Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall is good for Innkeepers

Week after week, the beautiful fall weather keeps coming. I guess this is in payment for the 9 weeks of oppressive weather we lived through this summer. I can never remember that long a spell of heat without rain, and now I cannot remember a fall this pleasant.

One of the privileges of being an innkeeper is the quiet time spent in the old house between guests, and with special guests we love. My favorite times of the day are mid-morning, when the guests are just finishing breakfast and often want to sit and talk and then again at sunset, sitting on the back porch waiting on arrivals, sipping my favorite wine and contemplating life. The same things that bring our guests contentment, brings me contentment, and the atmosphere of the Walnut Street Inn still does it for me.

I do get a chance to slip away to the Ozark hills now and then. Three times during this stretch of perfect fall weather I wandered off, twice alone, and once with my “first friend” Kim. I’ll post some pictures here of those trips and the majesty of the Ozarks. The top one is from Truman Lake, close to Warsaw, MO. I was all set up on a bluff photographing the night sky when the northern sky turned a glorious red. A sun spot caused the aurora borealis to be visible all the way down to me here in central Missouri. Another thing checked off my bucket list.

I have traveled the world, and been to 49 states and have enjoyed the natural beauty that is inherent in this good ole USA, but nothing touches my soul like the Ozark hills and streams. For years I have wondered what that draw, that connection was. I think I have puzzled it out for me. It is the perspective of the Ozarks.

I can appreciate the Rockies, marvel at the high deserts, and wonder at the ocean’s power, but when walking along a spring-fed stream in the Mark Twain National Forest I feel at home, at peace. The size of the river, the height of the trees, the distance to the horizon, the amount of sky that is exposed; all these things add to the perspective that is the Ozarks. It feels grand, but not overwhelming, open and inviting yet enclosed enough to feel friendly and comforting. One knows for every hill there is a valley, and for every valley there is a stream, for every vista there is a canyon. The predictability of the forest is a comfort. It is like an old friend. I walk along, singing a song as old as the hills and one to which I know all the words. Even the smells of the forest each season are inherent in me. My father once said it was because all our water ran through limestone passages in the Ozarks. We drank that water all of our formative years, so we have limestone in our blood.

Maybe that is why I feel at home, sitting on a limestone bluff overlooking an Ozark vista. Maybe that is why I have settled here when “here” could have been so many other places. I am grateful I found that connection. I fervently hope you find your place for contentment as well.

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Gary at Walnut Street Inn
900 E Walnut StreetSpringfield, MO 65806
Info: 417-864-6346
Reservations: 800-593-6346
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The Walnut Street Inn

The Walnut Street Inn
the Inn is made up of three 100+ year old buildings.