Angels: An Innkeeper’s Journal

Memorial Day Weekend: A week before the holiday the former innkeeper’s wife, a spiritual medium, hosted a seance at the Inn. We left to visit friends on Cape Cod. When we returned she told us the event was a huge success and the house was now full of good angels.

Another tribe of angels are arriving tonight. Not seance angels but good angels nonetheless. They are biker angels, the bicycle kind of bikers, participating in a bike-a-thon for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall camp.

A group of motorcycle bikers did call later in the afternoon to ask if we had four rooms available. I have only one room, the room a girl from Manhattan just released because she couldn’t work out transportation to the Inn. I suggest they try the only other inn in the area that I am aware of. A half hour later, a German woman who runs a different inn across town calls and tells me the bikers are at her place now and must have TV.

“They can’t live without TV for one night. Can you imagine?” She lowers her voice and says in an ominous tone, “They are driving Harleys.” I tell her I just spoke to them and I have no TVs in my rooms either.

The Hole In The Wall angels arrive with teenagers who need air mattresses. Rich runs around blowing them up.

Saturday morning the angels are out the door early. The driveway alarm that alerts us to the comings and goings of our guests starts ringing at six a.m. Rich promised three women yogurt parfaits so he heads downstairs. Normally we do not offer breakfast before eight thirty so last night we set up a help yourself breakfast for the angels in the small lounge where guests can have a glass of wine in the evening. Cereal, granola bars, apples, and bananas. Still Rich is getting up early to make yogurt parfaits.

“I have to stop offering things people don’t even ask for,” he says. “I’m offering to make fires and yogurt parfaits before they even think of it.”

The boot sends a stabbing pain up the back of my calf. I move much better with just an ace bandage. I know I’m not doing what the doctor ordered but I have decided to listen to my body and my screaming calf muscle which is shouting, “Get me the hell out of this thing.”

Rich helps me down the stairs each morning. I hold onto the railing with one hand and his arm with the other, stepping lightly and cautiously. Over on the Inn side of the house the large, ornate staircase makes a turn and the stairs narrow to my left so two thirds of the way down we switch places, square dancing our way to the living room. All around your left hand lady. Veer left. Veer right. Bow to your partner.

Tuesday’s guests are from Brazil. The morning they check out, I am caught resting my feet on the couch in the main room. Thinking nothing of it they sit down and join me. We discuss New England weather, my unfortunate mishap, and my daughter who is coming to help this summer. She is a hospitality management major at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. The older woman tells me she and her husband are hospitality professors at a university in Sao Paulo. Strange coincidences like this often happen to me. Unimaginative negative reviewers on Amazon would say it is contrived. I say you can’t make this shit up.

Mrs. Hospitality Prof says, “Your daughter will be able to help you with easy tricks of the trade but the hospitality, you and your husband are already very good at it. You are naturals.”

We need to buy a dryer today. We have a three hundred dollar budget. At thirty loads on a busy weekend we are concerned the dryer will only last a year. The owner of the Inn says that’s not true. The thirty loads part. I wait in the car and talk to a friend while Rich goes into Lowe’s. Riding the cart at BJ’s was fun but I don’t feel the need to navigate the aisles of a big box home improvement store with the additional hazard of forklifts and their backup alarms beep beeping.

Late in the afternoon, in another parking lot at the Stop & Shop, my car key won’t work. I just want to get in the car and drive home after limping my way down the aisles of the unfamiliar grocery store searching for honey. Why do some stores put honey in the peanut butter aisle and others have it with the Bisquick and maple syrup? There are no answers to these questions.

My feet ache and I need to sit down. The pain shooting up my right calf is back again. My left foot with the torn metatarsal creates the sensation I am walking across broken glass. Rich is asking someone for a ride back to the Inn so he can get the other set of keys. The guy says he’s not going that way but he’s had this happen to him before and he advises Rich to just keep trying, which he does and it finally works. I can’t help wondering about the seance and the angels who now inhabit the Inn. Is this the way angels work?

Exhausted, we sleep in our bed in our own room for the first time. We haven’t found our pillows yet so we grab some from a linen closet. I am freezing again. “Come on over to the furnace,” Rich mumbles, so I burrow into him and sleep like a child.

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