Monday, July 29, 2013

My Empire for a Nut and Bolt

Operating an Inn along the Wild & Scenic Clearwater River involves more than cleaning rooms and mowing grass. It involves a lot of “people work”. Our guests bring with them, along with their luggage, their own unique stories and set of needs. And sometimes their requests are unusual.

This was the case just recently. A young couple cycling from Portland, Oregon, to somewhere far off to the East, came walking up our driveway, pushing their bicycles. It seems that the young lady's seat would not stay in the up position making it uncomfortable, if not impossible, to pedal the 70 to 90 miles they bike in a day.

Note: For those who are not familiar with living in the more wild and scenic rural places of our country, you need to know that almost every rural household has its own hardware annex.

In Idaho we rarely throw stuff away, because we know that if we keep it long enough it will be of use someday, to someone. And if not, we can always bequeath the junk to our heirs. I don't know how many years I had been saving that particular nut and bolt combination (and an assortment of washers), but that day my belief in saving everything forever was borne out and my conviction reaffirmed for another 20 years or until I die. So the bicycle seat was fixed and in a short time the couple continued along their way, happily pedaling up Highway 12.

It's hard to hold onto a belief for a long time in the hopes that in the end you are right. I know that my wife, Ruth, and I have held on to our vision for Reflections Inn through difficult and life threatening health issues and during other times of sagging strength and energy. But we stuck it out and Reflections Inn continues to be a pretty darn nice place in which to stay.

We are not done growing and changing. We've certainly not perfected this vision of hospitality that Ruth first put into words nearly 30 years ago. We constantly strive to make Reflections Inn an even better place to visit - and for us, a better place in which to live.

And, so, we will continue our work and continue to save all our screws, nuts, washers and bolts for the next tired and hot cyclists who walk their bike up our driveway seeking help!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Being at Peace

Not long ago a daughter and her elderly mother stayed at Reflections Inn. The roles of mother and daughter had clearly reversed, since the Mother, Edna, was celebrating her 99th birthday.

They were taking a road trip to visit old family haunts, a trip just to see a little more of the world and to see, maybe for the last time for Edna, part of this majestically beautiful country we are so fortunate to live in here in the Bitterroot Mountains of North Central Idaho. "This was something she wanted to do when asked", said her daughter. So they were here at Reflections Inn, relaxing and enjoying the view of the Clearwater River from our Guest House.

When in my youth, I used to look at my then late-50's step-father and whisper quietly to myself that I would never allow myself to age as he had. Now, of course, I laugh at that notion as I too face one old-age related ailment after another.

As I watched Edna, I was amazed, however, at how very much alive and engaged in life she was. Edna was at peace with herself. She had fought all the real and imagined existential battles we all face in a lifetime, and now, she was just at peace marveling in the simple fact that she was alive and content to sit in a chair and rock, look, and listen to life all around her.

Marveling at life, our own or life that surrounds us, is important. It's so very easy to lose a sense of peace when we are constantly shuttling through life attending to one (supposedly) important matter after another. It's a joy, though, to stop for a while and just 'Be' and that is why Reflections Inn exists – to provide a place in which one can be at peace, marvel at life, and just BE!