How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

A New Year’s Day


Her cabin close to ours, Bronwyn again drove us back to the cottage. Jean’s husband stayed behind to sweep and reorganize the Community Center in preparation for another group’s function the next day. Tired after the evening’s excitement, I wasted no time dropping into bed. My sister said when she used the facilities (next door to my room), I was already pulling the sail (snoring like a drunken sailor). Hey, who are you calling a sailor?

In the morning, we scheduled showers, the water steaming and plentiful; towels huge, thick and absorbent. A sheer luxury. Jean rustled up French toast for a leisurely breakfast with the Panattoni she had baked at home. Michael paid our room bills and surprised me by arranging a tour of the secret room. I had seen the owner earlier and inquired about a look-see. The arrangement depended on time. Excited, I floated above ground while we waited for our peek behind the locked door.

Located in the center of the house, between our side of the house and the owner’s, the room’s location was deceiving. I had not noticed the brown stairs leading to a second level, nor the balcony outside. Our rooms were on the left side (behind the tree) and the owners lived on the right, the larger portion of the building.


See the outside stairs to the second level and the veranda

At the scheduled time, Michael knocked at the farthest door across the foyer. The owner’s wife swung it open and invited us inside. Whoa. The place was huge. Though built in 1909, the house had been modernized with up-to-date plumbing, heating, lighting, and interior construction. I hung back ogling everything and taking nothing in. I snapped this framed picture behind glass at the entranceway and rushed to follow our group. I had no opportunity to inquire if it held any significance.


Wow. I assumed the mystery room stored dusty trunks and ancient discards. The key to the door had gone missing some time ago.


This is what awaited: a two-storey Christmas tree in the Great Room. Two, self-contained, two-bedroom apartments took up the second level. Family members stayed here when they came to visit with their teenage children and their friends during summer and other holidays. Even at this age, the third generation felt pride in the family home and its history. I had hoped for an invitation to see the upstairs. No offer made, I stifled my greed.


 I heard someone had taken it either on purpose or by accident. Funny, I observed a key in the lock on the owner’s side mocking me. Lost key? What’s with that story?

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Was I disappointed our anticipated tour ended? Had our request been an intrusion? No and no. The owner enjoyed sharing. In the past, guests who wondered about the room obtained the special reveal if / when time permitted.

The van loaded to the rafters—after much packing and repacking—we set off to Michael’s family home where his mother invited us for an overnight stay. Why did the van have less room on the return trip than the one on our arrival? The leftover wine, stored at his mother’s for the meet and greet and the birthday party, was returning with us to Vancouver.

Michael stopped at the Recycle Center to drop off 23 empty bottles from the two nights of festivities before proceeding to his mom’s place (60 people served). I would have returned them to the liquor store for cash (total of $2.30). No, probably not as they needed room in the van we could not spare.

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Next on December 3rd – The New Year Advances

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

46 thoughts on “A New Year’s Day

  1. A secret room! What wonderful fun. Your travels are full of surprises, Tess. Mega hugs.


  2. I’m so glad you got to see the secret room. And nicely we too.


  3. What a lovely surprise.


  4. Magical, I’d love a secret room. I didn’t expect to see windows!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely room!


  6. Pingback: Bloggers around the Christmas Tree – Vancouver Islands to Christmas Cards.. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. What an amazing place. The picture of the little girl in the rowing boat seems familiar but I can’t place it.


  8. zlove the place…. I have a thing for wood interiors… and that tree! 😀


  9. I was more than curious to learn what was behind that door, Tess. What a delightful surprise! Can you imagine getting that tree inside and upright? I would love to have seen the 2 self-contained apartments upstairs. Oh, and I love your slide shows. Thanks so much for sharing your travels with us ❤


    • Wonderful to hear you’re enjoying my excitement. I wish I’d looked around for an entrance or exit for the tree at the time. It boggles the mind how that tree gets in or out and I sooo enjoyed the reveal of the secret room.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s like being part of the family. What a lot of work for the organizers, but I assume they enjoy it. Tangentially, it makes me think of Uber. Uberring is like having a friend drive you where you want to go–no money exchanges hands, the cars are clean, and the drivers friendly.

    Good times, Tess.


    • Thank you for coming along, Jacqui. I guess that’s what I enjoy about traveling. Someone else does the organizing and all I need to do is enjoy. Don’t we all need such treatment once in a while? 🙂 ❤


  11. Always love reading your adventures, Tess. The mystery room? Want to know more! Have a wonderful Sunday! 💛 Christine


  12. So enjoyed the photos and tour


  13. A secret room! Oh what fun to explore.


  14. Wow that tree is impressive! I loved the photos Tess, what a lovely surprise. 🙂


  15. Old houses. Secret rooms. Lost keys. Forbidden access. Oh, Tess, PERFECT! 🙂


  16. Great photos! It looked like a magical place in time in that ‘secret room.’ 🙂


  17. What a lovely tour, Tess. No wonder they are so proud of this very grand place!


  18. That looks like a very cool place to stay. I would have wondered about that room myself. It’s glorious! So cool they opened it up for you to see.


  19. It more than deserved its name, Tess. It must be lovely to have such a family home to go to and it’s great that they let visitors into their secrets. Thanks for taking us on your trip!


    • It’s obvious the family is proud of this place which has been around for about a hundred years. it used to be the go-to place for weddings and pictures and still does, but on a smaller scale now. Still, I loved our stay there. 🙂


  20. What an interesting place, Tess. Thanks for the tour.