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Sweet September

September 2013 Journal

Ah!  A spare moment…a moment when the September thoughts are ‘brewing’ in my head and I must stop (the clean bed sheets for Bedroom Three with its precious cherub wallpaper can wait a few moments), ‘brew’ a cup of fresh coffee, sit in just-the-right-chair (like Goldilocks, I guess), and let the words tumble onto my paper (yes…I am old-fashioned…I must write my thoughts on paper before I type them onto a computer keyboard) so you can know what has been happening at The 1910 Inn.
 
I had the pleasure of meeting inn guests, Billie and Larry.  Billie’s eyes twinkled with fond recollection, as she told me about her dear grandmother, Mabel.  Remember the comic strip “Hazel”?  I know some of you do remember it…and some of you can conduct a quick internet search on what I call a ‘fancy phone’.  Well, Hazel was modeled after Mabel Horton in Crawfordsville, Indiana during the 1940’s.  Mabel became a widow, and farming just was not meant for her anymore at that point in her life.  So Mabel became a nanny for a nearby family.  Next door to that family lived a cartoonist, who would write his cartoons and through his window would watch the antics of Mabel and the young children.  Thus, Mabel transformed into “Hazel” and enjoyed many years of nanny-hood.
 
Wholesome.  Yes, that is quite an accurate description of Tim and Melissa, a young adventurous couple who explored our delightful Tarpon Springs in early September and discovered some fascinating nooks and crannies.  They had done their research ahead of time and were in search of some specific intriguing sites, such as historical cemetery plots (you must go see the plot of Morris Lofton who loved his bed so much that he was buried with it; you can see his wrought iron headboard protruding up from the earth of the Rose Cemetery), and a unique brewery, St. Somewhere, which specializes in Florida Saison flowery beer.  Upon meeting them my thought and words were, “Are you an ASTRONAUT!?”  Really, I did not ask this just out-of-the-blue.  Tim’s shirt had the NASA wording and logo.  Not too many people have arrived at the inn sporting such a shirt, you know.  Sweet Melissa said, “No…but he WANTS to be one!”  Tim and Melissa are bright-eyed, fresh-complexioned, still-somewhat newlyweds, who shine with all the goodness of America’s Midwest.  Tim’s specialty occupation brought them to Florida (because when your education is Space Law…really it’s true…there is such a thing…you really cannot live ‘just anywhere’), and systematically (how else would a Space Lawyer tackle a task?) are wandering their way around our state during weekend adventures. 
 
(Baklava…it just takes a simple question at the right moment and fresh baklava is made with love.  That is what happens when I least expect it at The 1910 Inn.)
 
Now, back to the Tim and Melissa story.  The veranda…Melissa loved sitting in the rocking chairs on the veranda.  On the first day of their visit Tim excitedly asked, “What time do the café lights go on? Melissa LOVES the veranda.”  I mentioned a time (that equated with ‘evening’, ‘dark’, ‘after sunset’)…then moments later, as I prepared to leave the inn (while it was still daylight), I smiled at the thought of wholesome, sweet, polite Tim and Melissa who APPRECIATED  the 103-year-old veranda, and I excitedly turned on the café lights for them.  I was as happy as I envisioned they would be. 
 
There is something ‘hopeful’ about such a young couple.  They look like ‘the future’.  To see them makes you want every blessing for them.  Sometimes a sweet gesture brings tears, and baklava and a lone yellow chrysanthemum from the vase on the veranda table seemed to do that.  As Tim and Melissa left the inn (that I hope they will visit again),  I wished them a house full of laughing, loving babies.
 
It seemed to be Bridal Shower month at the inn during September. 
 
Courtney’s darling sisters hosted a shower for their youngest sister.  It was a lovely afternoon filled with happiness and love.  Oh, I must mention young, darling Ava…just seven years old…she was fascinated with the inn, the kitchen, and the Side Garden.  I loved answering her many questions about ‘the prettiest house she ever saw’.  Knowing that youngsters of today are quite proficient with computers, I asked Ava if she would want to read about and see pictures of the inn on its website…maybe she could do that with her mother, I suggested.  “Oh, yes! I know how to use the computer”, her sweet little voice exclaimed.   So I gave her a pretty deep-purple business card with its lovely Victorian logo and the inn’s website address.  A really cute part of this story is that a few moments later darling Ava delicately walked back to the business cards and took an extra card with her.  And the cutest part of this story…as Ava left with her mother at the end of Aunt Courtney’s shower, her mother stopped the car and darling Ava ran up to the veranda and handed to me a sweet little jar of honey tied with a lavender silk ribbon.  Each morning I see the jar atop the third shelf on the left side of the inn’s kitchen window…that overlooks the Side Garden that Ava loved.
 
An Annie had a bridal shower at the inn.  Her dear Aunt Kay hosted the precious afternoon.  Maybe you saw the quite-purple, quite-vintage, quite-(cupcake)sweet photo on the inn’s September 21, 2013 facebook post?  I remember bride-to-be Annie Koulianos, when she was just 6 days old.  Of course, she may think that was a long time ago…but those of us, who have witnessed the passage of time and the passage of generations, realize that those 20-plus years were a mere blink-of-an-eye.  Oh, such love filled the inn, as sister groupings of all ages celebrated Annie’s special afternoon. 
 
Another Wine Walk!  Kaila DeLany graced the inn with heavenly classical music on her heavenly oboe, as Wine Walk guests toured the inn, sampled wines, enjoyed decadent chocolates, and savored the whole experience.  The 1910 Inn is a step back in time…to an earlier millennium, a more graceful century, and a simpler era.  If you have not entered The 1910 Inn during a Wine Walk, you really should.  You would enjoy the moment. 
 
Upcoming Wine Walk date: Saturday December 14, 2013.  Ticket information is available at Wine At The Docks (727-942-9463) and Tarpon Tavern (727-945-1000).
 
Mia and Felipe…from WLRN…came back for another busy business week in Tarpon Springs.  Remember, they are creating and filming a documentary…and I promise to tell you more about it when the time is right.  The 1910 Inn is a ‘home away from home’ for many business travelers. 
 
Thank you dear Marie and Tom for sharing a wonderful stay at the inn with Tom’s many sisters, as your family celebrated the life of Tom’s dear mother, Jeann Knowland.  Such a poignant evening filled with a lifetime of stories.  Tarpon Springs was home to Jeann for twenty years.
 
Phyllis…wonderful Phyllis…I first met her during the summer, but I have heard about her for many years.  She is the grandmother of dear Jake, who grew up with my children.  Jake always said, “My Mimi is SO nice.”  Whenever he would say that I would smile and think, ‘It is so wonderful that he has such a nice connection to his grandmother’.  One day during September Phyllis contacted me to ask if it would be alright if she brought something for the inn’s Side Garden, and we planned a morning for her to visit for coffee.  Angels!  Garden angels!  A diversity of angels: concrete; cast; white; gray; terracotta; weathered; smooth; metallic; standing; reclining; providing water to parched feathered-friends.  Phyllis said her garden angels needed a new garden…oh, Phyllis, Jake’s dear Mimi, you are an angel yourself!  Since that day, more angels have moved into the garden.  They arrive with a note from Phyllis and a raspberry teabag or a jar of Phyllis’ homemade apple butter…her grandmother’s recipe.  Did Phyllis know?  Apple butter was my FAVORITE topping on buttered toast during my childhood.  It is time for apple butter to re-enter my life and greet the inn guests at breakfast!
 
The new/old door…is making progress.  When just-the-right-door was discovered with an accurate and historically-correct window, John of JKC Custom Doors began his work for the door to fit the uniquely-sized doorway at the inn’s side veranda and match the colorings of the century-old entry woodwork and foyer staircase.  It is quite a process, yes, but perhaps you agree that this Grand Victorian Lady deserves such an entry.
 
Inn guests…oh, I love them.  Yes, I mention that often, but that is how I truly feel.  They enjoy our Tarpon Springs, our beaches, our restaurants, our stores.  One guest, Jeff, mentioned, “I haven’t taken a day to do nothing in five years.  I needed this.”  I smiled and said something like, ‘I am so glad that you relaxed and enjoyed your time at the inn and in Tarpon Springs’.  But his comment has stayed in my thoughts, because I know that many people lead such busy lives and may not stop to smile at a passerby, greet the mailman, read a book, sip a lemonade, visit a friend, place their feet in the warm Florida beach sand, watch the purple-orange-red-pink sun dip into the Gulf of Mexico on a blessed evening.  Did you know that you can do all of these things at The 1910 Inn and in Tarpon Springs?  Yes, you really can…and you just might have a moment to savor a still-warm-from-the-oven, sinfully-delicious, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ pie-scene piece of baklava made with LOVE.
 
Upcoming at The 1910 Inn:
1) Wendy and Ron’s October wedding in the music room filled with the live violin music of Sandra Caskey.  Oh, the acoustics in this dear old house!  Bliss!
2) An oh-so-romantic BETROTHAL…as I write this, the betrothal has already occurred.  Oh, the details, the beach, the shovel, the ring!  Please come back again, so you can read about it in the October journal.
 

Be well, dear friends!

Love, Annie

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