Celebration of Friendship

"Perfume and incense make the heart glad,
but the sweetness of a friend is a fragrant forest."
Proverbs 27:9

On this day we celebrate our friendship, a birthday, and the beauty of a late summer day. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron is our destination.

It is a grand country estate built one hundred years ago by F.A. Seiberling, the founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. From what I gathered online, it is one of the largest homes in the United States and the largest in Ohio. The family moved in at the end of 1915, so the estate is celebrating the 100th anniversary.

These next few photos are a fantastic representation of how we respond to the discovery of beautiful sights. Jacki ran thither and yon in search of the best vantage point to take it all in. I love exploring with my daughter and sharing the delights that are all around us.

How to best capture this charming little nook in the Breakfast Garden?

This time we had the pleasure of the company of these dear friends, Martha Slabaugh and Martha Weaver. You may wonder what are the threads that weave us together? 

1. We are sisters because of Jesus 
2. We work together in Martha Weaver's lovely gardens
3. We have discovered we enjoy spending time together. 

Oh, and we are 40, 50, and 60 years of age, so we told Jacki she really should be 30 to complete the pattern! At 17, she is a bit behind, but fit in quite nicely anyway!

When it came time to celebrate Martha Weaver's 60th birthday, Jacki, Martha Slabaugh, and I all thought it a great opportunity to give a gift of time spent together. And since we work in and love gardens, why not tour a grand estate and lovely gardens? 

Yes, it was perfect! And the day could not have been more splendid...sunny skies and near eighty degrees in mid-September! It was a gift from our Father!

The house tour was rather interesting. We quickly realized how much of this hundred-year-old detail is sought after today! I was quite taken by the ornate ceilings.

Imagine using that huge kitchen stove!

Kitchen utensils of a bygone era...

The dressing room for the lady of the house...

Lovely bouquets, fresh from the gardens, were scattered throughout the house.

This, my friends, is an unusual-looking shower we found in the master bath! It's so tiny and the overhead shower sprays straight down, which means water in my eyes...at least that is what comes to mind!

Jacki and I were thrilled at the name of this room and would be so happy to have one of our own...the Flower Arranging Room! Can't you just envision the young maidens go tripping out into the gardens early in the morning with baskets on their arms and shears in hand!

And there are oh-so-many choices of flowers with which to make a pretty arrangement!

After our indoor tour, we grabbed a quick lunch at the cafe located on the grounds. Though the food was nothing to write home about, the atmosphere was delightful...a splashing fountain and cheery music to rejoice our hearts as we ate our soup, salad, and sandwiches under the cute green umbrella.

This long pillared porch decorated with hanging ferns was most pleasing to me. 
Pillars + Stone + Ferns = Refined Style

My dear friends, Martha and Martha, for whose kindness and friendship I am undeserving but so thankful. I love them!

The back of the mansion is quite lovely as well, but those orange awnings would not do at all if it were my house!

True friendship! Martha (standing) was concerned that Martha (kneeling) would tumble backwards down the stone steps, so she took up this position behind her to protect her from harm. Isn't that the sweetest thing! The phone was refusing to take photos, and that's where she was positioned when trying to fix it!

A fountain in the conservatory...

This I love...a long row of grapevines!

Jacki loves old bikes, so she was asked if she would pose by this one!

Martha loves old cars, so I snapped this photo for her!

And that, my friends, concludes this most wonderful day of celebration!


  1. Very interesting! I love places like this where you can try to imagine how it used to be & the stories these places could tell! Thanks for sharing...

  2. Very interesting! I love places like this where you can try to imagine how it used to be & the stories these places could tell! Thanks for sharing...


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