Travels: All Creatures Great and Small

Photo of Herriot MuseumHerriot Museum in North YorkshireIt was the best of all worlds for an animal lover and writer who is also a decorator!  
I was in North Yorkshire in northern England and found myself at Skeldale House, the home of Alfred Wight, known to those of us who loved his books, as James Herriot.  Now the Herriot Museum, it is where he lived for almost half a century and cared for sick animals.  But most important, it was where this veterinary surgeon became world famous for writing "If Only They Could Talk"and a host of other books that spawned the BBC TV series, "All Creatures Great and Small." Cover of All Creatures Great and Small
The best part, my tour was lead by his son Jim Wight, who took my small group through this wonderful visitor center dedicated to his father's memory.  It is a museum, an attraction and a historic site that gives you an amazing insight to this life of this modest man.  Most important, it was Jim's home and he shared such wonderful stories of growing up in this house.  Of the ups and downs of his father's life as a country vet.
With Jim Wright at the famous red doorWith Jim Wight in front of the famous red door.Our visit began at the famous red front door, which is still largely untouched right down to the old white painted box on the wall, where James would leave medicines for farmers to pick up out of surgery hours.  Much of the furniture in the house is original.  The dining room doubled  as the practice office and farmers would wait at the table to pay their bills.  One client was allowed to leave bags of coal as payment to settle his debt.
The dispensary is filled with untouched bottles and the old shelves are just as Alf would have left them in the 1940's.  My stroll through this home and its beautiful garden made me feel as though I knew this wonderful man.  And the opportunity to share its stories with his son, I will always treasure.  A priceless afternoon in the beautiful English countryside. 

Changing seasons and thinking of North Carolina

Photo of a Louisburg College SignThis is the time of year in southwest Florida when we eagerly await any sign whatsoever of a change in seasons.  Although temperatures are dropping and leaves are turning in other parts of the country, we are still basking in the summer sun.  Instead of picking up beautiful leaves for arrangements, we are happily picking up shells on the beach.  But long for a peek at fall.

This is when I always think of North Carolina.  My first two years of college were spent at Louisburg College near Raleigh.  Fall was beautiful with cool breezes, football games, homecoming, friends and the excitement of the beginning of another college year.  I remember walking to classes and just taking in “fall.”  I felt such a sense of place those fall seasons in North

Read More