Oh Mary Carol, Why do you do this to me?

Growing up I've had many obsessions and loves.  When I was twelve I wanted to be an investigator (duh! a.k.a Charlies Angels)  When I was 15 I wanted to be a professional ice skater (although I've only ice skated once but I was convinced I could do a triple axle due to a pair of comfy socks and an overly waxed floor.  When I was sixteen I wanted to be a model.  And I did for two years (about ten fashion shows) but never got anywhere or did anything.  When I was 18 I wanted to be in a band. (And was for many years, Salvation - A christian Rock Band.)  I was in college and toyed with journalism, nursing, writing and then teaching.  Now at 45 I am a writer (have always loved writing) because that continues to be my passion and hopefully soon I will be able to say I am a published author.  But one of my biggest and latest passions is for decorating and creating in my home.  
For years I have followed Carolyne Roehm and adored her books and her flair for finer things and gardening but truth be told, Carolyne has always been a tough goal to reach.  I don't have famous antiques from Paris, nor do I have homes in Aspen, Connecticut and NYC.  I am not a socialite nor am I a gazillionaire.  About two years ago, my dear friend Lisa introduced me to someone that would soon change my life and knock Carolyne off of her pedestal. 
Mary Carol Garrity, above, is my newest and most favorite.  Thanks to Lisa and her love for Christmas (I have truly met my match when it comes to someone who loves decorating for Christmas as much as I do when I met Lisa)  We met one afternoon in Starbucks (another mutual love) and she pulled out this beautiful red and book that she held very carefully in her hands.  Almost the same way Indiana Jones held the sacred artifact he so longed for.  I carefully cleaned the table and made sure my hands were clean before I handled her sweet book.  She told me "Okay Lisa, I'm going to warn you, this is going to change your life."  Okay so maybe not in those exact words but I have a flair for the dramatic.
I began to look through it, page by page and sighed at each photo and each preciously written description.  AHHHHH!  She was right!  I looked at her, fingers pressed on the spine of the book, unwilling to part with it and listened as she graciously said "You can take it home and borrow it for a few days."  OMG!!!!!!!  I was thrilled.  But I didn't.  I could see how important this book was to her and all I could think of was if something would happen to it I would die.
Instead I rushed home, told Rob and we ordered one on Amazon and it came in two days.  Not only did I order that one but I ordered the next six or seven too.  Honestly, honestly and once again, honestly, these books, this woman has changed my life.  I read them over and over and never get tired of looking 
at the photos of her home and her stores.  
Here are a few for your eyes only.

 Okay so once a year Mary Carol, the woman I told you that changed my life.  The woman whom I have memorized every part of her house that has been photographed and know pretty much all the tips she has written down about.  Okay you with me?  WEll once a year  Mary Carol, you ready!!!!!!!!!  Has an open house. . . AN OPEN HOUSE!!!!!!  Do you know what that is?  That means she lets you go to her house, walk around in it, meet her face to face, talk to her and then if that wasn't enough, she lets you buy stuff from her three stores.  She has a huge tent (this year in her own back yard) selling her furniture, accessories.  You name it.  Check out www.nellhill.com  or Nell hill on facebook.  Mary carol also has a blog.  I have a link to it on my blog.
Well last year I said to Lisa and to Kc, okay we are going next Sept.  We talked about it briefly but I fantasized about going.  All sounding pretty great right?  Except for one minor detail.
I am terrified. TERRIFIED!  Of Flying and Mary Carol lives in Atchinson KS.  So time passed and Kc nor Lisa could go.  My dear husband Rob told me "I will take you."  I know right!  How can you resist! Me and Mary Carol with a camera.  I could take photos of everything, buy stuff, walk through her home, steal a lock of her hair.  (Did I say that?)  Sorry!  Anyway.  I am torn.  My fears are bigger than me.  Don't know what to do.   Plus we are in the beginning stages of construction.  My sons offered to stay with my mom and take care of things but I am screaming for answers. I worry about so much.  Don't know what to do.

 This is her home.  Above.  Ahhhh!


Susan@besusan.com said...

...or, you could just come to my store! tee hee.

I guess I'm not much of a consolation.

Helen's Decor said...

Hi Lee, I just joined as a follower and hope you will follow my blog, too.
I found your comment on Mary Carol's blog and thought she might not look, but I would! Hopefully she will. I love her blog and books, too. Hope to see you in the blog parties going on.

Thanks for the fun read!
Helen of Helen's Decor

Jaybird said...

ahhhhh my favorite person...I am so glad I found people who "Get it"!!!! My vote is , take a lot of St. John's Wort and GOOOOOOOOO!!!! The SJW will calm you and make the trip go by so fast!! If I had an opportunity to go, I would in a heart beat, and I am NOOOO good at flying!!! You can go and enjoy it enough for both of us :^) AND take a bunch of the beautiful pictures that you are so good at!!
Blessings to you,

Anonymous said...

You are funny! I vote GO! Seize the moment. I'll let you in on a little secret. She's as genuinely nice and warm as you might imagine, and her house and stores are wonderful. I'm a KC native, and the stores never get old. When people come to my house and point something out that they love, it's always something I purchased from the stores. Give yourself time to enjoy the Atchison stores and her house, along with her Briarcliff store. They are all different. Stay in a B&B in Atchison and enjoy some Oklahoma Joe's BBQ while in KC. Best BBQ in KC!


Anonymous said...

You MUST go....you will trade all of that fear of flying for the most wonderful shopping experience in the Northern Hemisphere! I lived in KC for about 8 years. I've been to several of Mary Carol's open houses (the fall one is the best!) and she is just as sweet in person as you can imagine. Her home is beyond fantastic! I lived in North KC and the Briarcliff store was convenient, but the Atchinson stores are much more fun (imho). And like B, when I get a compliment on some unique item at home, I always tell my friends about Nell Hills. Darned, now I want to go back to Atchison....maybe I'll see you there! (Oklahoma Joes is the best bbq, I agree)

Paula said...

I just came over from Southern Hospitality. LOL, we share a love of Mary Carol and Nell Hill's! My dad's family is from Atchison, and so I've been to her shop so many times. She's mentioned in my latest post :)

It's so nice to meet you and your home is an inspiration. Maybe I'll see you some day at an Open House. I've never been, but so want to go!

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