Guests who become friends

As I tell people often, my only contribution to Chris’s garden is that I cut flowers to make arrangements for A Butler’s Manor’s guest rooms. In high summer, I have lots to choose from. Last year, one of our regular summer guests was enjoying the pool and we were chatting while I was cutting from the rose garden beside it, piling up blooms on one arm. The next time Jackie came to stay, she brought me a wonderful present: a long, narrow basket to be used for gathering flowers. You can see by the picture how it comes in handy (and look at the lovely flowers we have available), and not just for gathering flowers! Last fall, I filled the basket with small gourds, autumn leaves, and a scattering of yellow mum flowers, and it became the centerpiece for the dining room table. Over Christmas, I filled it with greens and low votive candles. I’m still working on ideas for a spring arrangement…
On the subject of return guests…one of the most rewarding things about owning a B&B is the friendship that develops with many of our guests who return again and again. We look forward to catching up with them each time they visit. Occasionally, we lose them as guests (but not as friends!) because of relocation or other job factors.
Jack and Tom are private pilots who would occasionally stay with us when their employer overbooked his summer house here in Southampton. As often as not, they didn’t need accommodations because there was room on the estate, but when they were in town, they’d often call to see if we were free, and stop over with a bottle of wine that we’d enjoy in the garden, or we’d join them for dinner at Le Chef. Alas — the employer’s summer house was sold last year…we sure miss them.
Sometimes people fall in love with the area and buy their own house here, so we lose them as guests, but gain them as neighbors! Such is the case with John, who stopped by on his bike the other day to say hello. He’s found a house in the village and may find a way to make it his primary residence. It will be fun seeing him and his family at concerts in the park and other “local” events.
But mostly, it’s just not summer to Chris and me without a chance to check in with some of the good people who return each year for a chance to relax in the sun!
Quote of the Day: You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. —H.L. Mencken

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