Tradition at the Captain Morse House

Spiral Staircase

Spiral Staircase

If you like tradition then this is for you.  It seemed a good idea to give our guests an idea of how the home was run for the last 55 or so years just in case you want to do it. Most things end up being easier when done in a tried and regular way.

This home has been in our family for 55 years now and during that time my father, Norman Dudley Johnson, developed a routine that seems to have quite a bit of beauty and symmetry. His routines and the sounds of the blinds and windows going up and down seemed to calmly mark each of our summer days. Whether you want to do any of this is completely up to you but I find it pretty cool and fun to run the house in this manner. It just takes a few moments but seems to set the tone for the day so here is “the Norman Dudley Johnson traditional daily routine” for your edification and amusement.

Mornings:

The shades roll up in the front bedrooms and the flag (if not already out) goes out. If you are lucky it can run out as the yacht club shoots off the 8:00am gun.
The big doors for the two front bedrooms can swing open and hook back against the railings.
Opening up the windows in the attic and switching on the fan will keep the top of the house cool.

Coming downstairs the front light is turned off.
Entering the front living room the shades are each rolled up halfway as you move from South to East to North where the driveway light is then switched off.
The dining room and the back living room shades are then raised halfway. Note on hot days you may want to leave all of the Morse street side shades down to reduce solar gain.
The back yard and gate lights are turned off and then finally the two outside kitchen lights are turned off.

A trip down to the boatyard to see the water or to the paper store, perhaps for a cup of coffee, is a great way to see the town waking up and to stretch the legs.
Likewise an early morning swim before breakfast at the “bend in the road” (right fork past the triangle to the first “bend in the road” at state beach) is a great way to start the day and beat the crowds. The outdoor shower is right where you can keep an eye on the breakfast preparations – my father’s idea.

If a hot day is expected lower the shades on the Morse Street side of the house. This will keep the house a lot cooler.

Depending on the weather you can open as many windows as you like – just be careful – they are heavy and need wooden sticks to keep open. Please do not open the windows with the AC on.

Evenings:

My father would prepare the house for the evening cocktail hour and dinner thereafter around 5pm after coming back from the beach, golf or sailing
Windows would be closed if it looked muggy or about to rain.
The front entry light and hall lights are turned on.
The front living room shades are rolled down and the living room lights are all turned on.
The portrait and other lights are turned on and the dining room shades are lowered.
The back yard and gate lights are turned on and then finally the two kitchen lights are turned on.
The Flag is taken in if it is very windy (keeps you awake) or rain is coming. We usually fly it 24/7 since it is lit by the street lights. The Edgartown Yacht Club will shoot a canon off at sunset so if you really want to be “proper” the flag could go in at that time.

I hope you find this entertaining but don’t worry if you can’t keep up with it, few people could keep up with Dad.
The Captain Morse House