Being relative new comers to the hamlet of Sharon Springs, we always look for ways to meet more members of the community, so when we were asked to include The Beekman on the Sharon Springs Historical Society’s Tour of Homes, of course we said ‘yes’.
The Beekman is a well-established component of local folklore. The house is widely believed to have been on the underground railroad, and there has long been rumored to be a tunnel that runs from the home to the family crypt several hundred yards away. Many people recount stories of a child who was scalped on the stairs leading to the attic during a 19th century indian attack. And what historic mansion could remain standing if not somehow bolstered by paranormal activity? We’ll save those stories for Halloween.
We are heading to the farm a day early to make certain that we have time to ready the house for company. Farmer John has been busy all week trying to get the yard mowed between the daily late-summer thunderstorms. While we still have a paucity of furniture in the home, I still need to dust (which I haven’t done since the start of gardening season) and run the dust mop over the floors.
There has been some debate over how much we want to do to welcome people into our home. Should we bake cookies or bread? Should we hand out BEEKMAN 1802 goat milk soap? (As if we ever have any extra.) Should we ask people to take their shoes off? What about flower arrangements?
Needless to say, we are a bit nervous. Most of the people in the community have known The Beekman Mansion for far longer than we have. Who are we to live in “their” house?
THE TRAIN REPORT (each week I’ll also give you a glimpse on what our train ride was like):
I was so fretful about everything that needed to be done that I hardly noticed all of my Amtrak traveling companions this week. I did take a look up once to see that most of my neighbors were engrossed in books: The Interpreter of Maladies, Harry Potter, and something whose cover I couldn’t quite make out
10 minutes late
We nixed the idea of baking, and after over 300 people showed up throughout the day to tour the house, we felt we made the right decision.
The guests were to begin arriving at 10:00, and at 9:45 we decided that perhaps we should make some flower arrangements, so I grabbed the vegetable basket and a pair of clippers and sprinted around the flower garden clipping anything that had a bloom on it.
I then rummaged through the pantry to find some vases. Fortunately, I decided a couple of months ago to put floral foam in the bottom of all of the bases so that they were ever-ready.
This arrangement went in the guest bedroom that we call “The Farm Room” because it has the best view of the barn. Guests in this room are always awoken first by the crowing of the rooster.
This arrangement was easy. Six hydrangea heads. That’s it.
This was my favorite. I call it “pink”. Some of you may remember that I did an arrangement in this vase for a dinner party a few weeks ago. I may have to refer to this as my lucky vase from here on out.
Even the goats choreographed a little show for our visitors. Watch this week’s living picture as they literally “butt heads” over the right to climb atop the massive tree stump in the pasture.
At the end of the day, our voices were hoarse and our feet were tired.
We ended the evening at the home of our friends Kat and Douglas who have converted a beautiful old stone church into an incredible living space. Kat is the editor of AOL Food and made fabulous cocktails (tomato lemonade) and tasty amusements like candied bacon.
Despite the frivolity and the fellowship, we were home and in bed by 9:00 pm
THE TRAIN REPORT
Getting to the train was a challenge today as we were carrying on our backs the week’s harvest from the farm (carrots, potatoes, collards, green beans, peas, scallions, peppers, wax beans, raspberries, blueberries, eggs and goat milk yogurt). We expect it will be this way for the next several weeks which should keep our grocery bills very low.
The only seats left on the train today were those right beside the bathroom, on which the door would not remain shut. Need I say more?
Thankfully there were no delays.