Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Maud, Claude and Dancing Bumblebee Cottage

You may be wondering why we named our shop, Dancing Bumblebee Cottage.  It all started back in 1912 when Maud Phipps married the dashing Mr. Claude Fitzgerald.  And did it ever start the rumor mill!  Maud was just 16 when Claude blew into town as the J.R. Watkins Salesman.  He had a plethora of filled bottles from tonics to vanilla extract and the well-to-do Phipps family welcomed Claude with an open check book.  And also, as it turned out, their daughter's heart.

After their marriage, they settled just outside of Wichita, Kansas.

Claude still peddled his wares in the bustling city and quiet countryside while Maud quickly learned the art of being a new mother to their first-born child, Samuel, who was then followed by their daughter, Anna.  Since Claude was quite successful, he was able to provide a charming mid-sized cottage on a one-acre lot adjacent to a large farmhouse owned by the Remington family.

The Remingtons, Walter and Mable, procreated quite evenly with 8 children; 4 boys and 4 girls.  Walter was a rancher tending to a large herd of cattle while Mable tended to the herd of children running to and fro.  Over time, Mable and Maud became the best of friends while their children played together.  It was not uncommon for Maud to hear the pounding of footsteps running across the prairie land when Mable let the kids out to play. The children always ran over to Maud's house for a few tea cakes and cool peppermint tea that she mixed up with peppermint extract from her husband's stash of goods. After awhile, it seemed like they were all just one big family.

Mable loved to garden and kept not only a large vegetable garden right next to the summer kitchen, which was a feat in and of itself in the scorching Kansas environment, but she also grew the most exquisite flowers even winning blue ribbons at every Kansas State Fair contest she entered.  So, it wasn't long until Maud was a budding gardener, too.  In front of the porch, magic happened.  There, Mable and Maud turned the dry soil into a spectacular show of color.

Maud would exclaim with glee, "Mable, I sit on the porch in the early evenings as an audience of one bearing witness to a most intricate dance between bumblebees and the swaying lavender. The sound of buzzing punctuates the air like a mini orchestra.  It's mesmerizing, Mable.  It's utterly mesmerizing."

And thus the little cottage bore the name, Dancing Bumblebee Cottage.  It was the home of Maud and Claude, where love was always abundant and friendships were continually strengthened. It was a cottage built on strength and character.

Dancing Bumblebee Cottage is that home you remember as a child.  The home where once you crossed the threshold, all your worries were left outside and the walls welcomed you with a warm embrace.

This is Dancing Bumblebee Cottage.  I hope you enjoy your stay.

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