The Community Preservation Committee of Auburn, NY sponsored a Christmas House Tour to benefit Willard Chapel. Three homes, 107 South Street, 109 S.
Herman Avenue, and 11 Melrose Road, were decked in Christmas finery.
Joan and I arrived at the S. Herman Avenue home of Dr. Michael and Julie Speck at 1:30 PM.
After donning blue booties we went upstairs and viewed the pink bedroom. We then entered the chapel area which son, Michael, explained was in the center of the home because their religion was an important facet in his family's life. On to the master bedroom in which there was a warming fire in the fireplace.
Returning downstairs we passed through the living room into the kitchen. There Patty pointed out the Christmas trees decorated by Julie to show off her interest in sewing, crocheting and quilt making.
In Dr. Speck's home office/weather monitoring station, the daughter, Christina, noted her father's enthusiasm for weather.
In the kitchen, Julie was busy baking gingerbread cookies in the beehive oven. Passed on the punch but I found the cookie delicious.
Leaving by way of the backyard garden area, we entered Dr. Speck's wood shop. There he shared the piece that he is currently working on.
Joan and I proceeded to South Street and parked on Fitch Avenue.
Entering the former Knapp home, we were directed into a Victorian room filled with curiosities. There were several songbirds under glass.
From there we entered the parlor which was dominated by an elk head and a moose head.
Then into the formal dining room with settings of fine china and silverware. The current owner was there with her dog, Ruby. She mentioned that this was not her best silverware since at a previous open house several pieces came up missing.
Now the mountain faced Joan and I. The circular stairway wrapped about a twenty foot Victorian theme Christmas tree. Actually the trek up the stairs was not that taxing but would not look forward to doing it everyday.
The master bedroom was extremely dark. The raised bed was wrapped with heavy maroon drapery. The water buffalo head while impressive might put you off as you awoke every morning. Off the hallway was the nursery. Much airier and brighter. The docent pointed out the transient window and speculated on its existence.
Going down the stairway went well and we said our good-byes.
107 South Street
Back over the Lake Street bridge and into the village of Owasco. Turning at Smiley's we parked in front of 11 Melrose Road.
As we approached the front door Mrs. Simmonds and one her daughter was leaving. We shared Hellos.
At the door was Judy V., as we were donning our blue booties, Judy asked about the Adirondacks. She shared her recent visits to the Old Forge/Inlet area.
In the front living room, docent Mary Ann G. greeted us and mentioned that it has been a long time since we have seen each other. Two things got our attention - a child's rocking horse filled with Christmas books and a collection of baseball themed steins in a bookcase.
In the dining room, there was a land survey map showing the property. Also, Mrs. Simmonds quilts were displayed.
In the kitchen area, the pride of the family, Mr. Simmonds and two of his daughters greeted us and offered us cookies. The kitchen with its dark granite counters, cherry cupboards and breakfast nook was charming. Mr. Simmonds noted that Dr. Graceffo and his family lived in this home for 41 years and the Simmonds have now resided here for 16.
11 Melrose Road
Joan and I had a most pleasurable experience visiting these homes that the owners graciously opened for our viewing.
In their seventh installment in the Detective Michael Bennett series, James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge continue in their attempt to make the 10 little Indians, Seamus, and Mary Catherine, the Brady bunch of the 21st century. One of the sub-plots probably will not meet everyone’s taste, but the convoluted story lines should kept the causal Patterson reader engaged.