As you may already know a Country Inn Day is a sort of “stay-cation day” where I step out of my usual routine and imagine my 1853 house is a Country Inn, but by using my imagination I add play to the agenda. I play the part of Innkeeper, Inn Chef, Inn Gardener, Inn Maid and Inn guest.
These days are not always spent entirely at the Inn either. I’ll often venture out into my town, or nearby towns, and act as a tourist. After all, though long distance travel can be wonderful it’s also expensive and exhausting so checking into my personal Country Inn where all my clothes and books and other favorite things are already in place is so much more convenient. Besides, it’s fun to look at familiar sites with new eyes. Do you take the time to do this too? I hope so. We often don’t appreciate the good things right in our own backyards.
I’ll hop on my bike and head for town. There’s a farm market happening on the Village Green and on a Summer’s Day what could be more fun?
Because my Inn is less than a mile from the center of town it took only a few delightful minutes to bike down the quiet village streets to get to the Green where all the action was taking place and here I was. Ta Da!
I already bought a cauliflower and put it in my basket, but let me show you what else I found.
There was the plant stand with all the pretty flowers. I had a nice chat with the vendor as I played the part of Inn Gardener asking questions concerning the potted plants at the Inn. The sales lady was very helpful and though I was tempted to buy everything I controlled myself. The Inn is currently under construction – an addition is in progress. Funds are being saved for major landscaping projects, but it was sure nice to look at all the pretty flowers for sale.
There were olive oils to consider – so many different kinds.
And I had a lot of fun talking to these Slovenian ladies who were selling their homemade bakery. I bought a nut roll to pop in the freezer and take out for the Inn’s 4th of July party. These ladies let me sample all sorts of their other goodies and since the vendors right beside them offered me coffee I had quite a nice brunch.
Here’s the coffee man. He runs a shop in the town of Kent. You’ve heard of Kent State University? Well, his shop is near the University on North Water Street in Kent. His coffees are called Black Squirrel Blend. They are Fair Trade and organically grown. I was told the next time I’m in Kent if I drop into his shop I can watch him roast the coffee beans. That sounds like fun for another Country Inn “Outing” Day.
I strolled around the Green, talked to a few people I knew and admired all the produce that was being offered.
Vegetables picked that very day! How could you get your produce any fresher unless you grew it yourself?
But there was so much more to see besides food and garden items. I had a nice chat with these ladies who represented Dining for Women. This is a national organization which creates educational opportunities for at-risk girls and empowers nomadic women in Niger by offering them education and mentoring so they are able to develop new income-generating skills.
Members of this group gather together once a month bringing a dish to share at one of their homes. The money they would have spent for a lunch out is contributed to the cause. Perhaps your town has a Dining for Women chapter too. Sharing is a good thing indeed.
I also had chats with The Friends of Hudson Parks, The Zonta Club of Hudson – another organization advancing the status of women in our community and worldwide, Velosano – a group of bikers that raises money to cure cancer. (Velosano in Latin means “swift cure” and there I was with my own bike so members urged me to join their cycling event.) I also spoke with a gal representing The Hudson Newcomers Club even though I’m a Hudson old timer. We spoke about me giving the members a talk about my favorite subject, The Art of Letter writing.
The Newcomers Club has a neat slogan – “Remember every good friend was once a stranger”. I told Emily, The Newcomer representative, my favorite slogan – “Sharing doubles the joy and divides the sorrow.” Letter writing is a great way to share and so is blogging.
What a fun and entertaining morning I had on this Country Inn Day. I got a little exercise riding my bike, did a little shopping, had some good coffee and tasty Slovenian treats, met some old and new friends partaking in delightful conversation and all the while enjoying a classic Summer experience, a farm market.
Country Inn Days are full of simple pleasures. We don’t have to go far away to treat ourselves to a vacation from life’s usual routine. We can find it in our own town. We can find it in our own home. If we are the artists of our lives we’ll step off the treadmill of modern life regularly and give ourselves permission to focus on beauty and joy.
My Country Inn Days are composed of activities which refresh mind, body and spirit. Some Inn days focus on the physical – spa days for example. Some Inn days focus on the social – sharing tea and intimate dinner parties. Some Inn days are quite intellectual – days where I treat myself to the theater or a Cleveland Orchestra Concert, and other Inn days are especially spiritual – my spiritual retreat days.
But most Country Inn Days have a little of everything all rolled up into one 24 hour package. I flit from Innkeeper preparing my afternoon tea to Inn guest enjoying it. I read a little, cook a little, garden a little, wash up the dishes a little, pray a little, nap a little and it all amounts to a whole LOT of joy
Joy is important. And it just doesn’t happen. Work and worry are sturdy weeds, but joy requires cultivation. Country Inn Days are my days especially designed to cultivate joy. I hope you’re cultivating joy too. And when you experience joy don’t forget to pass it on.
Perhaps you have your own version of Country Inn Days. I’d love to hear about them. Maybe you’ll share a good idea with me, an idea I can incorporate into my own Inn days. That would be great! So until next time…