‘Tis the season to be busy! Weddings, reunions, graduations, honeymoons, and spring get-a-ways have us hustling to get everything done. The roses have finished their first big bloom – half of which our resident deer consumed! Our Lady Rebecca Staunton lilies are just beginning to open in glorious numbers, and the lawn is requiring constant attention. It is a beautiful time, and we’re enjoying sharing Chester with our many guests.
Finally, after many false starts, spring has appeared in all her glory. The dogwoods are nearing their peak, and the deutzias have spread a veil of white over the lawns. It’s a shame we don’t have a wedding here today! Our arboretum suffered two losses over the winter. Unfortunately, both were heritage varieties – stewartia and franklinia. We’re mulching, planting, cutting and pruning. May 8th will bring the annual bird census – lots of migratory birds are stopping off and the feeders to refuel. Tis’ truly a glorious time.
As innkeepers we frequently encounter folks who need to get away and “recharge their batteries.” We work to provide peace and quiet, good food and an environment that is responsive to all kinds of needs.
We are fortunate to be able to recharge ourselves on an annual basis. Our “retreat” is to a warmer clime where we spend hours diving. It is refreshing to swim with sea turtles, observe huge schools of colorful fish flowing by, find the occasional shark on the prowl, and watch enormous eagle rays “fly” gracefully through the turquoise waters.
Something about the sea quiets us, reminds us of our insignificance in the whole scheme of things, and challenges us to protectively cherish that which is our world.
The winds are howling sending us scurrying for cover. Lucy nand Suzy head out of doors reluctantly and return quickly. Mother Nature must be doing housekeeping chores as dead branches and twigs tumble from the trees. On a positive note, March is nearly here – crocuses are peeking out of the ground, and green swords of daffodils are pointing skyward.
Although winter storms continue to rage, we are turning our thoughts toward spring. A random flock of robins on the wintry lawn is a lovely reminder that warmer times are ahead. Bicycle groups are setting up their itineraries. Bird-watchers are scheduling time to view the large numbers of migratory species that make refueling stops at our feeders. After the Superbowl – can spring be too far off?
Chester’s unsung heroine is Mary Frances. When we need a long period of R and R, she is at the helm – meeting, greeting, cooking, and cleaning. Lucy and Suzy get to snuggle with her at night. When an emergency arises, she cheerfully says “I’ll be right there!” We are so grateful for her presence – she is irreplaceable and greatly loved. Thank you, Mary!
The holidays are memories, and slow winter has settled in at Chester. Guests are arriving in smaller numbers to seek a time of peace and quiet with a fireside dinner, a good book and a warm bed. Even Lucy and Suzy have slowed down and are spending their days curled up on their beds.
Chester was filled with fun and laughter for over a week. Family came from near and far. Some new faces were added to the mix. Four dogs roamed the house; a cord of wood was burned, and many wonderful meals were consumed by family and friends. We made and ate homemade candy; Santa found a wonderful snack waiting at the bottom of the chimney. The new year was welcomed with a bonfire and champagne. All in all, it was wonderful! With grateful hearts we begin 2011 with hope and warm memories. Happy New Year to all!
The greenery is hung, and the tree is trimmed. Mother Nature has set the scene with a blanket of snow. Our kitchen has been the hub of inn activity this week with the production of “Mr. Lewis’s Caramels” and Butter Almond Toffee. Firewood has been cut, split and stacked on the porch. Friends – old and new – are once again dropping in for a cup of cheer by the fire. Family will arrive shortly, and the vigil for Santa’s visit will begin in earnest. As we settle down for the holiday, we wish warmth, peace and contentment for all. Merry Christmas!
The first snow fell overnight and the dreary landscape has been transformed into a veritable wonderland. The bare trees are a lacy delight, and the world somehow feels refreshed. Cardinals and finches are beautifully obvious in the sunlight against the white scrim of snow. The overnight paths of deer are clear on the covered grass. A skim of ice coats the pond. Chester is gracefully settling into the “deep midwinter.”