We love to have visitors come and stay in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. The anticipation of their arrival often fuels our desires to hurry along with projects, take a fresh look at displays, review conveniences and of course head into the garden for fresh clippings of flowers and greenery. During winter visits the fireplace is stacked with aged and dried wood and a basket of kindling is at the ready. Simple arrangements are a signature style allowing the glory and the source of the beauty to be the flowers.
There are two claw-foot tubs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge which also serve as showers, each is outfitted with the traditional three-way exposed water piping; the tub-fill, the telephone-hand-held and the daisy-shower-spray. Each tub has a brushed nickel hanging basket for soap and supplies. One of our signature greetings is placing flowers inside the shower area. This cheerful greeting always receives a smile and often we hear comments regarding the fun of bathing or showering with fresh flowers!
There are suspended curtains which surround the tub to create a shower; we often opt to tie them with rope, ribbons or greenery—depending on the season and occasion!
A peek into the downstairs bath shows the spirit of welcome with the assistance of our retro-metal Hotel sign which has been painted an aged patina white.
The Royal 1937 Vintage Typewriter is awaiting use by our guests with a note of welcome and encouragement waiting to be read. The note usually reads something along the lines of;
Welcome to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge.
Please feel free to wander to yesteryear and type on the 1937 Royal.
Special stationery has been designed especially for this use and is waiting for you— as well as Rooster (of course) stamped envelopes.
The 1937 Royal does not have an exclamation point, please read with much exclaiming.
On the second floor we have an advent calendar that we enjoy so much—we refuse to put it away after December! The little wooden numbered doors are opened to display the date of the arrival of our guest. When guest are not coming we use this as a daily calendar—after the 25th of the month single doors are opened to create the remaining days of the month.
Flowers are placed next to the bed and often if the herb garden is available—sprigs of rosemary, thyme and basil are added to arrangements creating a lovely blend of floral and herbs scents.
Notes and signs are a way of communicating which we enjoy—reusable glass water bottles are filled and labeled and stored with chilled glasses in the refrigerator for a night stand placement!
On the landing of the charming staircase which leads to the second floor we have hung a tin shelf with a wire mesh door—hanging within are the keys to The Cottage and to each room—tagged and ready for use. In the envelope-slot compartment is our guest book which we ask all guests to sign—creating a keepsake for us!
Our morning greeting is this Good Morning sign which hangs next to the coffee-maker.
Our goodnight wish is painted on the tiny and charming stairs—
We hope you have enjoyed this little visit to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge! Perhaps you will become inspired to welcome your guests in new ways to your cottage!
Please come again—
Within the ephemera collection at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we have two patriotic postcards honoring American soldiers which have lost their lives to battle.
One uses the original name of what we now celebrate as Memorial Day, which was previously called Decoration Day. This day of tribute began as a way of honoring fallen soldiers that had lost their lives in The Civil War; predominately women went to the grave sites of soldiers and decorated them.
The post date on this Decoration Day postcard is dated 1909 and has a U.S. Postage Stamp of one cent. The poem which is depicted on the front reads;
Though more than forty years ago,
In Freedom’s cause he fell,
While facing furious, Gallant foe,
He is remembered well.
The second postcard uses the more current and familiar term of Memorial Day also has a U.S. postage stamp of one cent and is postmarked from San Francisco, California—May 30, 1911. The hand written inscription from the sender is perhaps as poignant as the occasion and the beautiful artistry. The inscription reads;
Will you see that my grave is kept green.
The Vintage Postcard Collection at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is small, we have only eleven in our collection! The world of ephemera is extensive and rich with history as well as gorgeous artwork. Our attraction is to both aspects, however the artistry of the pieces always become the most important element for the selections we have made.
We keep The Vintage Postcards within reach and are openly displayed on a postcard rack encouraging the study of them. We find a profound connection when holding one of these hand selected, hand written and hand stamped relics and now, some one hundred years later, once again are being held and read. Most of the postcards are embossed and the image has a three-dimensional quality. Often, the most collectible pieces are ones which have not been written on, addressed or stamped.
At The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we prefer those which have been held, and with thought written upon and sent on a journey to another person. It is the communication from person to person; and the attempt to experience a connectedness, when doing so was not as simple or immediate as dialing a cell phone. That fact that art was a vital element in the process of speaking to another person resonates to the very depths our souls at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge!
On Monday evening, suddenly and without warning, the time sadly came—to say good-bye to our favorite signature joy at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge—our mascot, friend and the official furry welcoming committee to Rooster Ridge; Lucas.
Just a month ago, in honor of Mother’s Day, the story of the day we brought Lucas into our lives was shared in a post. The last eight years of our lives have been enriched with laughter, fun, joy and love due to his presence.
If you missed the story, here is the link—
We miss you so much. Thank you for bringing us such bountiful joy.
Joy Surrounds—and for today, in the form of memories.
Recently I was asked if I would be able to accompany a friend for the day as she received chemotherapy. I immediately responded yes and made provisions in my schedule and other responsibilities to insure I would be available both physically and mentally. This was a first for me and for that I am so very grateful. The number of women, and men, who find themselves in the care of an oncologist is astounding—and if not for themselves, then for loved ones, be they friends or family.
However, this writing is not intended to be a story about cancer nor the ravage that such an illness can reek. This post is about friendship and the poignant lesson I was reminded of so graciously in the face of something so dastardly. The lesson being; that hope and insight can be born of such difficult trials is a tribute to the value of human interaction and connectedness. Upon reflection, the realization came to me, that the day we spent together had less to do about illness and more to do about love. The inspiration for this falls upon my friend, who, displayed exquisite dignity and charm in this difficult arena. An extremely courageous example was demonstrated, which will accompany me for my lifetime. She unknowingly granted me the gift of observing the astounding power of amazing grace.
We laughed a lot—some jokes were slightly off-color, as a way to deal with the realities of some of the physical challenges of having poisons pumped into your body.
As we were sitting in our small treatment room, during one of our planned-individual-laptop-times (this was preplanned, to give us a respite from speaking non-stop) my friend began to read an article to me which spoke about women maintaining good health. (So much for the verbal pause!) To paraphrase, the article stated that the best thing a woman can do for her health is to have female friendships. The point was made that women require this connectedness and the resulting communication of their shared female path, that only other women truly understand. I found the timing of her reading this to me to be very symbolic as we were, quite literally, in the midst of her striving to become well and enjoying friendship while doing so.
Being a minimal girlie-girl I have always had only a few female friends, this is what I told myself; that I felt uncomfortable with idle chat and discussions of clothing, hair and make-up. That of course, was just one of those fibs I had made up and told myself at some point in my younger years and never bothered to review or reconsider. There existed so many errors in that thought—clearly one of the largest being—that I had created a stereotypical falsehood regarding women. Another untruth; which I also fully believed and assisted me in further empowering my few-female-friends-strategy, was that I was fiercely independent. None of these thoughts were accurate—the cause of the discomfort with female friendships was my lack of the understanding for the value of these special friendships…and encouraging all of this inaccurate thinking, was my default setting—an inability to trust. I had conspired a belief to protect myself from the possibility of being hurt. (Not amazing grace.)
While in my thirties, two women who were in my life at the time, and who were the age that I am now, each shared with me words of wisdom. Which in my arrogant youth I promptly dismissed. One of these women had an adage which at the close of every discussion regarding a worry or concern, always ended with a summing up statement, “As long as you have your health.” As a completely healthy young woman with no visible signs of aging and clearly no ability to listen to someone older, I internally rolled my eyes. There is the possibility—I actually outwardly rolled my eyes. Yes, I was that obnoxious at times. The other bit of wisdom, gifted and refused by me was, “As you grow older your friendships with women will become of paramount importance, nurture those relationships” Neither of these words of wisdom resonated with me and I filed them away, as a form of a lecture—and one that I did not need. I was incorrect.
These perceptions, were my shortcomings, my immaturity and my lack of experience of having lived a life. As a woman now, I have been enlightened to the meaning of friendships with women and how incomplete my life is—without them. While in my twenties, thirties and even my forties the fulfillment that I sought, I believed, would come in the form of a career, my appearance (hey, at least I admit it, I’m being brave here!) a husband and children. Okay, fine, the house and clothes counted too. Girlfriends and health were under-appreciated and if something needed to fall to the wayside, well, it would have to be one of those two. Family of origin seemed to fall somewhere in the confusing category of love, obligation and guilt—which is another subject—let’s not go there! I also must honestly admit, spirituality was a distant consideration, if at all, as I attempted to create the elements that would bring meaning to my life. Silly girl.
It is incredible where fifty-five years can bring someone, well at least me. Perhaps I am a slow learner or my foundation was inappropriately set up, but today, my value system is forever altered. Spirituality, health and female friendships have now boldly and beautifully surfaced onto the criteria list of the requirements for feeling fulfilled and whole. And, a feeling of connectedness—being understood and the desire—the need—to not feel so alone—on this journey of the life as a woman. The previous list was not replaced or eliminated, I still require those things to feel complete—to varying degrees. The physical (my own and objects) has found it’s proper balance—my awakening is the realization that my previous list was deficient. I am becoming more and more aware of the versatility of womanhood, the complexity of being female and I am choosing to embrace this. With the help of my friends.
The day after I had gone on the chemotherapy outing with my friend, I received an email from another friend with whom I had lost contact with, the timing was clearly not lost on me. After six months of neither of us reaching out to one another—she had taken the risk, the leap that I had chosen to take a pass on. Seems I still require some maturing. I asked myself if the last six months without communicating with her, without sharing our thoughts, concerns and experiences had been better. And that is when I was granted the privilege of experiencing amazing grace.
Friendships with women are vitally important and an aspect of what is necessary for Well—Being. Now that I can relax and not take myself so seriously (all of the time) I am free to enjoy the pleasure of asking a friend what eyeliner works well, discuss if we should just go grey—or to teach me how they managed to be so very courageous, so absolutely magnificent and amazingly graceful in the face of such difficulty.
I am grateful I continue to grow-up.
May 8, 2012
This year in honor of Mother’s Day I have chosen to fore-go the purchase of a greeting card and rather, write a Mother’s Day note to you on this charming bit of yesteryear.
My decision is two-fold. I hope to transcend your thoughts to the past—gently bringing forth the gift of memories. Perhaps, recollections of your own Mother and the love and kind thoughts which you hold in your heart will softly revisit you.
This Vintage Royal Typewriter is from 1937—and you were a mere seven years old when this machine was born. Maybe this physical note, with the iconic font and hand-struck ink letters will aid you in remembering a time in your childhood, in the small town in Iowa, when as a child you celebrated this special holiday. I hope to bring forth wonderful memories to the doorstep of your thoughts as my gift to you.
Secondly, I offer to you the gift of my time—as miles separate us—I am spending time with you as I write. This antiquity of the past presents challenges for me, one whom has always known the convenience of much more modern machines. I most often write on a computer in these current days, granting me the ability to make instantaneous corrections while simultaneously providing me the indulgence of having my spelling and grammar checked. Having these conveniences at my disposal certainly assists me in avoiding unwanted errors and does seem to take much less time. (The dictionary is sitting on my lap.)
Not to mention—the ease of having an exclamation point at my disposal to assist in conveying the essence of excitement, rather than being limited to my vocabulary. The Royal 1937 does not have either an exclamation point or the number one (the numeral is achieved by using a lower case L.) I have yet to figure out how to create an exclamation point. I am curious if the Royal Company didn’t believe there was much to “exclaim” about in 1937, or if the world was just a calmer place—less drama, less hype and less exclaiming.
With regard to my time, which is expanding exponentially as I type, as I had hoped to present this to you without any errors. The note you now hold in your hand is my fifth attempt at that goal, so you now will see some “typed-over” letters. I have resigned myself to my best effort.
I am planning on purchasing a new reel of ribbon-ink as it seems this one has been reversed many, many times. Certain sections of the ribbon seem quite weary as the attempt to deliver a well-defined letter is honestly made. I am also planning on obtaining correction paper…do you remember that? I vividly recall the little white piece of paper which was shiny on one side and matte-chalk-white on the other side. I am certain you remember the process of holding the little paper over the word, back-spacing and then retyping the letter and watching the ink magically lift off the page, or seem to. I also remember trying very hard to not waste any space on the correction paper as I tried to utilize every possible corner of this expensive and precious commodity.
Through the years I recall you sharing with me that at various points in your working life, especially as a young woman, you spent hours sitting at a typewriter as a professional secretary. Perhaps seeing this familiar type will rekindle a memory of a co-worker or friend you had during that time and conversations you had with them.
My wish is that this little note has gently delivered you to a lovely and meandering walk- down memory lane. May these memories offer you a poignant illustration of all you have experienced and accomplished in your lifetime…including being a Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and of course, a daughter.
Happy Memories on Mother’s Day (exclamation point)
A morning excursion to The Pond at Rooster Ridge led me to today’s post and to the clarity I was seeking.
My desire to have a voice, through my writing, is based upon the intention of speaking authentically from my heart—as I hope to offer some measure of comfort to others. This journey, requires that while I speak from my heart, I simultaneously try my very best to connect with others and in doing so, take the subsequent risk of reaching out. This two-fold combination of goals had brought me to a place of confusion, which resulted in me recently questioning the direction of what I choose to write about within this blog forum.
There seems to be so many voices talking to us, at all times—quite honestly, the sounds feel more like shouts, yells and demands. Our society is in the midst of constant multi-media-communication—all screaming (tweeting, facebooking, pinning, tumbling) 24/7 for our attention! And while doing so, make the claim—that should we manage to attract some of that precious commodity to ourselves—there will be a big pay-off. Fame—with the-assumed-connected-fortune seems to be the golden ring de jour.
In all of this noise, our own voice, at times, can become—a barely audible sound.
To attempt to regain the volume control of my own voice, I visited the quiet and the motion-filled-stillness of falling water and swimming fish at The Pond at Rooster Ridge. As I studied the water the answer gently ebbed towards me—and when this answer came—it arrived in the form of a question, accompanied with a visual, symbolic illustration. It seems, I always need pictures to understand.
“What would you like your voice to do?”
The illustration presented before me was the expanding and echoing wave-rings created on the surface of the pond by the falling water as it spilled into the pond. I saw the symbolic similarity of drops of words, the gentle showering of a voice, a sprinkling of kind thoughts and good intentions—peacefully falling, gracefully impacting and echoing outward further and further and further.
With that question and illustration before me, I was once again reminded—what it is I wanted my voice to do, to say. And, I also knew it didn’t have anything to do with “selling product, increasing traffic or obtaining sponsors.” The marketable and tangible possibilities available either would or would not occur. The attention I gave to those aspects—needed to float away in this clear and cleansing water.
The connectedness I was hoping for, praying for, also, was not my task nor within my power to make happen. My work was to speak—and to do so with clarity. Perhaps for me, considering and managing multiple goals was undermining that effort or better yet, my focus.
My intention of writing my book, Lessons from the Trumpet Vine, as well as maintaining this blog and the subsequent posts is to offer hope. To inspire others to seek peacefulness and to experience a feeling of safety, calm or knowing. Success would be measured by being able to give a gift to others—granting them to be able to feel a brief respite, a rekindling or a gentle reminder of what truly serves our heart and soul. And, through that, to be encouraged to see the simple joy available to all of us.
As I gazed at the water, the fish came to the surface to feed and as they nibbled amidst wave-rings—new echos were created by their presence. I was further reminded that our purpose is to place drops of love, through words or actions upon our pond. And in doing so, the echos multiply and then continue to reach further and further and further.
I believe, each comforting voice that is heard, every word of compassion that is spoken and every kindness which is demonstrated—impacts our pond—with ripples of love.
With the arrival of Spring at Rooster Ridge we are granted the gift of being witness to the bountiful birth of nature. We have discovered tucked into the woody vines of The Trumpet Vine and within the boughs of an Evergreen Tree—Robin Nests with magnificent blue eggs. Earlier in the spring—hidden in the grass beneath a soft blanket of rabbit fur we discovered a nest of baby bunnies with their eyes still closed.
The Mothers stand guard and attempt to protect these nests from harm while simultaneously needing to care for themselves. In past Springs, we have come across abandoned nests and we have also been brought baby bunnies which had not survived the springtime. At times, as we watch large black crows hunt within the branches looking for the nests and eggs which are contained therein, there is the heartfelt temptation to hurriedly gather the eggs and somehow protect them—to assist in this process that nature has planned.
Wisdom and acceptance gracefully steps in—as we have learned—that nature truly knows and understands much more than we, and we must trust in the process of life.
With the springtime of great abundance, hope and the multitude of gifts offered to us in observing nature, we reflect upon The Lesson of Trust from my book, Lessons from the Trumpet Vine.
With these thoughts in mind and with my sincere intention of serving the highest good, I offer to you an excerpt from; The Lesson of Trust.
With my heartfelt love,
Lessons from the Trumpet Vine
Written & Illustrated by Jeri L. Glatter
The Lesson of Trust
Please understand that, as you travel your life’s path, you can never know every element of a lifetime nor ever fully understand the actions of others. There is bound to be hurt. There is no perfect protection to be achieved. Striving to completely and always protect yourself is a futile task. There are lessons to be learned as you travel, and we ask you to work hard to learn them when they are presented to you. Equally as important is to accept the knowledge that there will still be unlearned lessons when you reach your last day. If you believe you will meet with only success, or that you will find yourself at the conclusion of this lifetime with the ability to be unhurt, or that all lessons will be learned, then you are preparing for disappointment. Your days will be marked by fatigue if you attempt to live a life without experiencing hurt, like the child who promises not to cry and falls asleep exhausted with a tear stained face.
We note your intense and diligent study of your lessons and, at times, the closure of your heart, as you attempt to live a life without pain. With so much focus and energy placed upon closing, protecting, and distancing yourself, you will find very little time or space left for joy. You are the industrious watchman standing at attention at the gate of your soul and heart. You prevent entry as best as you can and, when the breach occurs, you hang your head in perceived failure. But bear in mind that on each occasion when you prevent entry, you also block openness. And that is a perfect example of the negative effects that can accumulate when you lack trust.
Your understanding of trust is referenced as trusting people, events, or situations which arise. Yet the aspect of trust which you lack is far greater than that of where your steps fall. The trust we speak of rests in the heavens, with spirit, the highest source, or God. This form of trust transcends all life circumstances and all lives. The trust we speak of involves the process—the experience of living—the trust of spirit, the highest source, or God, and of the guidance of what we can never fully understand.
When you find yourself at these painful moments, do not assume the occurrence rests solely within your responsibility. This is what most people tend to do. With their heads dropped in hurt and disappointment, they proceed to scold the child-self. This only compounds the pain. This practice must be avoided. When the world hurts you—something that is inevitable—become the loving caregiver to yourself. Gently brush away the tears of hurt quietly and do not let those tears dry into trails of shame to remain upon your face or soul. Shame serves no useful purpose, must always be avoided, and never self-applied or accepted from others. With the kindest bravery, reflect and examine if there may exist the opportunity for a lesson interlaced with your disappointment. Accept that aspect. You must take the risk to trust. You must experience hurt. You must learn. You must grow. You must seek self-comfort. You must live your life. And, in that life, joy and sorrow exist. Trust that you will find both.
Lessons from the Trumpet Vine is available online:
B & N: http://bit.ly/HrLpTk