Sat 28 Sep 2013
We had a near frost last night. It had rained (again) all day yesterday. After the flood, no one was excited to see rain. Usually, in this semi-arid climate, any rain is a cause for rejoicing but not after the 15″ we got two weeks ago in the flood. The weather cleared as the evening went on, dropping the temperature to about 32 degrees. My car wind shield had a thin film of ice on it when I got up.
Now, it is sunny and a beautiful day for a wedding. We are all involved in a wedding today: pastor, organist and bridesmaid. The connections with the bride and her family go back over 25 years. A lot has happened in our lives and in her family’s since we first met to take young children sledding on the road on the west side of the park. If the walls could talk…
There have been many families is this old house. The original house (now the living room) was built somewhere down on Pearl Street in the 1890s by names lost in the courthouse fire in the 1930s. In 1901, give or take, this old house was moved up to its location here in Chautauqua. The side porch is now a bathroom and, sometime in the 1920s, records again lost in the courthouse fire, additions were put on north and east of the original living space. In the 1990s, we added a shed roofed sleeping porch and converted a closet to a second bathroom.
Somewhere in the history of this old house, Mary Rovetta’s aunt bought the house. Mary’s grandparents, parents and siblings were on the grounds when the Boulder Chautauqua opened July 4, 1898. They soon went from the tents to a house down on the 100 row. Aunt Ella acquired this not-so-old-then house. Mary, now in her late 90s and still coming every summer, remembers coming up to this house for lunch with Aunt Ella. Later, Aunt Ella had an opportunity to buy a house down on the 100 row near Mary’s family’s cottage. She sold it to the family (Babsen) that my husband’s family bought the house from in 1958. John’s family was the first one in the history of the park to own a house and live in it year round. Back then, they were only summer cottages. Now, every building is winterized and most are occupied by either owners or renters year-round. It looks a lot different here from when Aunt Ella was in residence every summer.
If the walls could talk…
What births, weddings, deaths, divorces, happy times, sad times would they witness to? Who would they say has lived well within these walls? Who not so well? Some of those stories I know. Some I have helped create. The question for me, and for all of us is, if the walls of our dwellings could talk, what stories would they tell about us? Would they say we had lived well, regardless of the season of the year or the season of our hearts?