Monday, December 9, 2013

Words To Live By

Fight. Love. Live.   The origin of Filoli, the incredible estate on the peninsula.  If you haven't been for a while, go.  For the Christmas extravaganza, for the winter bones.  For tulips and daffodils in the spring. Then join.  Or volunteer, and you too can become (as an old classmate once said) one of the crumbs of the upper crust.

We went to see the house decked out for Christmas.   In the cold winter light the entry was awe inspiring, grand to the point of intimidation.   I wondered what it was like when Lurline Matson Roth lived here...
There were bunnies on the chandeliers:
and carolers on the stairs.  Lots of carolers.
Trees crowded with ornaments, all for sale.  Look for the moose when you come to visit me.  
Hint:  He's not anyplace you'd expect.  Keep looking.  Have another drink.  And no, he's not in a cupboard.  Or closet.  With apologies to those who are.

Penguins and polar bears, and stunning black and white ribbons. Sold out, of course.  If you see this ribbon for sale, call me.
Black is the new black.  With apologies to orange.

There were tables laden with candles and silver, ornaments and objects of desire.
And in the garden, a peacock named Percy.  
When I was growing up (and up and up, but that's another story) White Gate Farm was still a farm.  With sheep, and peacocks as guard dogs - no coyote ever got past them.  We used to hitch Campy, the neighbor's pony, to his circus cart with a red leather seat, and ride up the long gravel drive to ask if we could pick up peacock feathers.  Mrs Donohue, always pale and wan in a housecoat, alway gracious, always said yes.

We would listen to the peacocks sound the alarm, and being a wicked mimic I learned to imitate their cries.  So when the docent said Percy was lonely and in search of a mate, I asked if I could talk to him.  I got a weird look, and a "You could try...." Resounding vote of No Confidence.  Wrong thing to do to me.

So I tipped back my head and called, in my best peacock, "Help!" which is pretty much what peacock sounds like if you're not a peacock.  And much to the docent's surprise, Percy perked up and came looking for me.  With a gleam in his eye.  

Much later, as we left the check-out area loaded down with bags and boxes, there was a group of docents taking a break, drinking tea and basking in the weak winter sun.  And I heard a familiar docent-y voice say to his friends "Say, did you know she speaks peacock?"

So helpful for those of you who've been trying to figure out what language I speak.

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