Vacation house

I think it’s because I work here year-round that I tend to forget that Blithewold was built as a summer retreat. The Van Wickle/McKee family came up from Pennsylvania and later down from Boston and spent the entire summer here, from late May to October. Unlike most of the grandiose Newport mansions which were occupied […]

The Great Lawn

It’s weird that I’m compelled to write about a lawn when the pink styrax is in bloom and the roses look so pretty but the other day a visitor asked me what turned out to be a provocative question. As we looked out across the expanse of the Great Lawn she asked, “Now, what was […]

Ghosts

The house is full of ghosts today With happy going to and fro – They swim and sing and laugh and play This joyous group from years ago. Aunt Bessie and the Commodore Two dear and gracious souls, I say – Are wilcoming their guests once more, Just as they did it yesterday. A wedding […]

à bientôt!

I’m off to tie the knot and have a voyage de noces (that’s French for honeymoon/wedding trip I’m pretty sure if the online translation site can be trusted) in Paris. I’m armed with a bookcase’s worth of slick guidebooks that we’ll probably ignore in favor of just having a look at what’s around the next […]

Rose Garden consultation

I could use some help. Every year about this time I start thinking about getting new roses for the Rose Garden and every year about this time I go certifiably nutty trying to read between the lines of rose catalog descriptions. My kingdom for a disease resistant rose! Some of you already know that we […]