A relative of ours, whom I’ll refer to as Z for the sake of his privacy, was able to purchase a very large home in a distant state, and he is proud of it. It is an English Tudor, built around 125 years ago, and when we go to visit, we can readily understand his pride in this imposing home.

“House proud” is an expression commonly used, but unfortunately it carries a negative connotation. It suggests too much pride of possession in something that other people do not have. But it should not be so. Why is it wrong to be proud of one’s home?

One of the best rooms in Z’s home is the “Morning Room.” It’s a medium-sized room off to the side of the house and has large windows on three sides. These offer a sweeping view of a lush lawn and bordering forest. Visitors can step into the adjacent dining room where there is a large coffee urn, and then return to the Morning Room to enjoy the view and coffee at their leisure. Comfortable chairs and classic furniture add to the genteel ambiance.

Morning Rooms were a luxury in the 1800s, but were functional, too. They were usually built on the sunny side of a large home and when the Lady and Master finished their breakfast, served to them by a butler of course, they would repair to the Morning Room where the daily mail and newspapers were brought to them by the same humans who had just served their breakfast.

Envelopes, of course, were slit open first so the homeowner would not have to suffer the inconvenience of that chore, and of course, the papers and letters were not given from the actual hands of those servants, but were presented on silver salvers.

Mr. and Mrs. Mansion Owner would not be yet dressed for the day. If the Master did not have to go to his office, he would be in some sort of satin smoking jacket, the wife in a modestly expensive robe. They would sit in the Morning Room, perhaps with a second cup of coffee, and would peruse the mail and newspapers in detail.

These scenes were common themes in the old black and white films of the 1930s, and I was lucky enough to be able to see all of them, and still can, thanks to TV. I wish we could go back to that era, but I was never that wealthy back then and surely am not now. It was the stuff dreams are made of.

In addition to the miracle of early morning mail delivery, the movies of the 1930s show other Morning Room activities, with well-healed couples sitting in those lovely rooms, surrounded by ferns and other lush plants tended to again by those same beleaguered servants. Far be it for milady to water, debug and dead-head her indoor plants. It was simply not in her job description.

Seated in their sunny Morning Room, the Lord and Lady would be perfectly coiffed, perfectly turned-out, in fine fettle. Eventually, the Lord would rise, kiss his wife dryly on the cheek and go upstairs to get dressed, so he could face the day.

Milady would stay in that lovely Morning Room for a while longer, and finally would move on up to her above stairs suite to dress and prepare for her day, too; planning dinner, playing bridge, arranging charity balls … well, you know, the usual.

To be well turned-out was a must for people who had Morning Rooms. Perfect children might be in that mix somewhere, tended to by nannies and other servants, and they’d be permitted to enter their mother’s boudoir to deliver another dry kiss and be taken to the park by, yes, the servants. When they returned, they’d be fed, and bathed and re-introduced to their parents just before bedtime.

Oh my, those old movies made us want to live like that.

Well maybe.

They sure made living look easy in those old films. No worries, no grossnesses, and no annoying issues; you know, like the stuff of normal life?

I’m proud to say we have a Morning Room in our home. It’s also the Afternoon and Evening and Night and Every Room, and Mongo insists on calling it the Junk Room. No one actually ever uses it, except to go in there to get some junk.

Oh, but when we have too many grandchildren wanting to sleep over, it’s perfect for the overflow; we offer big blow-up mattresses, blankets and pillows, movies, popcorn, privacy and fun. I absolutely do not ever want to know what goes on in there.

I go upstairs into the Sleeping Room with Mongo, and leave the young ‘uns to their young ‘un machinations.