Did you go on the Hudson Garden Club's Home & Garden tour?

I was lucky enough to visit a few homes for a special section the Hudson Hub-Times does before the event each year.

If you missed the tour, you missed a lot. The houses I saw were gorgeous. The homeowners I talked to blended art, furniture and family life effortlessly into beautiful, livable spaces.

The best part, though, was that the homeowners were "real" people. They did not pretend to be perfect. One felt so comfortable meeting with me that she greeted me at the front door in her pajamas. (That was totally my fault, though, for not checking my voicemail about an amended meeting time.) I loved that the homeowners I met had no qualms about casually picking up an errant sock sticking out from under the couch or pointing out the place on the mantel where a son's yogurt cup sat unnoticed for days.

That is my kind of home tour. There is no perfection in my world. It is a constant battle of maintaining the status quo. Imagine for a minute what visitors to the Fellenstein house would find if, God forbid, we were on the Hudson Home & Garden Tour. (Read in a tour-guide-like voice)

Visitors to the Fellenstein home will enter through the kitchen where they will immediately trip over at least six pairs of shoes lying directly inside the back door. The kitchen table, hand-crafted by Amish artisans, is covered with a delightful blend of homework papers, junk mail and empty water bottles. The soccer bag sitting on top of the violin case is from the homeowner's eldest daughter who failed to put them away despite being reminded no less than 30 times.

We move next into the living room where there is a large cardboard box nestled in amongst the comfortable (read covered-in-dog-fur) furniture. Yes, those are live kittens in that box because the homeowner jinxed herself when she wrote her cat column a couple months ago. Another popular design feature is large baskets of laundry artistically placed throughout each room. Feel free to fold a few things before we move on to the front porch.

You get the idea. I have nothing but praise for those who do actually agree to let hundreds of friends and strangers parade through their homes on the tour each year. You are braver than I.

And for those needing to feel good about their own homes, stop on by the Fellenstein homestead. I can guarantee it won't be pretty, but it will definitely be entertaining. I may even let you wash some dishes.