Full spring ahead

Happy Cinco de Mayo! If I were back in Callifornia right now, believe me, I’d be at El Ranchito having a frozen margarita, grande, please, double the lime, hold the salt. And a plate of nachos.

However, life in Southampton here at A Butler’s Manor is mighty good right now. Weather report: A sunny, clear, glorious 70 degrees F, with just enough breeze that the windchimes bong occasionally– a bass note to accompany the treble of birdsong. The cherry tree is covered in pink petals (as is the lawn below it). We opened the pool a couple of weeks ago, and it is warming up nicely in the sun, a sparkling blue pond. As far as the garden goes, we appear to be about three weeks ahead of schedule. Trees are already filling in, and the azaleas are in full color. I can remember cutting lilac blossoms for the rooms for Memorial Day weekend, yet the lilacs are already in full bloom now, and we’ve been able to serve breakfast out on the patio the last couple of days.

It’s amazing how many people’s moods reflect a good dose of sunshine and nice weather. The sound of our guests’ laughter as they enjoyed breakfast in the garden this morning was a better pick-me-up than the best cup of coffee. And then after breakfast, up in Riverhead at BJ’s, I’d unloaded all my groceries onto the conveyor belt at checkout only to find that I’d neglected to retrieve my club membership card from Chris. Now, BJ’s customer service folks are always helpful, and I knew that if I went to the customer service desk with my ID they’d give me a temporary pass so that I could check out. But when the woman in front of me saw me starting to load my stuff back into my cart, she said, “Don’t put it all back and waste that time. We’ll just use my card.” Just a small thing, really, but it really gave me a warm, sunshiny feeling of connectedness with the Universe. Doesn’t Spring just do that to you?

It’s been three weeks today since my foot surgery. I’m out of the boot and wearing a sneaker for the most part, but am, alas, not yet able to walk to the beach and back in the early morning.  However, I’m trying short walks and took a gentle yoga class yesterday, and everything is feeling pretty good, considering. But the BEST thing? Today at noon, when I was cutting flowers from the garden for guest rooms, I kicked the sneakers off and went barefoot in the cool, damp grass. OOOOOOH!!! I don’t think I’ve enjoyed being barefoot so much since I was a kid!

Quote of the day: Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. –Walt Whitman

Lilacs in bloom, and counting blessings

I tell, you, I love this business. Guests are the gift that keeps on giving.

Any time we have guests who’ve never been to the Hamptons, we give them a copy of our itinerary (unless, very cool, they’ve already downloaded it off our website). The itinerary isn’t formal; rather, it’s what we take our visiting families to see in each of the villages. Last fall, a delightful family of three from Germany stayed with us, as part of a New York trip to celebrate the daughter Nina’s eighteenth birthday, and of course, we went over the itinerary with them. They had a great time with it, and afterwards, Nina offered to translate our itinerary into German. As we’ve tried (with sometimes comical results) to do this before using Babelfish.com, we were very happy to take her up on it.

This week, coincidentally, we had two sets of German guests a couple of days apart. While they all spoke very good English, when I prepared a “what to do” package for each of them, I remembered to give them a copy of both our English and Nina’s German itinerary. They were so pleased to have something like this in their own language! It just made my day!

It’s getting very green around here…what a glorious time late Spring is. The lilacs are out already. It seems early somehow, because I remember a couple of years ago I was cutting lilacs for the guest rooms for Memorial Day Weekend. But maybe, like this year, my memories are of one of the years when Memorial Day fell relatively early. In any case, ahhh, the dreamy, heady smell of lilacs in bloom! We’ve got them in each of the guest rooms this weekend. As we happen to have three sets of guests here to celebrate an anniversary, I suspect there is a good chance that lilacs (perhaps the white version) may even have been in their wedding bouquets…
Quote of the Day: Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love but only with distaste, it is better than you should leave your work and sit at the gates of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy. — Kahlil Gibran