Friday, August 28, 2009

An August Day in the Life

I start my day early, waking between six and seven. I turn on coffee and munch a biscotti while the coffee brews, reading email. Then, coffee cup in hand, I remain quite a while at the computer. There are requests for accommodation, that we cannot provide, already booked for most of September, but I answer straight away. It’s always good to answer people as soon as possible so they can make other arrangements. One of the emails is from Peter McMahon, at the Modern House Trust, regarding an article in yesterday’s New York Times. Another is a message from a guest who stayed in Seagull Cottage at the beginning of the month. Steve Buccellato draws comic books for a living and has sent me an amazing watercolor of the cottage living room. What a nice surprise! Morning brings private time for the innkeeper, so necessary, I find, by August. These past two weeks have been particularly strenuous, due to the humidity. I usually post whatever I’ve written the night before to my blog and today is no exception. By eight, I have taken my shower and am getting ready to make breakfast for guests. I remove the dew from the vintage table, out in the garden, replace the blue and white striped cushions, stored in the house overnight. It’s colder than usual this morning. Will everyone be happy eating outside? The sky is blue, so probably the answer to that question is yes. I chop organic peaches for fruit salad, prepare the breakfast tray, bake muffins so they'll be warm when the first guests come down. I clip fresh flowers and set the table. I spend 10 minutes in the garden, deadheading flowers while the butterflies dance in front of me, again, enjoying more peaceful quiet time. After everyone has been served breakfast, the phone rings. Good God! It’s a cancellation for the weekend. My first impulse is to tell the woman we do not appreciate phone calls before nine o’clock, but she is spluttering on about the hurricane. Coolly I explain that we have turned away other people for the same period and that the second half of her weekend fee is due anyway. I make a mental note of the family name, in order to exclude her from future bookings, and post availability to the Wellfleet Chamber blog. Next, I clear the breakfast dishes. Since one of our guests left shortly after breakfast, I watch NECN in Liberty Coin Suite. Sure enough, we are going to have rain and wind on Saturday. The next few hours are spent cleaning and doing laundry. I love the way the sheets look, hanging out to dry. It makes them smell wonderful and, of course, saves energy. While outside, I notice the light descends at a different angle, indication fall is almost here. Sven sits with the Green Room guests for an hour, chatting about this and that, before they leave to spend the afternoon in Chatham. Our new Liberty Coin guests arrive from California at 2:30. I give them orientation and they, too, head out for the beach. “We didn’t want to stay anywhere else,” the woman tells Sven. “I did my research. Take a look at Tripadvisor. You both are almost celebrities, according to what I’ve read.” Sven, of course, tells me immediately. Celebrities? Amazing! What a little bit of good innkeeping and positive energy can do ….