Greetings to all!
I adore this time of year in New England. Crisp mornings, sunny days that are not too warm, and evenings that are silent and cool, reminding us to slow down and smell the Maine air.
I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire called Atkinson. Located near the Massachusetts border in Southeastern part of the state, life was almost like "Our Town" (the beautifully simple play that Thorton Wilder wrote--and Aaron Copland later scored the amazing movie version).
I played Little League (I was awful!). I marched in the elementary school band with my clarinet, squeeking out some Sousa march while a tea kettle of inexperienced flutes tooted behind me. I volunteered at the town library on Saturdays after watching my Cartoons (and mowed their lawn every two weeks for $15.00!). Not being much of a playground kid, during the school days I'd pace up and down the back of the 4th grade classrooms clutching my Hardy Boy book du jour, or later, a Stephen King novel.
My morning paper route before the bus was a daily chore. Getting up early, packing my newspapers in the ink-soiled bag, and delivering to doors that wafted freshly-brewed coffee or sounds of the family waking up to the day. Sometimes I even heard the warning growl of the customer's dog right behind the door--ever so fierce but never too loud to wake the family inside!
Now back then, life seemed simple like "Our Town." Before cell phones, and PC's, and cable, in our town we'd dial only 4 numbers to call someone down the street. School buses swallowed up their waiting students and groaned down the street; trees became canvases of glorious colors, shining off their dewy surfaces. Autumn life in a New England town--by morning, by day, by night. It never ceases to amaze and dazzle me...
Today in Naples is that type of day. Tonight with guests coming to the inn, Debbie having crisped the sheets and fluffed the pillows, Gail stocking teas and ironing the dining room napkins, or me baking bread, I can't help but to feel excitement over having our guests discover this small town of Naples, a New England town by a beautiful lake. As an innkeeper, an ambassador of sorts to "cityfolk" and travelers from all over the world, I take great pride and joy in honoring this slower lifestyle. I need it in some way--and I think a small part of everyone does, too.
And, whether it is me, my staff, Mother Nature, or that newspaper boy riding his bike down that Autumn-cooled early morning street all grown up now, I can only hope that our guests can get a taste of those moments during their stay...the moments of a small New England town.
That's all from Naples, Maine. Deep breathes to all today---at least one, okay?!
Your Maine Innkeeper in Western Maine,
Keith A. Neubert