Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Village Green Preservation Society (Well.. Not Quite, but Close)

    If any of you find yourselves stuck in the Massachusetts suburbs, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society center at Elm Bank is a lovely place to visit. I should probably feel bad that I'm revealing my relative location on the internet, but I don't live close to Elm Bank, so I guess I feel better about that. The center is in Wellesley, Massachusetts full of gardens, statues, and paths to walk amongst. I absolutely love it so much that I got there pretty much every opportunity I can (whether it be for my sister's soccer games or to smoke a bowl with friends), no matter what the season. However, in the winter, it's a dread to trek up to. The place itself consists of many fields and gardens, so in winter, these are lacking. In late spring and summer, and even in early fall, it's absolutely heavenly up there. There are flowers blossoming everywhere, butterflies fluttering about, and so much to see. I must admit I rarely go on hikes on their paths, but that's only because whenever I go up there, it's usually a spur of the moment type activity, so I won't be much help on hiking feedback. However, Elm Bank is more than thirty acres, so there is a lot to see.

Some of the statues in the gardens.
    There is a large manor house that has ceased use and remains locked and alarmed that I actually had the chance to step inside a few summers back. They were doing a guided tour, and I wasn't quite as interested in abandoned places back then as I am now, so I don't remember much. I do remember a large ballroom that had been restored with a decorative ceiling and elaborate carvings every now and then. Most of the house is battered and crumbling, so not many other rooms were available for us to go in. It's definitely on my bucket list to enter than manor house once again. I went a few weeks back and there was warning tape telling us that there were power lines and that we couldn't even go up to the manor. However, I've been able to go up to the house even when it remained locked, so the fact that I couldn't this one specific time didn't bother me much. In fact, my mother and I even went up to Elm Bank once to walk the dog, and we stumbled into a wedding reception taking place in front of the manor. There is a fountain out front that has been going under maintenance for the past few years to continue working again, and there were chairs set up all along beside it. On the front steps of the manor there were a few musicians who must have played when the bride walked down the isle. It was lovely, and someday I hope to be married there.

I found this picture of the original manor house c. the mid 1800's.

Here's another picture of the manor house in it's prime, picture taken c. early 1900's.
This is a picture I took a few weeks ago during mid-April of 2014. As you can see, the manor house is a bit worn down, and there's even part of a window on the upper level broken. Although this picture doesn't show it, on the other side of the manor, there is a massive wasp's nest that has been vacated until warmer weather.

Another picture I took showing a larger scale of the manor house from the front.
The manor house in the summer, not my picture. 

My ridiculous face (look how red my nose is, it was freezing!) as I sit in front of the house.

    ANYWAYS, getting somewhat more "on topic," just looking at such an old building like that makes me wonder what took place in there before Elm Bank was turned into a reservation-type area. All of the people who used to live there, attend parties there (the people who lived in the manor supposedly threw many parties during their days), and just graze around the area. A sense of nostalgia for a time I was never even alive rushes over me when I look at buildings like the manor house, and I wish I could catch a glimpse into the past. It's absolutely lovely at the Elm Bank manor, and it's definitely a must-see for lovers of abandoned buildings like myself.

We left our mark, oops. 
Me standing on a fallen tree over one of the body of water surrounding some of the land at Elm Bank.
    I went up to Elm Bank about two weeks ago with my boyfriend and although it was a bit cold, we loved exploring the area. There are many once-vibrant areas that have faded or broken down, like an old bridge and destroyed storage area. Although he was a bit creeped out at the abandoned factor of the place, I basked in it. It's absolutely lovely, and it's a must-see. If you want to learn more about Elm Bank, click here to learn about the manor house and here to learn about the area as a whole.

   On to the next topic. I turn sixteen in two days, so of course there's one thing on my mind: cars. Everyone around me is getting either their permits or licenses, and then.. there's me. Having a late in the school year birthday definitely has its advantages, but car-wise, it has many disadvantages. I've been saving up plenty of money, so I decided to look for a car. However, it's hard to find one with a decent pricetag, milage, and overall look. I've always wanted an older-looking car, so this task proved especially difficult for me. When my uncle showed off his brand new BMW I knew it was time to wow my relatives with a car, so I took a step forward and started to look for one myself.
My uncle's brand new BMW.
I sent a picture of myself inside it to my boyfriend as a joke,
claiming my family bought me this as an early birthday present.
He was not amused. 
    My boyfriend loves cars, especially Audis. My dad had a great connection for a $5,000 deal on what would normally be at least a $25,000 Audi. Here's a picture the model, but not the exact car.

    He test drove it, but apparently it was "not good enough" for me. So we moved on. Next was a $4,200 Volvo that we passed downtown. I liked how dated the car looked, but it didn't have great milage, so we moved on. 

    My dad told me on Friday that he was going up to New Hampshire to look for cars, and that if he found one, he'd bring it back (and I'd pay, of course). When I was at work, he surprised me and drove through the drive-thru in this baby.

  It's a 2004 Chrysler Sebring, and although I won't reveal how much milage it has or how much I paid for it, we got an amazing deal. I already named it Lucy, and she's my baby. Although I don't have my permit yet because Massachusetts requires you to be sixteen years old exactly in order to do so, I test drove it the other day through cemeteries, parking lots, and little-used roads around my neighborhood. I've never driven with other cars before, so it freaked me out when there were people behind me on the road! God, it sounds so crazy to me to know that if all goes according to plan, I'll have my license in November. Insane, isn't it? Anyway, that's all for now, I hope you all enjoyed this little check-in on my life. Until next time, I'm Sam, and have a wonderful day (and a wonderful amount of time until my next post)!

No comments:

Post a Comment