Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Making Memories

This summer I made a trip to Ohio, to attend my 50th high school graduation reunion. The trip turned out to be much more nostalgic than I imagined it would be. I am pleased that the passage of time has helped make my memories more gentle and kind!

I imagine time has a way of distilling out all the petty grievances and worries we all carry with us and we come to a point when life itself - and the shear joy of living it- overshadows most other concerns. That may not be true for everyone, but it's true today, for me.

And, of course, since this is a blog about the Reflections Inn, I ultimately draw all lessons about life and human relations back to that beautiful place in the Bitterroot Mountains.

I've notice more recently that my close friends are also focusing more on making beautiful memories, as well as celebrating the lives they've lived. I could sense this last night at my reunion. There was a kindness and gentleness in the way we approached each other, it bordered on being almost reverential!

I've promised myself this morning, as I write this blog, to redouble my efforts to promote kind and gentle memories with each new guest contact. It may be a stretch, but Reflections Inn is much, much more than just a nice place to stay in the mountains overlooking the beautiful Clearwater River - it is a place in which memories are made and, perhaps even, lifetimes celebrated. It's true for Ruth and me, our family and close friends, but we want it to be true for other people who visit us and their families too!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Travel - It takes courage and patience!

This summer I flew to San Jose, California to visit my sister while she was on temporary assignment there for her company. I flew in the middle of the summer - on a Saturday no less - need I say more! I fly what I call the "Funny Skies" of Southwest Airlines. That way, if the travel experience is bad, at least with Southwest I can usually laugh about it!

Traveling on a Saturday during the busiest part of the summer season, caused me to think more about what our Reflections Inn guests go through before they arrive at our doorway.

Although I managed to upgrade to a "Business Elite Class", it did not save me from experiencing the annoyance of having the back of my seat kicked intermittently by a 5 year old during the first leg of the flight. Nor did it protect me from the spillover into my seating space of a 300 pound plus man who sat next to me on the same leg of the flight. The complimentary cocktail helped (it came with the ticket upgrade), but I was still left with a slight facial twitch for a couple of days after the experience.

My mid summer trip reminded me of the importance of genuine, sincere, and heartfelt hospitality. The kind of hospitality that is based in the knowledge that travel today isn't always a pleasant, nor easy, experience. I came home from my trip thankful to be living in a relatively uncluttered, free of excessive noise and chaos (and, sorry, absence of precocious 5 year old children) world. Living in the beautiful Clearwater River Valley, in north central Idaho, is a true blessing - a blessing you fully realize when you travel outside the valley.

My wife, Ruth, showed a great deal of foresight 30 years ago in seeking out this beautiful place we've called home for the last 18 years. And thank goodness she not only had the vision, but her vision included the desire to share this experience with other people who seek out and find Reflections Inn.

Jim May