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.
Kim A. says:
Hmm, tough choice. The loom room would be really neat, if I could turn the portrait around and avoid the eyes. But in terms of natural light, I’d opt for the Room with No Door.
Have a Joy-full weekend, everyone.
On January 18, 2008 at 8:14 am
tombstone annie says:
What a wonderful old home. I tell ya, it should be made into a museum – as it is – What a wonderful legacy Great-Aunt Ruby left off of you. I’m envious!
On January 18, 2008 at 8:17 am
Greetings from Floyd, Virginia! Recently stumbled onto your blog and I really enjoy your descriptions of the old farmhouse. W have many similar houses in this area.
On January 18, 2008 at 8:17 am
tombstone annie says:
That should be ALL of you, not off of you.
It’s obviously too early for my to type correctly!
On January 18, 2008 at 8:22 am
tombstone annie says:
Oh Bother! I did it again. I swear I really do know how to spell! My fingers need to channel some caffeine! ~It’s obviously too early for ME to type correctly!
Last comment, I promise!
On January 18, 2008 at 8:28 am
:butterfly: I’ll take the Christmas Room. When you have enough fun, you don’t even notice all the decorations!! Have a great weekend!! :treehugger:
On January 18, 2008 at 8:29 am
Bayou Woman says:
This old farmhouse is getting more and more interesting with every post.
On January 18, 2008 at 9:38 am
I like the Room with no Door. I think the Loom Room is creepy, and you didn’t even post a picture of the family portrait! Really old pictures kind of freak me out. Nobody ever smiled!
On January 18, 2008 at 10:10 am
I’d take the Loom room- I love the dark ambience and the creativity implied by the loom. Does anyone still weave?
On January 18, 2008 at 11:20 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Heidi, yes, occasionally my cousin’s mother uses the loom. It’s in full working order. She makes some placemats, small things like that mostly. I’ve used it a little bit myself, under her direction, just to try it out for fun.
On January 18, 2008 at 11:26 am
Kim W says:
Probably the room w/no door…it reminds me of the closed-in back porch w/my Grandma’s feather bed (yep…I REALLY DID sleep in GRANDMA’S FEATHER BED!! :guitar: ), which is where I used to sleep on our visits to my grandparents’ farmhouse in southern Ohio (“Little Kentucky”). :chicken: However…I would LOVE to take that loom or ANY of those crocks on the shelf! :snoopy:
On January 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm
I’ll take the loom room, but then I’m a weaver. It would need a lot more light in there though…
On January 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm
I’d take the room with no door but then I think I’m influenced with the way your daughter has it decorated – really lol. A living memorial to way things used to be. I never knew anyone did something like this and find it all fascinating. A place where everyone could call it home if even for a short while – priceless! How different your new house is going to be.
On January 18, 2008 at 1:33 pm
Tori Lennox says:
I’m not sure which room I’d prefer. But I want to know why you didn’t take a picture of the creepy family portrait! Enquiring minds (like me) want to see it.
On January 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
Tori, I’m sorry! I didn’t post a photo of the creepy portrait because it felt disrespectful after I’d called it creepy, LOL. I didn’t want to identify the deceased creepy person!
On January 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm
Oh, I’d take the Room with No Door! I’d find the door leading outside more desirable than one leading inside. I can imagine how bright and fresh it must feel in there on spring or fall days. Yep, that would be my choice. :yes:
On January 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm
I’d take the Room With No Door. It is so light.
On January 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm
I’ll take the Room with No Door. It looks so airy and bright. I love the stories you share with us.
On January 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm
I would probably take the Loom Room…I’m no stranger to creepy old portraits with eyes that follow you!
The house we live in is almost 100 years old and came with a picture of my husband’s great-great grandfather.
We once moved that picture outside to the storage trailer because it was so unsettling.
Creepy-eye picture was not pleased (don’t ask!), so we moved it back into the house where it now resides with a portrait of my fraternal grandparents in their “immigrant clothes” (Both sets of my grands were Italian immigrants!)
On January 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm
Alice Audrey says:
Put me in the loom room. I grew up with creepy portraits. I can handle it. :purr:
On January 18, 2008 at 4:55 pm
I like rooms with slanted ceilings, I’d take the Room with No Door. It seems to have interesting angles and lots of light. Although, I do find the look very interesting. Thank you for the tour! *g*
On January 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm
Lisa Carper Stott says:
I’d Choose the Loom Room too! Hey, ya better be careful! Is the Creepy old portrait people resting near by? Sorry, Didn’t mean to frighten ya. I am always lurking around in cemeteries in Roane Co. So if you ever see someone taking pictures of every, yes I mean every stone in the graveyard one by one with OHIO plates, It’s probably just me. I have done over 50 now.
On February 21, 2008 at 4:34 am
Kathleen in MI says:
I LOVE old houses. Not to live in, but to enjoy. I love the way they seem to make no sense, with rooms here and there, odd shapes, and strange nooks.
On March 30, 2008 at 4:59 pm
I LOVE your daughter’s room best. I love the light and brightness of her room and seem to gravitate toward light and bright like that, or pastels..watercolors…I do enjoy warm colors too…but hers just stands out to me.
On April 22, 2008 at 7:42 pm