Check-In Is At Three: An Innkeeper’s Journal

JUNE 2015: Another afternoon and we are back at Lowe’s to pay for the new dryer. Another phone call in the car avoiding navigating a big box store on my broken feet. I chat with my oldest daughter while Rich pays cash. There was a delay with the purchase. The debit card has a $300 purchase limit. Luckily three of the angels paid cash last weekend so we use that money for the dryer.

We need to stop at the hardware store for a bolt to fix the swinging door to the kitchen before it completely falls off its hinge. Then the grocery store for more fresh fruit, half and half, orange juice, and hanging plants for the two rooms with decks. Later in the day we remember tonight’s temperature is forecast to reach thirty degrees. In the month of June!

Two years in Florida and we rarely thought about the weather. We put on sandals and headed out the door. Now I don’t own enough sweaters. I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about my wardrobe until September. No one lives in New England for the weather.

We’re running late. Check-in is at three. The window of opportunity is narrow- we finish serving breakfast at ten, check-out is eleven, we clean rooms and then leave to go shopping. It’s now  3:05 and we have a twenty minute drive. I panic. Rich tells me not to worry but there are two cars in the parking lot when we arrive back at the Inn.

“Run in there,” I tell him. “I’ll get the bible.” The bible is the reservations book that has the names of the guests and which room they are staying in.

A couple from New York City is sitting on the sun porch and are surprised to hear we are the new innkeepers.

“We were worried the car broke down or something bad happened. We’ve been coming here for twenty years and ever since the new owners bought the place from the beekeeper the innkeepers seem to keep changing.”

They know the place so well they showed the other couple to their room.

“We checked them in for you. We’ve stayed in all the rooms over the years so we know our way around.”

We chat about the Berkshires, the Connecticut River Valley, and sprained ankles. The wife has just recovered from her own injury. Somehow my books come up. I honestly don’t know how I work them into the conversation. It seems to come naturally. The husband tells me, “You will do well here. It is a very literary area.” I hope he is right. They ask if they can book now for the same weekend next year.

I retire to the kitchen, check the phone messages, and put my feet on ice. We dine on cod with onions and Cajun seasoning, roasted chicken ravioli, and spinach. We drink crisp white wine. After dinner, Rich massages my black and blue feet, then wraps Ziploc baggies of ice around my ankles.

We haven’t watched TV in three weeks. At night Rich sometimes watches Netflix in bed. He found a breakfast bed tray in the pantry and sets my laptop on it. Since I smashed up my feet I fall right to sleep, exhausted from lugging my boot around all day.

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