Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Fat Cat and Earl Grey Tea

Am I in love with Colonial and Prim decor because it takes me back to a simpler time? Is it because that is how the early beginnings of our American families lived, true to a pledge to make it work in this new world? It's certainly not because everyone in my town decorates like this or because prims and colonial decor is easy to find around here. I do know I have a romance with the colors and textures of that time, and I am not even sure who to blame!

I remember visiting Williamsburg as an adult....I had never really had any exposure to antiques or colonial decor. I had started my own housekeeping with a mish mash of decor, nothing of note or pages from a magazine. That trip to Williamsburg "felt" wonderful. I stood on the lawn in front of the George Wythe house marveling at how my ancestor lived. I ran my hand along the rail at the church where my distant family member worshipped. I gathered my coat around me as I walked and imagined his life there in this little "town". It didn't help any that a big grey cat sat curled at the front entry of a home, or that the snow was fresh and the "colonists" far outweighed the "tourists". The temperature was quite low and the colonists had no time for small talk or greetings. They were bundled and, with heads bowed, made their way without acknowledging my presence or that of my companions. As the sun began to set, we warmed our hands outside the tavern and looked at the almost deserted street. We dined at Sheild's Tavern while musicians played and roaring fires dashed our chills. I felt like I belonged at that well worn tavern table. The sights, the sounds, the fragrances of Williamsburg delight me. The smell of Earl Grey Tea takes me back there immediately.

So, maybe like a genetic code, there are elements of my DNA that resign me to this decor. Maybe some of Elizabeth Wythe's decor choices have been imprinted in my mind from a time gone by. Though I have uncles and cousins and other relatives with the same GW initials in their names, maybe my "inheritance" has been the appreciation of all that is colonial and prim...while they keep the name alive, passing it to generation to generation, far removed from it's origin, my job is to keep the legacy of the family remembered in the textures and colors of my home.

No doubt you will see a fat cat curled up in my home, the warm wood of a tavern style table graces my kitchen. A roaring fire will dash your chill in winter and my attempt at a box garden might just happen this year. It also explains why there is a faint taste of Earl Grey Tea in my glass of southern sweet tea.


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