Monday, August 4, 2014

The House of Mirth

August 4, 2014

Several weeks ago I visited the Edith Wharton House in Lenox MA. It was a perfect day for a road trip. A sunny, clear gorgeous Saturday. I met Margo early and off we went. She even drove! Of course we missed the exit because we were so busy talking but that is part of the fun of a road trip.

The house and its grounds were beautiful. We ate lunch on the terrace overlooking the garden. Then we took a tour of the house. Wharton designed the house herself and it had to be perfectly symmetrical to suit her taste. Could she have been a little OCD? Doors and windows had to match on both ends of the house even if there was no reason for them to be there. But what was really interesting and unknown to me was her prolific writing. Not only novels but books on gardens, travel and home design. My knowledge of her only extended to Ethan Frome which was required reading in high school and the movies I saw based on her novels. I was ashamed of my ignorance but its never too late to learn.

We had a great day that Saturday. After the house tour we had drinks outside at The Red Lion Inn and then a leisurely dinner in town. But through all the nonstop conversation we paused at one of the exhibits to really take in this quote by Wharton about her feelings for Walter Berry. "He found me when my mind and soul were hungry and thirsty, and he fed them until our last hour together." How beautiful.

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