Some Country Inn Days take me out of town, even out of the Country, but other Country Inn Days are spent at my Inn or close to it. That’s today. It’s nice to live in a town you love because even simple things done there offers much pleasure. I always wanted to live in a place where I could walk, where there were sidewalks along charming streets lined with trees and interesting homes. I’ve always liked towns that have a Village Green with shops, restaurants and coffee houses in their center, places where one can run into neighbors for a little chat. Hudson is such a town. Hudson is also fortunate to have a park with a lake and a world-class library, so on this Country Inn Day I plan to stick around the Inn and my neighborhood enjoying simple pleasures in both places.
My day begins with a bagel, my favorite espresso roast coffee, and some inspiration from author Christie Matheson. Unless the Innkeeper in me is hosting a tea or a dinner party on an Inn Day I rely for company on books, wonderful books. It’s very easy for me to imagine the authors of these books are here with me, if not in person, then in spirit.
“The Art of the Compliment” is a wonderful book that encourages us to say all those nice things we’re thinking “about and to” the people in our lives. I was given a real pep talk as I nibbled and sipped, and nothing like a pep talk to start one’s day.
And I’m the Maid!
You see, on a Country Inn Day I flip back and forth from being Inn Guest to worker bee. Some people may find work an unpleasant activity on a day off, but I remember and take to heart the words of Mary Poppins. Mary said, “In every task that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and then the job’s a game.” Imagining I’m a maid or a cook or a gardener is like play acting to me, and “play” is the magic word on a Country Inn Day.
If you were a Downton Abbey fan like me you may have imagined being Lady Mary one day and her lady’s maid the next. Well, on a Country Inn Day I take on both roles in the same day. After all, don’t most of us play both roles throughout our lives in some manner? There are days we dress up, go to the theater or to fine restaurants and live like a lady of leisure, but on other days we work, work, work. Well, on a Country Inn day roles simply flip flop back and forth a little faster.
Once the Inn Maid (me) tidies up the bedroom, I proceed to the dressing room in order to get ready (as Inn Guest) for an outing in town. One thing I hate about taking a trip to a far away place is packing, but on my Country Inn Days I need not pack a thing because everything is here at my fingertips.
The Inn decorator (me) is thinking about adding some color to the walls and floor of this new dressing room, but even now it’s a pleasure to slip away to this quiet, private place where I get ready for the day. The dressing room is also a good place to read if I wake up in the middle of the night. I can retreat here, turn on some bright lights without bothering my husband.
But now I’m ready for my walk in town. Come along with me.
There’s nothing like a walk in town, up and down the old streets in the village we go. I love to focus on the details of each house. So many different styles…
Hudson does have many new neighborhoods too with all sorts of handsome new houses, but it’s the old world that warms my heart. Hudson was founded in 1799 so many of the houses in the village were built in the early 1800’s. Walking around town makes me feel I’m back in Boston where I used to live.
There’s nothing like taking a walk any time of year. It’s good to walk in a park, but equally fun to walk in a neighborhood if you like the neighborhood. To breathe in fresh air, get a little exercise and give your mind a chance to wander freely… lots of good ideas can come to us while walking. And all this is free of charge. How good is that?
My walk eventually takes me into the downtown area and just about the time I’m ready for some coffee. I love coffee and coffee shops. Hudson has six coffee shops to choose from so I am one lucky girl. I enjoy writing one, two, or three letters each day in one of Hudson’s coffee shops. There I find solitude and society simultaneously.
Today I explore a new shop here in Hudson. Restore specializes in organic, superfood smoothies and things like organic avocado toast, and meals made with things like chia seeds, grass fed whey, spirulina and pepitas (whatever those things are).
It’s decorated in a very minimal style, not my very favorite look, (Notice the tree stump-items serving as seats) but I try to patronize all the local businesses. I notice when customers do arrive they are usually young adults, often with little babies or young children. This place must be a new age thing.
I obviously chose a quiet time to come for I nearly have the entire place to myself and that can be nice when I’m writing letters.
I order a macchiato which is very yummy
and it keeps me company as I write a letter or two. But now it’s time for lunch and though I could stay here and have an organic dragonfruit bowl made up of dragonfruit blended with strawberry, pineapple, ginger, coconut milk and topped off with camu camu, goji berries and grass fed whey, I decide to take my leave and go off to Lake Forest Country Club.
The decor here is more my style . . .
I choose a quiet corner with a table for two because I will be having lunch with a “dead friend”. What is a “dead friend”? A “dead friend” is a person of the past who shares their stories with me by way of a book, or sometimes a film, or a collection of letters. “Dead friends” are wonderful company on Country Inn Days. They’re great luncheon companions and back at the Inn I never know how many “dead friends” will pop up for a visit at tea or cocktails or anytime.
And here she is, my luncheon companion – Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne
The book that’s bringing Sophia to me is called “The Peabody Sisters of Salem” by Louise Hall Tharp. Yes, Sophia was born in Salem, Massachusetts and that’s where she met Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of my favorite authors. Perhaps you’re familiar with his work. Well, Sophia and Nathaniel married and they lived in a house in Concord, The Old Manse, a house I visited many times. It’s very special to have been in the house of a “dead friend”. To walk through the rooms where they walked . . .
As I munch my sandwich and french fries (not very organic, but mighty tasty) Sophia tells me stories and I’m transported back to Massachusetts, to her old stomping grounds and mine. Of course she’s talking about the 1800’s, but that makes her stories even more interesting to me for a little time travel on a Country Inn Day is a nice touch. I hope you have and enjoy “dead friends”, time travel, and imagination too. All three do wonders to jazz up an ordinary day.
But time flies as it always does and I leave the club, stopping off to buy some flowers for the Inn. That’s the job of the Innkeeper (me). I choose white tulips.
Back at the Inn I morph into the Inn Maid. There’s laundry to fold, but after my outing in town it’s a nice change of pace, and variety is the spice of life. Is it not?
A few housekeeping matters are attended to, a little this and a little that . . .
The tulips are arranged at the table by the Innkeeper (me) . . .
The Inn Cook (me) whips up a little dinner for my husband who happens to be a regular guest at the Inn . . . My son Rory will be joining us tonight too. It seems like food is a big part of a Country Inn Day, doesn’t it? Well, it is.
And once dinner is over and a little time is spent unwinding and visiting with my boys it’s back where I started this morning. . . back to the dressing room.
There were a few dozen other things that went into this Country Inn Day, but I’ll share those things at another time. Sharing surely doubles the joy. I hope you’re sharing your joy too
Ah me! the days go swiftly by . . .
Time to say farewell . . .
What will my next Country Inn Day be like?
We’ll just have to wait and see.