Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I stepped back into history last Saturday morning when I stepped forward into the P. Seth Magosky Museum of Victorian Life. With the exceptions of brownies in the parlor and the filmming equipment in the sitting room, nothing appeared to have been changed in over 100 years! Pat Magosky even offered me tea!
A few members of the Bryony team, author included, were there for the filming. I felt like such a celebrity being fitted with a microphone and sharing news about the first book in the Bryony Series. And lets face it, I did fly almost 2,000 miles in two days to bowl in the fundraiser for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and for this book interview. After wrapping up the final take, I got to explore this beautiful house. Ever hear every house tells a story? Well this one can fill its own library.
In the basement you had the servant's quarters and what was once the kitchen, now boasting a bar with tables around the fireplace. On the main floor, when you enter, is the gorgeous staircase, the parlor, sitting room, the porch, a modernish bathroom, and the dining room which features a grand piano (I played it). On the second floor there are three bedrooms a sitting alcove, the library and a bathroom. I spent more time than I should have ooohing and aaahing.
On the third floor, I was enthralled in the "doll room." It might have once been a toy room from the look of it, but now it features dolls from all over, most of them very old. In the ballroom, I played Bethoven's "Ode to Joy" on the pipe organ (coincidentally the only song I've ever been taught) and imagined what life would have been like over 100 years ago.
There was one thing I would not partake in. On the third floor, there is a spiral stepping, (no banister) which has lots of movement. Pat Magosky offers all guests the opportunity to climb up and see the view of Joliet, IL. It's about twenty feet up... I climbed a third of the way up, but I was overwhelmed with more than nagging thoughts about my little boy who I was already missing. I didn't want to put myself in any conflicting situations so I climbed down. (This does say quite a bit about my changed character, because a decade ago I would of raced up those stairs, high heels and all).
As I made my descent down from the third floor I felt a bonding with Bryony's main character, Melissa Marchellis. I could easily see myself living between two time periods. As I felt the polished banister beneath my hand, an overwhelming sense of sadness enveloped me. This house boasts a beautiful history and I wonder how many people will never see the inside, where the rooms come alive, their stories lingering on every object.