When my Great-Aunt Ruby passed away, she left behind a letter that is now framed in the farmhouse in an antique frame and set against a background that is a piece of her apron material. The letter stated that the farmhouse was to be kept open for family and preserved as it was at the time of her death. My cousins have lived up to the wishes of that letter, though I have to admit I sneak in things like a new showerhead now and then. In the years following her death, the farmhouse was busy every summer with far-flung family members who had grown up in these hills and came home to visit periodically. As that generation aged and stopped travelling, the farmhouse saw fewer…and fewer….visitors, until it stood empty, its second wind as a family “bed-and-breakfast” forgotten….until, you know, we got here and livened things up with twenty cats and basketballs and satellite TV.
Like any good bed-and-breakfast, the bedrooms in this old farmhouse all have names. The Rose Room sounds like a lovely idea, but this house is far too practical for that kind of frivolity. Here, we have the Christmas Room, the Loom Room, and the Room with No Door.
Ruby loved Christmas and was a great collector of Nativity scenes. What was formerly her bedroom hosts a year-round festive grapevine tree and dozens of Nativity sets, amongst other holiday finery.
In a Grinch-like frenzy of activity one summer day, I took down almost all of the Christmas decorations and packed them away. The Christmas Room is my bedroom, and a person can only live at the North Pole so long without going insane.
We still call it the Christmas Room.
I replaced the holiday decor that had formerly adorned every wall and spare spot in the room with some personal items, photos of my kids, and at least ten of our twenty cats. When I leave, I’ll switch everything back. The tree had to stay up, though. It’s too big and there was no place to put it. I try not to look in that corner…. Ho ho.
This bedroom is also filled with a collection of old oil lamps in every nook and cranny, some of which are really pretty. When I move out, I’m going to put one in my pocket and take it with me. (Just kidding, Georgia.)
The bedrooms are part of the original structure of the farmhouse. This room is called the Loom Room and contains this awesome 100-year-old weaving giant. Viewing the loom is always a highlight of the Farmhouse Tour when guests arrive. I am like Vanna White. I open the door to the Loom Room and sweep my arm out. “Behold, the loom!”
Then I turn off the light and shut the door because we don’t use that room even though there is a bed in there. The kids don’t like it because there is a really huge creepy family portrait on the wall. I don’t like it because it’s cold.
There is only one bathroom in the farmhouse. In the home’s earlier outhouse days, this room was actually used as a small bedroom. Look! More aqua Linoleum tile! More interesting is the collection of antique crocks that line the top of the bathroom closet.
There is another bedroom upstairs in the attic that my two teenage boys share, while the accommodations downstairs conclude with the Room with No Door. It’s the most adorable room in the house with slanted ceilings, a bright window, and even its own exterior door (and yet no interior door, though I added a curtain in the doorway for some modicum of privacy). My daughter always keeps it this clean!
Okay, not so much.
If this old farmhouse really was a bed-and-breakfast, which bedroom would you reserve? The Loom Room–creepy portrait! (The eyes follow you! That’s what the children say…..) The Christmas Room? Don’t worry, I’ll be putting all the decorations back in place for you to enjoy even if you visit in August….. Or the Room with No Door? I mean, who needs a door? Ruby didn’t like doors.