November 3, 2002
My room was done predominantly in peach. Peach lace-trimmed curtains framed the windows; a border of peach and burnt orange tulips meandered across the wall. The bedroom was furnished with an antique dresser, a bed with an ornate headboard, bedside table, and chair. A beautiful quilt, in colors to compliment the decor, adorned the bed. The quilts in all the guestrooms are Fern’s creations. Many touches are added to each room to make them unique: my room had shelves with antique children’s toys, dolls, as well as an antique doll’s carriage (complete with dolls) resting against one wall. Each room has a TV and VCR with a selection of videos, as well as a "communal" video library in the hallway outside. My bathroom (just down the hall from my room) was so roomy I wished my stay were longer so I could simply luxuriate in all that space. Cheery flower-patterned wallpaper in tones of pink, apricot and orange accented the walls. A tower of thick, plush towels in a rainbow of pinks, reds, and oranges was stacked against upon the countertop. The full basket of bath goodies - body lotions, shampoos, and shower gels – caused a quandary of what to try first.
Breakfast the following morning was a mouth-satisfying array of Swedish pancakes with red raspberry sauce, bacon, sausage, baked apples sliced and cooked with cinnamon and spices, coffeecake with cream cheese, coffee, and juice. As each heaping platter was presented, I wondered if I’d be able to move from the breakfast table after such a repast. The tablecloth and place settings in a fall color theme added to my enjoyment of the feast. I also learned a bit more about the house, and about Mt. Carroll. In his book, Tell Me a Story When You Were Little, Stephen J. Warnock talks about growing up in Mt. Carroll, in fact spending his youth in the very house the Stadels now own. Fern gave me an autographed copy of the book, a collection of stories and cherished memories that Warnock has written for his grandchildren.
The Stadels are happy to offer advice to their guests on local activities, shopping and dining. Fern thoughtfully provided a selection of recipes, which I am anxious to try. Guests may use the computer to check email or browse the web. In warmer weather, the long porch off the second floor hallway looked to be a wonderful spot to curl up with a good book or sip a glass of lemonade. Checkout time is 10:00 AM; no children or pets are allowed. Smoking is permitted only outside the house.
From journal Autumn Weekend in the Country