Back to the Manse – it’s been too long.

The Manse's dining room set up for a late dinner – which is what we hope to be enjoying, and where we hope to be enjoying it, just about exactly 24 hours from the moment I'm writing this.

The Manse’s dining room set up for a late dinner – which is what we hope to be enjoying, and where we hope to be enjoying it, just about exactly 24 hours from the moment I’m writing this. I know it looks pretty plain and ordinary to all of you (and those window blinds and curtains have really got to go, and don’t get me started on the wallpaper), but to us it will be a welcome sight.

It has been almost a month since Raymond and I were last at the Manse, the day our new maple tree was planted in the front yard. I think it may be the longest stretch between visits since we bought the house last January. I miss our Manse! But by late tomorrow night we will be back, and it will feel so nice (once we get the heat turned up and the water turned on) to be there.

Storytelling by the fireplace at a previous Christmas event at O'Hara Mill. That's our friend Grant Ketcheson telling a tale. (Photo from ohara-mill.org)

Storytelling by the fireplace at a previous Christmas event at O’Hara Mill. That’s our friend Grant Ketcheson telling a tale. (Photo from ohara-mill.org)

The main reason for our visit this weekend (aside from the fact that it’s high time to check in on the Manse) is that we are overdue for a visit to the O’Hara Mill just north of Madoc, and a Christmas event is being held there Friday, Saturday and Sunday – chestnuts roasting on an open fire, hot cider, and live music and storytelling in the setting of a pioneer log house lit by candles and oil lamps. Pretty nice, eh?

The warmer months are when the O’Hara Mill is really busy. It was already in operation as a conservation area and tourist attraction when I was a little kid growing up in Queensborough, and my siblings and I went on many a school trip there. But in the years since a group of dedicated volunteers has turned it into a much more impressive setup, with several pioneer buildings, a working sawmill, gardens and nature trails, all manner of artifacts (and interpreters to explain them) and many special events. You really have to admire what volunteers can do.

So the visit to the O’Hara Mill will be a highlight, but it will be so nice just to be back at the Manse for a bit. For peace and quiet and Queensborough. And hopefully no mice.

2 thoughts on “Back to the Manse – it’s been too long.

  1. During our ongoing Brockville renovations I’ve been removing layers of 1800’s wallpaper to use in photo-collages. The rest will remain and be gyprocked over. I used warm water and fabric softeners as well as vinegar and then a wide plastic spatula.

    • Fabric softeners! Now that’s a trick I’ve not heard of before, Gordon. You make it sound almost easy, but I bet it isn’t. It’s a job I dread, but I want to at least see if the plaster walls at the Manse are salvageable (I know some are fine, but others I’m not so sure about). Good luck with the Brockville project – we look forward to visiting you and Ewa there, perhaps on our way to or from the Manse.

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