My studio in the attic used to be a maid’s room but is now furnished by
 Thomasville of Oakbrook, featuring their safari-style Hemingway
Collection of furniture and décor. I have to say I’m more in love
with the Victorian-style sofa to the right.

I felt like Goldilocks yesterday moving into my studio at the Hemingway Birthplace Home. I knew nobody would be there when I arrived early in the morning as the house does not open for tours until 1 p.m. I have my own key, and so I let myself in. I had been shown the house and my space before, so I knew where everything was, and yet it was mighty odd to have the house, which is really a museum, albeit a livable one, to myself.

I could, for example, sit on any of the armchairs in the gloriously Victorian parlor. (I didn’t.)

I could sit on the sofa in the turret of Father Hemingway’s bedroom (I did!), listen to the soft neighborhood noises outside (someone mowing a lawn, traffic trundling by), and marvel at the fact that nobody outside knew I was inside.

I could hang out in the nursery right next to Mrs. Hemingway’s room where Hemingway was born.

I had time to discover sweet details like the imprint on this closet door lock in the one bathroom that I also get to use. Speaking of, in the afternoon, when I emerged from the bathroom, I found one of the museum volunteers waiting for me in the hallway. “I’d heard steps and I just wanted to make sure it’s you,” he greeted me quite friendly but with arms crossed. I was Goldilocks after all!

Back up into the attic! This is the narrow attic staircase, and I just love that art deco wallpaper!

PS: I am planning, by the way, to launch a newsletter as part of my residency. I was thinking to call it “Notes from the Attic” or “Notes from Hemingway’s Attic,” but then I found that the very first writer to work up there, novelist William Hazelgrove, has been using “Hemingway’s Attic” already for his blog and a just released book on how to survive as a writer. How about “The Woman in the Attic?” Any other ideas? Let me know in the comments, please.