|Author and Houseguest|
Who better to have come present her own 'grace notes' on gracious living than Alexandra Stoddard, interior designer and author of Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life.
I was to make contact with Ms. Stoddard and imagine my surprise when I called the number listed on her website and she answered the phone from her Manhattan apartment. We chatted for a bit and over the next week or so confirmed arrangements for her to come and speak and autograph books afterwards.
She and her husband Peter Megargee Brown, retired attorney and author, arrived on a late Thursday afternoon in early March. I picked them up at the airport and drove them to my house. There was a huge convention in town that week and I was unable to secure a hotel room anywhere nearby so I turned my small house into a bed and breakfast for two nights.
I had fresh flowers, pastries, teas, chocolates, coffee and as many other little luxuries as I could think of that might make my guests comfortable. I turned my house over to them (I only have one bedroom) and went to stay with my aunt who lived just five minutes away.
The next day, Friday, we had arranged for a telephone interview promoting Ms. Stoddard's appearance with a local radio host. As she and I sat in my living room waiting for the phone call, I looked up and here came husband Peter toddling down the hall and into the room wearing a robe of mine over his pajamas. A lovely frock flowering with pink rosebuds. He found it hanging on the back of the bathroom door, thought it looked comfortable, and put it on.
It was a very surreal moment. Famously gracious author sitting in my living room being broadcast live on the radio and her husband styling about in my cotton robe.
Believe me, nothing that happened the rest of their stay could top that scene.
The events we planned for the weekend - a luncheon, a cocktail party, her well-attended presentation and the book signing - went off without a hitch.
I still have the infamous robe and am dire to ever part with it. Such a memory.
And that is the story of how I came to have a famous author stay at my house.