Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's about the guests.

Guests frequently ask "Do you enjoy being an innkeeper?"  "Is it what you expected?"  "It's really hard work, isn't it?"   Well, Yes. Yes.  And Yes.  (Tomorrow is my 48th birthday, so forgive me if I get a little philosophical here!).   Of course, there are some mornings when I am not especially excited about getting up at 6:30 a.m. to make breakfast--believe it or not, I am not a "morning person"!  But I must say that when the guests begin coming downstairs and sitting at the breakfast table, it is TOTALLY worth it!  We have had guests who became engaged here.  We have had guests on their honeymoon.  We have had guests who I later learned were trying to decide if they were going to stay married.  We have had guests celebrating their 40th or 50th wedding anniversaries.  We have had grandparents here to meet a new grandchild, and we have had expecting parents here on a "baby moon" before their lives change with the birth of their first child.  We have had families staying with us in celebration of a wedding and families here mourning the loss of a family member.  We have had guests here on business and guests here on job interviews.  We have had guests from as far away as Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Chile, and Austria.  And we have had guests from our own neighborhood or from just across the James River seeking an "in town" getaway.  I have been honored and touched by every one.  Over the course of this year, I have been so gratified that we have created a space in Maury Place that provides peace and respite to those who come here for whatever reason.  So many have commented to me that their time here was so soothing and relaxing.  And that makes it all worthwhile.  The older I get, the more I realize that life is not measured by minutes or hours or cups of coffee, it's measured by the unexpected small moments of grace shared with others.  Those moments have over and over again confirmed for me that I made the right choice.