Saturday, November 19, 2016

Night Vision

The weather gang was clear: the day would start out toasty for November, but in the afternoon a gusty cold front would drop the temperatures considerably. Even so, at 2 PM we decided to take our chances and head out to Mount Vernon, our house guest in tow.

Indeed, the golden autumn sun had given way to threatening skies when we bought our tickets, and we opted for the last tour of the mansion of the day so that we might beat the storm and still have a chance to explore the outside property. The wind steadily rose as we made our way around the farm raining brightly colored leaves down upon us.

Fortunately the rain held off, and we entered George Washington's home at about quarter to four, the heavy door to the new room blown closed behind us with a bang. I have been to Mount Vernon countless times and in every season, but I realized as we climbed the stairs into the dim second floor hallway that I have never been there in the dark.

And at 4 PM in November with a gathering storm overhead? It was very dark this afternoon. There is no lighting in the mansion except for a few 25-watt bulbs in fake candle-style wall fixtures, and for just a moment as I passed through one of the chilly upstairs guests rooms, the 21st century scales fell from eyes, and I got a real glimpse of the home that Washington held so dear.

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