The Freeman House library. My dark, heavy-furnitured, European-salon, cigar-and-newspapers-surrounded-by-walls-and-walls-of-books sort of library is on its way. It should be completed soon save the restoration to the enormous fireplace. Still trying to find someone to take that on.
Anyhow, the library. It's called the "Connor Library" in honor of the family who owned the home at the turn of the century. The large room is to your right once you're standing in the entry hall of Freeman House. The room... it's square, has three doors and four enormous windows, and faces east. Beautiful morning light. It all sits about 5 feet off the ground, so peering out of the thick, wavy-glassed windows you glimpse hydrangeas and various tangles of green things below.
The room has nooks and wide baseboards and creaky doors. The enormous fireplace is anchored directly across from you as you enter the room. Although it takes a bit of imagination, I can already see it sparking and crackling with dancing flames and a heavily-laid table before it. Perhaps it's a winter night and we're having roast tenderloin and mashed potatoes and chocolate tart. After dinner, you can climb the ladder and pull down a book or pick up a paper as I sit at the piano and play Beethoven. When the fire dies and the old room grows quiet and dark, we'll trudge off to quilted beds, heavy as we are with home-cooked food and a treasury of words and sounds.
It's painted rather darkly, isn't it? I wanted it that way. I wanted us to think of a Jane Austen movie or an ancient English library when we entered: big, dark wood... dusty volumes... old maps. No fairies and girly flowers in here. Amber arrived Saturday like a knight in a shining bra (which she is), and together we dusted and swept and coughed and painted. She's a hero, that girl. Soon, I promised her as she left. Soon it will be done and we can waste away hours in here.
Oh, and we will. Many of us will. This beautiful room has been revived to see yet another generation of wandering feet and dreaming minds. It almost makes me cry to think of it: another family stretching out before the fire and catching up on each other's lives. Another decade of stockings hung beneath the chimney with care. Another series of meals and laughs and games going on as before....
Just like heaven will be. I'll admit: I, too, have always imagined heaven as a bit of a library. A shiny, noisy, joyful library.
Your library is your paradise.