Sunday, October 7, 2012

Through the Eyes of Our Guests

According to Baxter Black, a Western entertainer and social critic, rural people are different. We deeply identify with a "Sense of Place" and that is especially true in our case. Ruth and I enjoy looking up to find the horizon - it causes us to see all that lies in-between, including the people. I think suburbanites and city folks look down at their feet too often in their rush to get from point A to point B.

But there are other values according to Baxter that make rural people different. We work hard, believe in something beyond ourselves, and for the most part, we are gracious and express gratitude. We also love the land, family, friends, and readily help others in our community who are in trouble, even if we don't especially see eye to eye with them.

So it's with a lot of pleasure that we keep seeing Reflections Inn in different ways through the eyes of our guests. Even a brief stay may mean an all-important moment of respite from the gnawing problems of a scary world. I was standing in the parking lot one day when a young delivery man drove up. The first thing he said when he got out of his truck was, "Wow, this is beautiful!”. Of course, he had just moved to Lewiston, Idaho  from Las Vegas so his response was understandable.

Not long ago we helped an elderly couple who stumbled into the Inn late one night. They were lost, tired and very confused. They had mistakenly booked a room in Grangeville, Idaho (40 miles away), but we were not about to turn them around and send them up the winding mountainous road to Grangeville in the dark. They sent us a note once they arrived home saying that we had indeed 'saved them' and that their brief stay at Reflections Inn turned out to be one of the highlights of their trip.

For us, a genuine welcoming smile and looking out for our guests’ safety and comfort is a core commitment. The Reflections Inn is more than a quiet getaway in a beautiful and scenic area of the Northwest. It is about valuing the relationships we develop with our guests and, yes, helping them see the beauty that surrounds them, the beauty that exists in their lives and in ours!

Jim May