The Restoration Business—it’s not what you think.
I bet you’re thinking this is another post about construction, huh? Nope, it’s not. Not today. It’s about restoration of a different sort altogether.
Confession time—life has been a bit too busy for me lately. The long lists of to do’s, the hectic pace of my day, the loads of laundry, and piles of dirty dishes. These left me feeling, well…depleted. Barely happy, barely present in the moments that were supposed to bring me joy. Such is the life of nearly all mothers. By no means am I complaining, just being honest.
And so this a story about the little journey to a place that would restore my spirit. Now seems like the perfect time to note how amazing it is, the way the universe (or God, if you will) seems to know exactly what we need and how to provide it at the precise time we need it most. I needed a reminder about what’s most important in my life. I needed to feel something other than stress. I needed peace. All of these were waiting for me in the most unlikely of places, the Daisy Polk Inn. From the moment my eyes landed on this precious little bed and breakfast, so began the gift of receiving exactly what I needed most.
When Beau and I arrived in downtown Dallas last Friday evening, we were pretty much exhausted. It was to be our first experience staying overnight at a B&B, and since I wasn’t sure what to expect, I admit I was a bit apprehensive. Despite the mountains of unfinished work on my desk (and on my mind), I’d let Beau convince me that abandoning my To Do List for a couple of days was the right thing. I had been toeing the line of exhaustion for several weeks, and the idea of running away seemed like an absolutely fabulous idea. I was at that point where taking a little time to myself felt pointless, if not somewhat selfish (though it was neither of these). Regardless of how stressed I felt, I went away for the weekend anyhow, because I can’t say no to Beau’s beautiful blue eyes.
As we turned the corner onto Reagan Street, a carefully renovated early 20th-century craftsman bungalow caught my eye. Lady Luck was with me, because the little sign in the front yard proudly read, “Daisy Polk Inn.” The house sang out loud to me, not entirely surprising since its second owner, Daisy, was a world renowned opera soprano in the mid 1900’s.
The architectural integrity of the inn had been meticulously brought back to life. Obviously this home held pride of place on the block, and she (because the inn is clearly a lady) proudly shined even brighter than the Dallas skyline in my eyes. It should come as no surprise how endearing I find stories of old houses or buildings being brought back to life. I do love a good restoration success story.
Wayne and Phillip, the wonderful men who’ve accepted current charge of Daisy’s house, met us at the door with bright eyes and wide smiles. They welcomed us like only true Southern gentlemen can, gave us a tour of the historic property, and shared their wine with two Cajuns who genuinely appreciated it.
We sat in their beautifully adorned parlor, jazz music played in the background, gardenia-scented candles flickered on the mantel, and the four of us talked for hours. We told tales, big and small. We ooh’d and aah’d over Milania’s flawless taste in dresses (it was Inauguration Day), and most importantly, we laughed. Over and over again, we laughed. It was food for my soul.
It was nearly midnight when our impromptu cocktail party ended and Wayne and Phillip left. Tired and happy, Beau and I climbed the stairs to retire in the master suite, Daisy’s bedroom. It was the perfect ending to a less than perfect week. More significantly, it was the perfect start to a restorative weekend.
Stay tuned for my next post. I can’t wait to tell you about our experience with the wonderful fine dining chef Michael Napier, who single-handedly blew our minds with his delicious breakfast foods. It’s regrettable that B&B’s don’t receive michelin stars, because we believe Michael deserves some. Check back soon, okay? I’ll share Michael’s special coffee recipe that’ll change your life. (It really will!)