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Welcome Tour of the Captain Morse House


When we do a house tour to incoming guests we like to explain and demonstrate the following.

I have put this together just in case we cannot meet you due to a late arrival or other situation.

Arrival

  • Arrival is made easier by using the garden cart for moving luggage from car to back kitchen door. That door is the best way to move into the house
  • Remember to NOT DRAG but carry roller bags up stairs.
  • KEY INFORMATION FOR ARRIVING GUESTS IN THE WELCOME LETTER AND WORTH REPEATING
    • NO HIGH HEELS ARE ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE – The 175 year old pine floors and stairs are soft. High Heels will damage the floor
      Besides that, you are on Martha’s Vineyard. High Heels don’t below on this island unless you want to look like a tourist.
    • CARRY YOUR ROLLER BAGS UP & DOWN THE STAIRS – Be careful when moving bags, chairs or tables on the floors.
    • THE STAIRS ARE STEEP AND UNUSUAL – BE CAREFUL – Attic stairs are not suitable for small children.
Garden Cart


Interior

  • To roll up the blinds on most windows – Lower the shades all the way and then start a tight roll. After pulling up the shades a bit you then have to manually adjust the roll to keep it tight. You can’t just pull the strings and expect it to roll perfectly.

 

  • There are some modern blinds (bedroom 11 and bathroom 1) that can be lowered from the top or pulled up from the bottom. You pull the cord to the center to release the catch. Pull cord to outside to engage catch.
  • DINING AND WOODEN SURFACES ARE FRAGILE – use coasters & mats to protect.
  • Windows don’t always have counter weights. To keep them up sticks are placed at the side of the window, not in the middle. Be careful as the windows are heavy. If windows drop down they can cause injury and damage. 
  • Lighting for most living room lamps is on one switch near the front door
  • Stereo is best controlled with the Denon App (there are two Amps inside the Denon that need to be both On or Off) – see separate instructions. Manual speaker volumes are provided for both living rooms, the dining room and the back patio.
  • Elevator (off limits unless needed)
  • Windy – take in the flag – study how the flag is set and cleated so you can repeat – stainless rod attaches with metal thumb screw to bottom of flag to preventing wrapping
  • GE Monogram Stove – explain gentle use and that the part is on order
  • Silverware inside and outside of the kitchen
  • Honor Bar – use what you want but leave better quality than you found

 

Exterior

  • Windy – umbrellas down – coil the rope and place on brass hook when up
  • Garden Party Lights – do not run overnight
  • Trash Days – Put out Monday and Friday for the pickup on Tuesday and Saturday – separate recycling from trash – Make sure the trash men can get to the barrels.
  • Outdoor Shower – use to rinse sand off of your legs and feet before coming into the house
  • Bikes – line them up going the same way

Trash and Recycling

Please fill the trash totes all the way up before using another trash tote. You are charged for each tote that has trash in it.

Recycling cannot contain trash. The yellow labels on the recycling totes describe what is allowed. Fill up one recycling tote before using another.

Be sure the cars are parked so that the totes ca be rolled down the driveway. We are not responsible for marks on the cars parked to close to the building.

Take all of the trash out of the house on Monday and Friday evening. The trash pickup can be extra early.

Tuesday is for trash from 5/1 to 10/15 – Trash is anything that is not recycling such as plastic wrappers, clamshell boxes and food waste.
Saturday is the recycling and trash pickup – Single Stream recycling means cardboard, paper, cans and bottles all go in one bin with yellow label.

Good recycling starts inside the house at the kitchen trash pull out. The first trash bin is for trash and the second, further back in the slider is for recycling.

How to manage heat at the house

  • There is a budget for electrical use
  • If you run the AC with any windows and doors open you will incur extra charges.
  • Daytime – Always close the shades on Morse Street side. This keeps the house a lot cooler.
  • Nighttime – Consider letting the breezes flow – there are ear plugs in the front hall closet if the street noise bothers you.
  • North, East and West side windows are the ones to open in general. The South Morse Street side are best left down
  • Windows should be closed if it looks muggy or about to rain.
  • The attic is VERY hard to cool. Often the temperture outside is less than the temperture inside. If that is the case simply turn off the AC and open the windows.
  • These attic windows let all the heat out.
  • Windows should be closed if it looks muggy or about to rain.
  • The thermostat is powered by the internet.
  • Only use the top two settings – Heat and Cool
  • Do not use HOLD or FAN
  • Temperature will change automatically by time and by occupancy of the house

Traditions of the Captain Morse House

 This is how my father ran the house – link

This home has been in our family for 65 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