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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

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Husby and I recently partook in a very special tour.  A Christmas tour.  A Christmas candlelight tour.  We didn’t have to travel far as The Fillebrown House is right in our own little town, and thanks to the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society we were more than thrilled to walk into the past…

This is the Fillebrown House (photo credit to the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society).  The “cottage” was built in 1879 on the shores of White Bear Lake in Minnesota.

I was born and raised in White Bear Lake and in all of my years I’ve loved this house, but had never seen the inside despite tours being available for years.  I didn’t know who the Fillebrowns were, but learned a bit about them when Husby and I attended the tour.

Quite frankly, I didn’t attend the tour to learn history, but to only, finally after many decades, see the inside of this house.  Yes, I learned some things, but my eyes were working much more than my ears during this tour.

Sara Markoe delivered some of the history of the house while the “tourists” held (battery operated)  candles to guide us through the dim, candlelit house.  Rheanna O’Brien was also aboard the tour, guiding us safely through the old house.

This post isn’t about the history of the house, although the walls are rich with stories.  Because I’m who I am, it’s all about the architecture and feel of the house.  I love walking through houses built generations before me.  The Fillebrown House gave me a cozy feeling I haven’t felt for quite some time.

The many narrow and winding staircases thrilled me…

A corner fireplace in the dining room, only found in an old work of architecture…

And the music.  In a house like this there had to be much music to while away the vacationing hours of the family and guests.  (The house was a getaway cottage for the Fillebrowns.)

An awesome pump organ…

And a beautiful Steinway grand…

Windows galore, for views of White Bear Lake, covered nicely with period lace curtains.  And a big, heavy, wide door, which leads out to the porch, which looks out onto the lake.

The whole feel of the place made me want to buy it, on the spot.

“What’ll you take for it?”
“Oh, it’s not for sale.”
“I’ll give you a million dollars.”  *Which I don’t have*
“No, sorry.”
“Two million”  *Which I don’t have*
*Tour guide shakes her head no.*
“Ten million, cash!  *Which, of course, I don’t have*
*Tour guide laughs*

I love this house and how it’s been maintained by the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society.

Because of the candlelight ambiance of the tour the house was dim and not too agreeable for my amateur photo taking.  Husby and I plan to go back in the summertime when the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society offers inside tours in addition to outdoor musical events and lemonade on the porch.

I’ve added the Fillebrown House to my list of dream houses.  Perhaps I can live in any number of my dream houses in future lives.  Maybe I love them so because I lived in them in past lives?

If you have the opportunity, take advantage of events at the Fillebrown House in White Bear Lake, MN.  You’ll be transported to a time of the glamorous lakeside cottage.

 

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Cozy Nights

The Minnesota winter has been snowy and cold.  That’s nothing new, but my evenings have been made so much more snug with some very thoughtful Christmas gifts.

I call this my Cozy Cloak. It’s about the size of a lap shawl, but has arm holes.  Not as clunky as a robe, stays on my shoulders, and is made out of the softest fabric ever invented.  Charlotte gave it to me, and I’ve worn it nearly every night since Christmas.

When the wind howls and the snow swirls through the night sky I wrap up in my Cozy Cloak and climb into bed for some reading time.  There’s always a book on my bedside table, and this Christmas Husby treated me to Tales of Beedle the Bard.  After reading all of the Harry Potter books in succession, Tales was a perfect addition to the wizard collection.

MaryAnn contributes to my cozy nights too.  For several years now she’s given me a box of truffles for Christmas, and this year was no different.  For a woman who doesn’t like sweets much she sure knows how to find the perfect candies for me.  They’re creamy and rich – the perfect indulgence to accompany a good book while wrapped in a soft, warm cloak.

I’ll never complain about Minnesota winters as long as I can find comfort in the dark hours of night.  I think I’ve got it nailed, thanks to the wonderful gifts from wonderful people.

 

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The twelfth day of Christmas was January 5th.  Husby and I had guests over that evening and as luck would have it our tree still looked healthy and bright, and the decorations around the house were still spreading Christmas cheer, naturally.  Never take down the decorations before the twelfth day of Christmas.

On January 6th (the thirteenth day of Christmas?) Husby and I were basking in the last evening of Christmas tree glow when – bink! – half of the tree lights were suddenly unlit.  I was disappointed, of course, but so grateful they didn’t blink out while we had company the night before.

We unplugged the tree lights, because of course I’d go completely mad looking at a half-lit tree.  The ornaments and tinsel shimmered in the ordinary lamp light of the room, but the corner that held the tree still seemed so dark without the twinkly lights.

Today I undecorated the tree.  The tinsel was removed and the ornaments safely stored.  The lights, well, I found the offending string that caused half of the tree to go dark and cast them aside.  Then Husby took the tree out to the “back forty” to deal with in the summer.

Now, not only is the corner of the room dark, it’s empty.

I didn’t have the inclination to take down all of the Christmas decorations today, nor did Husby and I wish to move the furniture back to “real life” positions.  The Christmas decorations will be put away bit by bit throughout the week.  The furniture will return to its usual positions and the empty corner will be filled once again.

Then begins a bright new year.

I hope you all had a merry holiday season and that the new year brings health, happiness, and peace to you all.

 

 

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday

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