It is great to be able to contribute as part of the host community, as we celebrate the positives together.
2020 was the year with many clouds, with some silver linings. While much of the world was on quarantine lock down, we found ourselves adjusting and re-adjusting, then adjusting some more. We felt uncertain about the reality, that soon put in motion a new standard of normal for how we manage as hosts. With so many sheltering in place in Washington state, and soon thereafter deciding to find relaxing drive-to destinations, we suddenly found our beach house and lake cabin being highly desirable respite locations. With that came a need for us to adopt thorough new screening practices and add very strict occupancy and disinfecting practices. Our housekeeper went from one person, to a cleaning, hospitality, and maintenance crew, who are truly dazzling in the services they now provide us. Suddenly we found we had to assure guests we had toilet paper (!!), paper towels and sanitizing wipes available to them. All bedding was swapped out to quick wash and dry covers and fabrics. We have washed remote controls to the point that the keypad numbers are growing faint. The health and safety of our crew and guests went full throttle, while keeping our doors open, and our secluded outdoor spaces accessible, to those needing a change of location to breath and to think.
Time and again this last year, we were reminded to be grateful not just for what we have, but for being in the position to be able to share what we have with others, who were often thankful. The most memorable of our guests in 2020 included two doctors and their two small daughters, who thanked us for the space to get away from the stress of the pandemic to hike our trail to the beach, and soak in the hot tub. These guests sent us adorable photos of them reading to their girls before bed that first night, which warmed our hearts. We also hosted a woman from the eastern part of our state who stayed in the summer, then again in the fall, who was able to take her mom out of her nursing home for the day, and spend it visiting with her at the lake, in the safety of our tiny cabin. Her guest book entry reads in part: “ The pandemic has affected every one of us – but the elderly have been uniquely so. That being said, bringing my mom here, spending the day together knitting on the deck, watching the skiers, the water, the bald eagles was healing for us.” (The photo of her guest book entry is here)
We will continue to remember to be thankful as hosts, come what may in 2021. Let the experiences of 2020 be healing for all of us.
Happiness and peace, this New Year!
What a wonderfully uplifting story @Yvonne41 . Thank you so much for sharing and welcome to your inaugural Month of Celebrations posting! 💐
It is certainly all about feeling safe and healing until we can get this Covid19 under control. Thanks again....
Thanks for sharing @Yvonne41 - such a great testament to your hosting 👏 It's lovely that you were able to provide a space for guests to connect with family too.
Do you find that most guests leave a note in the guest book?
Most guests do leave us a note in our guest book. Often kids do as well and enjoy leaving a drawing. I am about to embark on a project to frame many of our guestbook entries and hang them up in our homes. My son’s girlfriend enjoys our home hosting spaces so much, for a holiday gift this year she custom made us two new guestbooks, using her dad’s 3D printer. It’s so rewarding that others are participating in the joy of sharing you
Wow, what a great pressie for you @Yvonne41! And a lovely way to commemorate all the great guests you've had by framing the entries, clever idea 👏