. Uh. Oh.
Gathering my courage after the owners went back downstairs, I explored my room. It contained a lot of lovely antique furniture and a divine, comfy queen-sized bed. The fireplace was no longer functional, but the painted wooden firebox surround boasted a sweet bird stencil.The mantel itself was cleverly decorated with a collection of antique baby shoes. I love it when people decorate with collections. About here is where things got really scary. In front of the mantel was a standing quilt rack. You won’t believe what I saw. It was truly horrifying. You might want to take a deep breath before reading further….
There was no quilt, only a woven comforter. Oh! The horror!After my heart stopped beating so hard from the shock, I explored further. The room had a dresser nicely stocked with bottled water and real glass glasses. A lovely settee and floor lamp were placed in front of the windows, which created a cozy reading nook, but again, there was no quilt to be found. By the time I realized that another quilt was missing, there was nothing left to do but soldier on, with the bitter taste of fear, loss, and regret in my mouth.
To the left of the bed was a closet door. I opened it eagerly, just like an ingenue in a horror flick who you know is going to die soon — and this time I was really scared.No cozy inviting stack of quilts greeted me, just a fairly odd picture randomly propped up on the closet shelf. No – I did not like this at all! Is it me, or does it look like someone photo-shopped some random lady’s head onto that little girl’s body? Who was this odd creature and why does the dog look nervous and scared? I shut the door and pulled a chair in front of it. Hey — there was no one around to hear the claw feet dragging across the floor.
The en suite was decorated in period style while affording all the modern amentiies and it provided a backdrop for the appropriately calming and non-threatening gratuitous cat art.Finally I settled down to rest. With the help of my Nook, my Iphone, the bedside lamp, and a little airplane-sized bottle of liquid courage, I made it safely through the night.
In the morning when I went down to breakfast I found the lone quilted piece in the entire manse. It was displayed on a small foyer table at the bottom of the spiral staircase.Breakfast was delicious, but lonely. It was just me and Button the cat in a giant dining room capable feeding 12+ persons. There, in my quilt sadness, I discovered a new addiction: gingerbread made with fresh ginger. Yum! As I reflected on my fright night over eggs and toast, gingerbread and coffee, it occurred to me that on that dark and stormy night I did not hear one floorboard creak as older homes are wont to do. Hmmm. No quilts, no squeaks. Does this B&B really exist?
Back in my 1980’s home on Wednesday evening, I picked up my bright and cheery, non-threatening spring chicken table runner. I’ve made the quilt sandwich, changed to a new sewing needle, attached the free motion foot, and lowered the feed dogs without a quilting plan. Dear friends, do you have a suggestion on how to begin?