Until the street lights come on

Back in what seems like the proverbial olden days now, we were allowed to play outside after dinner until the street lights came on, which signalled the day’s end and time to come inside. This weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time, which means those street lights are going to come on an hour earlier.

It’s nearing time for A Butler’s Manor to have its bath, get into jammies, and go to bed.

For us, “bath” means making the necessary upgrades or repairs, refreshes, and general maintenance that we don’t want to do while guests are in residence trying to relax. (Believe me, we’ve tried to do it before with guests in residence. Among other things, it’s a mighty slow process when your available workday is roughly 11 AM to 3 PM.)  We know that someone wielding a power sander on the shingles outside the house or a chain saw on errant branches doesn’t make for a very Zen-like experience to someone inside.

 

The gardeners among you might appreciate Chris’s wheelbarrow full of plant trim as he goes about cutting back those plants whose foliage doesn’t overwinter well, and pulling the bulbs from the beds, cleaning and drying them for their winter storage. Others might find the fallen leaves and dried seed heads as architecturally interesting as I do. But it’s time to shut down the sprinkler system, put the winter blanket on the pool, take down the umbrellas, and bring in the patio furniture.
We’ll be taking care of this sort of business beginning next week, November 3 through November 20,
Join us for A Butler’s Manor’s last hurrah of 2014 when we reopen for the last ten days of the month of November. Kick off the holiday shopping season and support Small Business Saturday (November 29) by shopping Southampton’s eclectic little shops. You’ll find the elves (a.k.a. the Village Parks Department) will have installed and decorated the parade of Christmas trees that line Main Street and Job’s Lane. and created the wonderland of sparkling white lights that outline the deciduous trees and buildings. The village’s annual Parade of Lights and Tree Lighting will be held about 5:00 PM at Agawam Park, complete with carolers and refreshments afterwards. A good, crisp late autumn chill is almost guaranteed to be the weather forecast; a perfect time to wrap a scarf around your neck as you wander hand in hand with someone you love. Come on back to A Butler’s Manor where we’ll have a wood fire burning in the fireplace in the living room.
Then it’s time for beddy-byes, as we close on December 1, 2014 for our winter sabbatical.
It’s been a great year. Thank you to all!

Thanksgiving week

It’s late fall and the season is winding down, which gives Chris and me the opportunity to do some maintenance and home improvements. The first two weeks in November saw the complete renovation of the bathroom in Oak Knoll, as well as installation of central air conditioning in each of the guest rooms — yeah! We finished the former just in time to welcome guests in Oak Knoll this past weekend. Whew!

Around the village, most of the leaves have blown off the trees. Here in the garden, only the hornbeams are still hanging onto their fading summer foliage. Walking through the Southampton Village this morning, we saw the village crews putting up the annual display of Christmas trees that line Main Street and Job’s Lane. Additionally, this year, a number of the deciduous trees have been strung with tiny twinkling white lights, magical at night. With or without snow, Southampton will be a winter wonderland this season. And there are so many events planned for it, beginning next weekend!

Thursday, of course, is Thanksgiving, and this year Chris and I will be enjoying traditional turkey fare at Seasons of Southampton, the pretty catering facility literally steps away from A Butler’s Manor. (We’ll join friends for a late Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.) In the meantime, the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season begins the day after Turkey Day with Black Friday. But as residents of a small resort town with no big box stores or malls and owners of a small business ourselves, we are especially excited about Small Business Saturday, a promotion to encourage shopping at local, small businesses. American Express is doing the promotion of this nationwide event, offering a $25 credit to the first 100,000 shoppers who shop a participating (i.e., American Express card-accepting) small business. I doubt I’ll get out to the shops in time to qualify for the credit, but I’ll be there. Our wonderful small shops are too precious to lose to the chains and the malls and the Internet, and need our support.

So as guests enjoy the fireplace instead of the pool, as hot tea rather than iced beckons after a walk on the beach, we settle in and enjoy the calmer quiet of late autumn season in Southampton. Still beautiful and, to many, even more appealing than during the hectic summer days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quote of the Day: I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton