More and more lately, I think about how lucky we are to be here, Jimmy Oliver and I, doing what we’re doing.
How did this B & B thing happen, anyway? And did we consciously decide to have just the two suites, so never more than two sets of guests, or did that just happen?
Either way, it is right for us. And if you believe in the law of attraction, that like attracts like, then all I can say is that we have been remarkably blessed lately with amazing guests.
In its finest moments, a B & B really delivers to its owners. Yes, it is a way to (hopefully) make a living. It also encourages you to really focus on and develop parts of your home and garden that you might otherwise not do. But more than anything else, a B & B can deliver the most delightful mornings, filled with rich discussion or hilarious repartee around the breakfast table.
And here is the advantage of keeping it small. A small group hangs together. In a small group, there is space for everyone to contribute. And in a small group, you tend to go deep, rather than wide with those discussions. The truth is that, on many mornings, we find ourselves in the company of the most astonishing individuals. So whether it is Pauline, living large, and entirely on her own terms, or Riz, who was the first hometown radio host to interview Nirvana and the first to play ‘Teen Spirit’ to Seattle audiences, the experiences are rich and the conversation flows.
Like farm wives before modern conveniences helped to ease the work load, B & B owners never run out of jobs to do and chores to complete. Some need to be done immediately, and others call to you when you’re about to sit down.
This is our third summer above the bay, and for the first two, I contemplated the enormous lavender bushes we’d inherited and thought about what I might like to do with the crop. The first year, we did a late harvest of the flower stalks and had a huge aromatic basket filled to brimming on the patio next to us. Eventually, all of the flower heads began to drop off. We collected them and kept them for awhile, but I thought to myself, ‘A wreath would be nice. I want to make a wreath.’
The next summer, I thought I was ready. I had wreath forms.
I even bought a spray fixative for dry flowers. All I needed to do was to wait until all of that lavender was bright purpley blue. Almost there, I thought, until a visiting friend, observing the crop, dashed my hopes. ‘Too late,’ she said. ‘You’re supposed to harvest it before it opens completely.’ I sighed heavily. ‘What’s another year?’ I thought rather bitterly.
So this year, I was ready. Which brings me back to all of those intensely interesting visitors. Because, with all of that work to do, how could I possibly find the time, or even justify sitting there and putting this rather large wreath together?
Well aside from the fact that I wanted to, I found that I was compelled to do it. And whereas, that farm wife of old might find herself knitting socks or canning tomatoes, I went through the steps of creating my wreath, and at the same time, I thought deeply about all of the people who, though we’d only known each other briefly, had had the power to mark me deeply with the essence of who they were. And so, I sat and I worked and I thought about them, and about just how lucky we really are to be living here, and doing this.