Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Rest of the Story...

In my blog After the East Poultney Historical Day I told you about Maria Wulf and the beautiful free-motion quilted pillow she made for me.  I told you to read my pillow and that any additional story I would tell about it would likely be redundant, but I later realized that I may not have been entirely honest with myself when I wrote that. Paul Harvey would have added “the rest of the story”.

I had told Maria that I needed a pillow for what has become known as my Vacation Chair and her artwork was more telling than I knew. Her pillow tells the story, but as with most stories, there is another story behind the story and so I will now tell “the rest of the story”...

You see my husband and two young adult daughters and I decided to take a vacation last summer to one of our favorite locations, Rye Beach in New Hampshire.  Always being bargain hunters, even for our vacations, we scheduled our vacation during the pre-beach season, as we could save on lodging that way.  Even with discounted rates, we could only afford to go for a few days.

  We had scouted the area for something on the beach.  I had grown tired of our vacation lodging being far from our destinations.  I wanted an “out-of-the-car true vacation” and a chance to really relax! We found that if we picked a motel across the street from the beach, the rates were less than if we were directly on the beach (location is everything as they say!). After browsing the motel strip close to Rye Beach, we settled upon what appeared to be a motel that was likely modern in the early 50’s and booked our reservations.  Our choice provided us with two bedrooms, a kitchen, complete with table and chairs and a living room and was in our price range—cheap!

We packed our groceries and “kids” in two cars, as our "adult" children are now "part alien" and prefer to travel with their own music, rolled down windows, sunflower seed spitting contests and the like, and besides they would then have their own wheels after arriving, and could take in what my husband and I didn’t care to, and leave us to a bit more peace or so I thought?

Our ideal vacation was planned in great detail: walks and seashell hunting on the beach; one seafood meal out; simple meals prepared in our fully furnished kitchenette, trimming costs where we could; a short car trip into Portsmouth to shop, ending with a little ride further up the coast into Maine to get Dairy Queen ice-cream; and a boardwalk-walk just down the road a ways to buy taffy and popcorn. Yes, vacations are about taking a vacation from dieting to be sure!

We even packed a tiny sunscreen tent for me, so along with all the babes (or should that read babies?) at the beach, I would be out of the direct rays of the sun as mandated by my present medical treatment.  I even packed my crocheting, as relaxing is difficult for me without something to do with my hands, and I had yet to learn how to crochet flowers. Even on vacation I am anal enough to have goals!

Upon arriving we checked in and proceeded to our unit in this quaint modern strip motel, but were totally unprepared for what awaited us. The unit was unique as we surmised that each unit was, for there could not possibly be another unit furnished just like the one we rented. Except for the bathroom, with its original pink bathtub and tiny, pink cabinet-free-standing porcelain sink, the entire apartment had been redone…and it appeared that almost all the décor had been purchased from the remains of a TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning outlet: rather odd things that make you laugh and wonder who would decorate with them.
On the kitchen table was an avocado base porcelain lamp that matched only the color of the leaves in the brightly colored floral, plasticized and practical, wipe-able tablecloth. In the girls bedroom, the two single beds were covered with bright pink and orange gaudy modern bedspread quilts and on the wall hung mirrors with seashell frames. The kitchenette was fully furnished with unmatched dishes of various name brands.

My very favorite part of the entire unit was the chair in the living room.  It was an old soft oversized chair, complete with ottoman.  Being the beginning of the season, its slipcovers were freshly washed, nicely patched, off-white, soft canvas.  There was a little glass topped circular end table that was painted coral-orange and supported an oversized porcelain based lamp of the same color with an off-white shade and above the chair hung a one-of-a-kind truly unique mirror.  Only the picture will do it justice.  Being a lover of Kitsch Art, I had truly arrived in my utopian heaven, a home-away-from- home sort of déjà-vue experience!

The sofa was huge and wrapped around the other end of the room and the TV was situated so only those on the sofa could watch. The window was covered with an unbleached- muslin-colored heavy weight drapery fabric, of such quality that you knew that deep down, this apartment was truly owned by people who had taste and comfort in mind. Being a sewer and book lover,  meant, in my mind, that the chair was for me (complete with an empty shelf  next to it for my book, journal and crocheting and the rest of my family could all fit on this huge wrap around wide and cushy sofa and content themselves with TV programming into the night.

 I believe that you have enough of the details to give you a picture of our lodging, and expectations of this trip, except to add that despite the pink and maroon tiling in the bathroom, the owner had been careful to pick a bright multicolored up-beat, floral shower curtain, and towels that matched only the colors in the shower curtain and none in the tile or pink porcelain fixtures.  Its mirror was an old style medicine cabinet with bare Hollywood light bulbs down each side, to perhaps accommodate aspirin, sun lotion and Alka-seltzer that might be needed during such an excursion? But no, I had come to vacation and not sport any headaches!  There you have it, the special motel of my undreamt dreams!

It didn’t take long for me to picture living here full time and leaving all that I am attached to behind, like shaking off the dust of my old life and entering a new sort of simple but pleasurable convent.  I felt free, sort of…except for my sudden attachment to this chair and ottoman.  I soon called it The Vacation Chair and planted myself in it.  I was content and quickly encouraged my family to leave me to rest, so I could take in our one seafood-dinner out, fully rested in a few hours! I didn’t tell them that I really needed more time to bond with this chair!  Already I had dashed the detailed plans for the rest of our vacation, as I had found the perfect Vacation Chair and wanted to live in it.

I hadn’t realized that “the rest of the story” would be so long and so I will continue it into my next blog…but like Paul Harvey’s stories, you must read the ending, even if you skip the middle!


  1. Oh...that mirror!!! Jane , this blog is hilarious! I can't wait for more! You must be so thrilled with the pillow.
    Best to you, Cindy

  2. I absolutely love the pillow! It is perfect and evokes all of the right memories from that trip! As Hannah would say "The whole place was ginchy from top to bottom!"