In the Company of the Rich

On David’s day off, we went to Biltmore, the mansion in Asheville belonging to the Vanderbilt family. I remembered that the staff would be in the middle of removing Christmas decorations. David missed seeing the mansion decked out in Christmas finery, so he thought it would be interesting to see some of it. The entrance, dining hall, and breakfast room were back to normal, but many of the rooms were still decorated. The trees were lit on the second floor.

In the music room, cleaners were on scaffolding on wheels replacing drapes and dusting the walls. The industrial-sized duster was enough to give me nightmares. Several people were un-decorating trees in the gallery. I was amazed that they were in the same box stage as John is at our house, with storage boxes near the ornaments. Their setup was highly organized. As I walked toward this area, a woman dropped one of the round ornaments, easily six inches in diameter. It rolled out of the restricted area toward the feet of visitors. A man deftly retrieved it for the worker, and everyone laughed. Despite the ball’s delicate appearance, it was tough!

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Now you’ve seen how un-decoration is done with the rich, you can view John’s box stage at our house. The big difference is scope. I wouldn’t be surprised if John gets the job done before they do.

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