If you have ever graced me with your company at the Inn, you’ve seen what a grand and awesome building this is. You’ve also likely noticed that for a home nearly 100 years old, in addition to being spotlessly clean, the place is in outstanding shape. One of the things you would have asked during your stay would be, “Do you do this all by yourself?”
My answer is always a great big, “No way!” I am so lucky to have amazing people who help me take care of the Inn and our guests. They treat everything as if they’re taking care of their own homes. From the precisely folded towels and triangulated TP to the new floors, faucets, and groomed gardens, their pride and dedication in what they do helps to insure that our visitors have wonderful and memorable experiences.
In the next several weeks I’d like to introduce you to them. Since we’re in the middle of freshening the Summerfield bathroom, we’ll start with Awesome Tom. At 6’5″ you can’t miss him.
Tom and I worked together in the same school district for over 21 years. Whenever you needed something fixed, hung up, taken down, repaired, removed, put in, whatever – you called Tom. You always knew that whatever he did would be done right, and you wouldn’t have to ask him twice.
Tom retired from Manheim Township a few months after I did. Everyone was so sad to lose the guy who was always and in your corner and who kept the joint running smoothly. I wasn’t sad. I had just bought the Inn and nabbed him probably 30 minutes after the farewell cake crumbs were gone. Well, maybe not that fast, but pretty dang fast. I knew what was what.
As you can imagine, in a place this big and this old, there’s always something to do. There are big things like new steps, new sinks, new commodes, front porches, garden arches. There are little things like a lost spring for a vacuum, a hose that I can’t disconnect, a wobbly fan. There are indoor things and outdoor things, but here’s what I love best.
I can say, “Do you think we can chop down this tree? Do you think we should mulch the side garden? Maybe the portico should be power washed. What about replacing this grungy tile? What if we tear out all of these bushes in the back yard and move them 11 and a half inches to the left before guests arrive at 3:00.” I say “we” as if I’m going to be involved in the heavy lifting, but it’s really more of a “Royal We” kin of thing. But Tom is like, “Yeah, we can do that.”
Tom’s not just a fix-it guy. He’s an accomplished woodworker, self-taught sewing-machine-operator, and cook and baker. That baked oatmeal you have here? That’s his recipe which you can find here in a previous post. With six kids between them, he’s been married to his wife Nann for some 14 years. He’s pretty lucky; she is as loving and kind as she is beautiful. I’m very blessed to consider her my friend.
Today Tom’s here with son Jonathan, and they’re (literally) hammering away at finishing a bathroom before guests arrive at 3:00. Maybe you’ll be the first ones to enjoy the new sink and freshly painted walls! Maybe you’ll be one of the many people who will take pleasure in this lovely home and relax in one of the welcoming rooms or sit on the porch or in front of the fire. Whether you are the first or the millionth guest who will stay with us, take a look around at Tom’s handiwork.
I and so grateful to have the friendships with the folks who make this an award-winning Inn. Not only are they talented, they’re really, really, really nice people. I couldn’t do this without them and so appreciate their help at the Inn. When you choose your next room and stay with us, know that there are many friends here looking out for you, happy to help make your getaway wonderful. Thanks, Tom!