Dear Paunxsutawney Phil-Please no shadow!

Large, Victorian Home done in green and cream paint. Winter snow on the ground.

Montford Historic Home

As I pen this blog here at the inn, I can still see the remnants of the snow storm that began in earnest on Friday January 22, 2016 and dumped more snow in this area than I’ve seen since our arrival in 1999. When we first claimed Asheville as our home, all the locals were still talking about the “big snow” of 1993. It brutalized this area with such ferocity that there is little doubt that all appliances powered by gas won the day for a long time due to the power outages this snow event left in it’s wake. This storm broke those records.

Love it or hate it, and generally I fall in to the former category of this equation, snow is beautiful!! It descends with a delicate shimmering grace creating new landscapes out of the familiar ones you see every day. As it falls enfolding everything it touches in soft gossamer wings, a sense of magic, possibility for fun and prospects of a unique day filled with exciting possibilities reveal themselves.

That said, when your husband is on crutches, you are now solo, running a small accommodation operation in a Victorian home constructed in 1902 and praying that your limited number of employees will even be able to get in to work- It can be daunting. All that lovely, glistening snow can begin to create more than a few obstacles for your guests being able to really enjoy their visit.

We have lovely off street parking at the inn….Well, that’s when you could still see the driveway. We have old, established boxwood bushes that line that driveway and some graceful trees on it’s other side whose graceful limbs greet guests as they curve around the driveway to our property. To say those limbs were “hanging low” every few hours would be accurate. No worries, Candace, my long time, trusty employee quickly arriving ahead of the snow, my sister (this is when she is wishing she was an “only child”) and myself began each morning right after we served breakfast with the beat the bushes project. This went on every few hours along with the care, maintenance and salting of the front marble steps & the front and the back porches.

To add insult to injury, one of our water heaters decided the biggest snow of the year was a grand time to retire. Calling the repair man necessitates that said repair man is able to reach the site of the repair. As a native New Yorker, I always wondered why Asheville panics at 4″ of snow. It’s the topography of this area! On steep inclines and descents, even 4″ can prove a very challenging affair. Ask the water heater guys and all the many businesses that were brave enough to remain open though staffed only with skeleton crews that were able to walk to work. All public transport was shut down and the roads unpassable as we reached the 16″ mark.

We spent many hours of that weekend on hands and knees manually re-lighting that heater so that our guests could continue to enjoy our handy, dandy jetted tubs and also issuing more than a few prayers it would, Oh Please God re-light. Best not to dwell on the shock of jetted frigid waters in the guest rooms if it didn’t.

Now, on to the last and most important part of this missive, my guests. I was blessed to have the most wonderful, most understanding, most collaborative guests in our home that weekend much more entranced with the wondrous magic of the silver, shining carpet of enticingly beautiful snow than any inconvenience it might present. They were the superstars of guests and I pronounced them each an every one “folks I’d most like to be stranded with in the next snow storm.” My thanks for their graciousness and kindness.

Please though Phil, if you could, no shadow…..Just for this year.

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