Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Planks

When I purchased our little b&b I inherited a lovely deck, 2 koi ponds and, for an urban setting, a rather large backyard. All of this has been a bit too much to maintain as I have had very young children during the 5 years I have lived here. The idea of a little one falling into a koi pond has kept me out of the backyard more than I would like to admit. Of course I would be watching them, but there are many responsibilities inside the inn and therefore only recently have I allowed the children, to play unsupervised in the backyard.

The koi ponds can use a good cleaning out as the leaves from the past 2 falls have gathered extensively in their midst. The dry summer has hurt both the roses and the grass of the backyard. For about a year I would look at two planks on the deck that needed replacing, the wood had rotten right through and it could pose a problem for guests and for the children.

I would consider, with my limited knowledge of woodworking, how to fix the deck. Of course I could hire someone, but I did not need an entire deck replaced, just two planks. I thought of the ways in which I would need to remove the old ones, how big the new ones needed to be, and though I try not to procrastinate, I honestly wasn't sure how to really get the job done. Help arrived.

February tends to be a slow month at the inn. In an attempt to attract the very budget minded traveler I published a highly discounted rate for a couple of weeks in February. After all the utility company does not care whether I charge $50 a night or $150 a night as long as they get paid. One Monday night I received a call from someone who had seen this great rate and wanted to make a reservation for 2 nights. Sure, I took his information, and the next evening Scott checked in. Then he went out for the evening. The next morning he arose late, had a cup of green tea while chatting with me and my friend, that had come by to visit. The following day was about the same. He was a really nice guy and I so enjoyed our conversation, he did not really do breakfast and was zero trouble as a guest, definetly one of those "friends" I spoke about in my first blog. He called me the 2nd afternoon and asked for an additional night. "Of course, no problem". When Scott came in that afternoon he brought the best gift- granted any gift from the heart, is THE best gift. As it turns out Scott use to have a deck building business. Scott came home with 2 planks of wood, tools borrowed from a friend and in an hour he replaced my two rotted planks with 2 beautiful, new pieces of wood. I could have repainted these planks by now, but when I look at them I remember Scott and his gift. I recall how I contemplated for many months on how to repair it, without actually doing it, I remember how he involved the children, they were not in his way, but enjoyed learning something I could not teach them. His investment in our lives was so much more than two planks. You may not know how your two planks and simple gift will impact another.

When such an angel comes into my life, and it happens frequently in this business, I try to remember this " Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels" (Hebrews 13:2). May I encourage you- Entertain A Stranger Today, they may be just the angel you need.


  1. Oh, Tressa...what a beautiful post. I'm adding you to my Google Reader! :)

  2. Such a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it.