Today I jumped off the edge - another adventure for the dedicated lifelong learner. I called the curator of Glanmore House, a local National Historic Site and signed up to volunteer as guide or researcher. She was most welcoming - sounds like they are doing some succession planning in that area and would do a lot of volunteer development before they would turn me loose on tour groups. That would suit me 'down to the ground' as someone near and dear says.
I'm looking forward to learning more about this Second Empire house and the family who lived in it from the 1880's to its designation and purchase. Somehow SE houses always look like socially conscious matrons to me. The degree of decoration and detail in their architecture matches the exquisitely turned out Victorian mistress of the house - fortunately there was no shortage of domestic servants in their day to keep everything shining and starched! I may have to review my jeans and down vest wardrobe.