Thursday, September 27, 2012
Opening your door to 1,000 visitors is a tremendous commitment. A dinner party for three couples has me making lists and planning for eons, much less contemplating 994 more guests. But I don’t have to imagine what it takes to agree to have your house on one of Scrumptious Summerville’s Kitchen Tours. I get to write up home descriptions for the tour brochure. This gives me an insight into the home owners’ style, dedication and prep work that must be done ahead of time. I wrote about these Real Housewives of Summerville a few years ago and the more I deal with them the more “real” they become.
The appellation is based on the television series about the lives of those described as “relatively affluent bourgeois housewives and professional women in American suburban or urban areas.” It’s called a “reality” series. What is more real than the fact that many children are abused and neglected? Children in Crisis is the organization which oversees the treatment and servicing of these children and their families by the Dorchester Children’s Center. The Kitchen Tour is a main fund raiser to help support these efforts. And if it wasn’t for real housewives there really wouldn’t be any tours.
“That’s just basic truth,” said Marlena Myers, kitchen tour chair. “Without the generosity of these homeowners we would never have been able to do what we’ve done!” And what they’ve done is remarkable. This 10th Kitchen Tour Year will see the group having grossed $1.2 million and helped 5,000 children, utilizing 3,000 volunteers with over 100,000 volunteer hours. Over the last few weeks I’ve talked to ten of Summerville’s finest volunteers, mostly wives and mothers who share a genuine love of our town and the desire to help vulnerable children.
These women are doing a lot more than just “opening their doors” for this tour. In the months since they agreed theirs would be host homes, they have been working with families to get things spruced up, including laying patio pavers, moving trellises, shinning up wavy glass windows, and touching up paint and trim inside and out. More than one has told me that whenever they think of the work, they think of the kids and get on with the work.
You’re going to see more than one scarlet dining room – as this seems to be a color trend this year, several homes steeped in Summerville history and antiquity of style and furniture. Family pieces abound and many are put to unique uses. In another abode, Chinese antiques and accents reflect world travel. You’ll also see a tobacco chair and a wine tasting table as well as delivery boxes from Summerville’s famous upscale grocery the Tea Pot, which once served the fabulous Pine Forest Inn as well as local customers from its Town Hall locale. You’ll visit a former slave cottage, with hand pegged ceilings which have withstood hurricanes and earthquakes.
You’ll end up with some unique decorating ideas you might want to incorporate in your own homes (red walls, anyone?), contentment after a lovely and diverse afternoon and the satisfaction of knowing that you did something to help some of our most susceptible – and youngest – citizens.
This is the kind of thing REAL Summerville housewives still do!