Company's comin! Oh, not to my house, but to Carl's house across the street. Hopefully lots of company. It's almost Old Homes Tour time again, and Carl's house is one of five tour homes. (If you click on the Old Homes Tour link, Carl's house is The Parsonage.) The ticket price ($13 in advance, $15 day of) includes all five homes plus the Lafayette County Courthouse and admission to the Anderson House at the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site. The first Old Homes Tour in Lexington was in 1952, when some ladies in the Garden Club thought it might be nice to invite the public to tour some of Lexington's beautiful historic homes. So they advertised a little bit, and printed up a few tickets, and then got flooded with thousands more visitors than expected that first weekend. Honestly, I hope that happens again this year. A nice little website with the ability to buy tickets online, pretty flyers distributed throughout the area, and good advertising just might make it happen.
My son is the sixth generation of my family to make our home in Lafayette County, and the third generation to live in Lexington. Like many of the natives, we're so surrounded by the history of our little town that I think we tend to take it for granted. But when I stop and read my hometown's tourism website, www.VisitLexingtonMo.com , I realize how extraordinary this place really is. The oldest Courthouse west of the Mississippi River still in continuous use, an important stop for the westward-bound settlers along the Santa Fe trail, the site of a Civil War battle, the location of the headquarters for the firm that founded the Pony Express...Oh, I'm sorry, am I rambling on? Here, let me put away my tourism soapbox and get back to telling you about the Kelly House.
So anyhow, even though my house isn't on the tour, since it's right across the street I thought it might be nice to straighten up the place a bit. I remembered from the research I did last winter that Maria Kelly (the wife of James Crawford Kelly, who built this house) was known as an immaculate housekeeper. I'm sure she's plenty unhappy with the interior of her house these days, but the outside doesn't look so bad. Or does it? I stood on the sidewalk in front of Carl's house and channeled Maria Kelly while looking at her/my house with a critical eye. For some reason "Beverly Hillbillies" came to mind....maybe it's the paint cans here and there on the front porch, or the dead flowers in the pots on the steps, or the trees sprouting up in the yard, or the satellite cable dangling off the edge of the house...
So I got to work. I was digging a hole in the front yard when who should come along but White Trash Bob to ask me what the heck I was doing. When I explained it to him, he pitched in and helped. Actually, he took over the front yard project and I helped a very little bit. Of course he did. That's what White Trash Bob does, and bless his heart for doing so. I got lots more done today with Bob around than I ever would've accomplished by myself, and none of it involved painting. What it did involve is a whole lot of what Bob calls "curb appeal", and I didn't even think to take photos until it was too dark to do so. So, lots of photos tomorrow—of today's work and Monday's too. How's that for a cliffhanger that will have you coming back??