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August...The Twelfth Month...of the Transformation

August 2013 Journal
 
Because ‘the old house’ was newly ‘adopted’ during the first week of September a year ago, this past month has completed the first year in the life of The 1910 Inn.
 
Once in a while I have to stop for a moment and ask those around me, “Does it look different than it did a year ago?  Does it look better than it did a year ago?  Can you tell?”  And those around me answer with a laugh, a smile, and a look of bewilderment at my questions.  Then I sigh (as I actually just now did) with relief and say, “Oh…good…I hope so…because I have been working hard.”
 
My beloved inn experienced a year of repairs and replacements of water heaters, air conditioners, plumbing, electrical components, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, appliances, veranda ceiling, veranda roof, and garden beautification.  The stairwell and mantel were polished, walls were wallpapered with vintage patterns, and interior and VIBRANT exterior paint helped bring The 1910 Inn to life!
 
 
There was that time last fall when I spent an entire month cutting, rolling, and removing 3-foot-wide strips of worn carpeting from almost every room in the inn. My plan for the carpet/floor task was: If I can do it myself, I will, no matter how long it takes me.  Occasionally, a friend or a daughter would stop by and take pity on me and help me carry a carpet roll to the curb outside. Then after that massive effort I began the tedious effort of eliminating decades of ‘spots’ (I do not really want to know what those ‘spots’ were) off the wooden floors…cotton ball…by cotton ball…’painstakingly’ is the word that comes to mind.  ‘Spot’ removal took two weeks and 600 cotton balls. During those days I kept thinking (and talking to myself, too), ‘Oh…you know I must love this old house…for me to be doing this!’
 
Ah!…then…FINALLY…what I had been waiting for and working toward…what had been my motivation…I could FINALLY begin to wax the century-old wooden floors into the gleaming surface that graces the inn today.  I know that most people will not know or realize the efforts that went into the inn floor they walk across.  It is ‘just a floor’, right?  Oh…but I know…and I smile…and I am happy that I was able to help restore and revitalize its beauty.
 
So…back to the story…or to start the August story…August was like a wonderful reunion at The 1910 Inn.  Pat and Bob came back for a second visit.  Bob is a teacher, and their visits to our darling Tarpon Springs and the Pinellas Trail fit their schedule during spring break and summer.  Carol and Bev, Rose’s dear ‘aunties’ visited again.  (See “A Stranger Brings A Rose to the Inn” on the inn’s website: the1910inn.com; blog: “Hello…”; posting date: March 27, 2013.) 
 
Mia from WLRN returned for a week-long stay, along with cameraman, Felipe, as they continued the work on their documentary.  I will have to tell you more about that during 2014.
 
During the monthly ‘Night In the Islands’ event an entire inn-ful of guests dined and danced the hours away at the Sponge Docks.  Guests LOVE their evening of being ‘Greek’, and I LOVE to hear about their adventures the next morning at breakfast!
 
I look forward to hearing about the birth of Victoria’s and Ben’s baby.  And thank you pilot, Steven, and ‘co-pilot’, Ben, for replacing that heavy jug of water with such precision.
 
Wendy (remember there are three recurring Wendys at the inn) and Jim finished their two-week stay at the inn and headed to their two-week African Safari.  Upon their return they stayed at the inn an additional night.  Thank you for the colorful Maasai tribal bracelet that you brought to me from Tanzania.  Soon we shall plan an evening for you to visit and share the story of your African journey. 
 
There was Miami Weekend at The 1910 Inn.  All the guests that weekend had come up from Miami for weekend getaways.  None of them knew each other, prior to their visit…and here is the ironic part…yet maybe not so ironic, really…none of them met each other during their weekend.  The inn is a private respite to many.
 
Judith and David visited for a few days to celebrate Judith’s birthday.  They both had careers that took them throughout the world, and it was fascinating to hear their stories.
 
August brought a much-awaited visit from a European guest.  This guest, a movie producer, found a peaceful haven at the inn, where work on a manuscript could be done uninterrupted.  This guest mentioned one day, “There’s something about this town… (long pause)…it is different here…it is not like America.”  I had to smile at that thought.  Yes…there truly is something different about our Tarpon Springs.  Sometimes I joke that our town is Mayberry USA.  Oh, but as the years go by, less and less people know what Mayberry USA is.  Sometimes I think that our town is caught in a time-warp with the morals and culture of the 1950’s.  And that is one of the BEST things about Tarpon Springs.  Yes, Tarpon Springs is a gem.  Life is different here.  But…hush...do not tell too many people!
 
The month ended in a multi-cultural flurry.  One morning at breakfast eight guests represented six countries and cultures at the dining table.  Oh…such interesting conversations and languages!  “The World” comes to The 1910 Inn!
 
It has been a good month of finalizing some first-year maintenance goals.  Did you know about the weekend that the BIG red ‘circus tent’ came to Tarpon Springs?  Some of you may have seen it.  Well…you know…when you love an old building…you do what you must to continue to preserve it.
 
And some sweet and dainty touches were added to the inn  Lace curtains with the loveliest scalloped side and bottom edges now adorn the four windows of the ‘round room’, where Wendy (another of the three Wendys) and Ron will become husband and wife in October. 
 
And soon…oh, very soon…front landscaping and the new/old door will find their way to the inn.  You see…my mind never rests and is filled with visions of what The 1910 Inn will continue to become.
 
So, August completes the summer here at The 1910 Inn.  Our first summer! Oh, so sweet! 
 
Come by for a visit one day, dear friends.  We shall sit in the rocking chairs on the front veranda, sipping cold lemonade and watching our little Tarpon Springs…where time stood still.
 
 
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