Vacation

8 Aug

I am on what is supposed to be a vacation with my mother, at her summer house in R. I. She is  happy as a clam. (Is that too much of a cliche for this post?) She spends her days napping and eating breakfast in the late morning. She eats 2 fruits and a piece of toast and a scrambled egg and a piece of bacon every single morning. She sits in the light and airy breakfast room with it’s concave glass windows all around the semi circle of the room The curtains are faded now. They have lost much of the vibrant blue color of their blue and white stripes. You might not notice the blue stripes and think they were solid white. On closer observation the stripes are sill there even on the most faded parts of the sun-bleached material.

The light fixtures in this room are extraordinary. They are brass and they protrude well over head height. They are in the shape of a human forearm holding a glass hurricane shade. This protects the light bulbs in each sconce. Truly unique, they epitomize the feeling of the house.  One of the most beautiful on the Avenue, if what you wish for is good bones. Totally comfortable interiors, gracious staircase, and spacious grand hall awe the visitor on first sight. Glistening brass on the stair rail and dull, rusty green carpet that should have been replaced a decade ago which paves the way for ascent to the next floors. Quirky and cozy, formal and imposing at times. The house welcomes each guest with a view right through the front hall, the great hall and the octagon room beyond it to the freedom of sea and sky seen beyond the green lawn.

 

Looking east the water gleams in the sun and white sprays of sea swells, smashing against it, decorate the stony island off the cliff at the edge.  The property levels out near the water.  There is a classical design in the low wall dividing the yard from the public land below. As people walk the cliff walk which is lower, near the water at this point, they cannot see the majestic house above because it is set back out of their view.

There are wonderful aspects here. The peace of the far edges of the property, the cool mornings just at sunrise, the lovely roses and the rose garden. On the porch, against the wall, metal racks over flowing with draping flowers bring a meditative few moments even to those most frenetic and unsettled.  There is much to appreciate and be grateful for here at this end of the island.  I am full of gratitude for this blessing.

However, life goes on. Leaks appear, one TV is repaired and second one breaks. There are strange wires hanging from the roof, left by the repairman. Tile is falling off of a bathroom wall and the front door has to be closed “just right” in order to get the rod that holds the stationary door in place to lodge in it’s depression in the floor for just this purpose. The lights above the mirror of the white and gold bathroom are not working, because the wires are broken behind the wall. The Cook must go to Warwick to see a retinal specialist. The driver must take here there. and wait. and bring her home. The children change places, the grandchildren accrue and bring great grandchildren. Some arrive first and leave first while the next wave has only been here a few days. Most of these great-grandchildren are old enough to handle their own travel plans. They are civilized. But there are comings and goings late at night. Don’t ask questions.

In the afternoons it is possible to lay out on the broad covered porch and read or listen to an audible book with headphones. The quiet broken occasionally by a helicopter flying overhead. Or suddenly wild barking erupts from the front hall as some hapless mailman approaches and all the dogs react in the loudest way they can.

When I leave here I will need a vacation from my vacation.

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