We had wonderful guests this weekend. They were busy running around all weekend spending time with family and friends who live here in town. I didn’t see a whole lot of them except at breakfast each morning.
As I served up their meals each day, we chatted and I found through conversation with them that we had a lot in common as parents and innkeepers. The first breakfast I spent most of my time talking with them as they ate. We asked questions of each other and shared stories.
The following morning I made a comment to my husband that perhaps I stayed too long and did not give them a chance to just be alone during their breakfast to talk with each other. I informed him that I would hold back a bit the second morning and not engage as much. I didn’t want to come across as the chatty innkeeper.
As they approached the dining area, they grabbed a cup of coffee and instead of heading to their table, they grabbed bar stools and sat down at the breakfast bar where I was preparing food. The conversation started immediately. They eventually moved to their table and I served their breakfast. Being aware of being present but not hovering, I held back and busied myself in cleaning up. Almost immediately they began asking me questions about the inn and so forth. I took that as a sign that they wanted engagement and I obliged. They were so interesting and we seemed to connect quite well.
This weekend got me thinking about connections and how in the age of social media and messaging that somehow personal connections can get lost.
I have been “accused” of getting wrapped up in conversations with “no way out” causing me to “stay” much longer than I want to. In the past I have complained about it because I really do have a “tell me your whole life story” tattooed on my forehead. Although it can be a curse, I have come to realize that somewhere deep in my soul, I must need that connection. I love hearing people’s stories and I tend to ask a lot of follow-up questions. To be fair, in the past, this did not always suit me well. I am realizing now thru this business of innkeeper, that it is indeed right up my alley!
Connecting with guests has been a surprising bonus to this business. I LOVE talking with them and hearing about their lives. It creates a special bond with perfect strangers staying under my roof. They arrive guarded and yet leave relaxed usually with a goodbye hug. It is amazing to experience this. I have yet to feel good about a guest’s departure. I feel a little sad as I wave goodbye and watch them pull out of the driveway.
I am sure I’ll have those people who aren’t interested in sharing their lives or the occasional Chatty Cathy who will send me screaming to the lower level but at the rate I am going, I don’t see that happening very often.
A wise person told me years ago that relationships are all we have. I believe that. They are invisible bonds that extend way past the grave. I am blessed to be in this business and love every minute of it. I was groomed for this job.
Have a great week!