Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Yesterday, we had a chilly rain most of the day, and this morning, it was dark as I drove to the gym. I noticed a car with about an inch of snow on top in the parking lot, and all day it has been spitting snow. We just walked downtown, I in my new, water-resistant jacket with some light-weight thermo.... material. I dug out a pair of stretchy gloves, too. It was cold but bearable.

We did a little leaf raking over the weekend, and the next nice day, I plan to bring in planters and put away outdoor furniture. I need to knit faster on the sweater I've been working on since August. Winter is on its way!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What would Dad have done?

I really don't think it happened because we have had full houses nearly every night for two weeks and are losing our enthusiasm for guests. In the past eight years, we've had only a small number of needy, messy, inconsiderate people. Most of our guests have been wonderful, caring, interesting ones we would definitely like to see again. When people ask if we ever have "bad" guests, I used to reply, "only one," a distant relation on Paul's side who was extremely rude to us and other guests. Even Paul's mother agreed that the relative in question should be encouraged not to return.

I was really surprised to encounter the guest we had recently, an ordinary, garden variety bigot who was proud of it. Over breakfast, he decided to instruct some foreign guests in what he believes are at the root of America's problems. I could not believe my ears - and these foreigners listened in rapt attention - as he noted that African Americans have caused all of our problems. And he did use the term "African American," but rather one that went out of fashion in the 1960's. He said that they abuse "the system" by expecting a free ride on government benefits. He went on to describe Sherman's march to the sea, noting that it did not focus on the right target. I was so upset that I fled the dining room and busied myself with linens, dishes, and whatever else I could find.

But his diatribe did not end at breakfast. The foreigners wanted to take photos of us all and of the house. As they finally left, Mr. Racist told them to remember the root of all of our problems as they continued on their travels. With that, he plopped down in the livingroom to wait for his wife to get ready to leave. I went up to our room to sew until they left. I kept thinking about what my father would have done in that situation. I didn't want to make the foreign guests uncomfortable or cause a scene. I considered following them out to their car and explaining that not all Americans feel the same way, but I was not sure they would understand even though their English was fairly good.

I know my father would have exploded with anger at the breakfast table. He most likely would have told the man to leave immediately. But of course, such a person would never have been invited to my parents' house or, for that matter, my own. Businesspeople must sometimes put up with despicable customers in order to make a living. I continue to wish I had done more in this situation, and look forward to talking with Dad about it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Which Jane Austen heroine are you?

I took a fun quiz and found out I was most like Elinor Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility, my favorite Austen novel. Try it at

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just keeping on!

I just haven't had much time to post lately. Maplecroft has been busy! We had over 70 guest nights in September and are off to a roaring good October. Between now and the 18th, we will be full most of the time. This year, many guests are staying more than one night which gives us a bit of a break. Still, breakfast for 10 can be quite a job! We have decided to close for the winter Nov. 1, which will give us time to catch our breaths, travel, and goof off. Can't wait!

Our guests have come from Denmark, Ontario, California, New Hampshire, England, Michigan, Connecticut, Georgia, New York state, and even Vermont. Fall foliage is at peak color right now, and we try to get outside as much as we can to enjoy it, too. I am determined to take a decent photo for Margaret from England who arrived before the colors changed. Maybe tomorrow!

Last weekend we went to a concert at the Opera House with Dan Tyminski and his band. It was great! We are looking forward to Nov. 1 when the Duhks are playing. In between guest-business, I've been knitting a sweater, appliqueing the borders of a pink and green quilt, gathering polka dot fat 8ths for a swap, and finishing off Christmas Dear Jane swap blocks.