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A Meadowlark Wake-Up Call!

At the risk of putting fear into the minds of every future Meadowlark guest, I couldn't pass up telling this story. Now mind you, NOTHING like this has EVER happened at the Meadowlark before! It is pretty much the safest place on earth. Really!

The other day as I was waking up, I glanced out of the bedroom window at the beautiful morning that was unfolding. The sun was coming up, the dew was shining off the blades of grass, the state troopers were knocking on Room 10's door. Wait, what?? OMG, George!!!! It's 6:15 and there are two state troopers in the backyard.

George went running out to see what the problem was. They were looking for someone that called about a man that was hurt. At this time, the gentleman staying in our Suite came out of his room. From the window I could see his animated arms as the story was being told. Hmmm. This doesn't look good. The troopers stayed about 10 more minutes and then left. Their case was closed.

George came back in and told me that apparently one of our guests had had a few (or dozen) too many and ended up in another guest's room at 4 am. This second guest hadn't locked their door and awoke to someone staring at them. This would have personally scared the bejezzus out of me. Note to self: always lock your door when you go to bed, always...everywhere. They both heard the bedroom door open and Lynda said to her boyfriend Bill, "Is that Frank?" (her son who was sleeping on the couch in the other room). "No it's a man...with a beard." Who would possibly stay calm in this situation, but...

All I can say is that this inebriated guest had walked in on the right person. Lynda, who definitely sprouted some angel wings this weekend, immediately got out of bed and spoke to this man. "Who are you, are you ok, where do you belong?" She said she instantly knew this man was no danger, but he was hurt, bleeding, drunk, had on only one shoe and was soaking wet from the storm that was happening outside at the time. A true angel, she wrapped him in a blanket, laid him down in front of the heater, while her boyfriend went to call 911. Because there was a storm going on at the time, the state troopers took 1 1/2 hours to arrive, so Lynda and Bill took care of this man until that time. They were able to eventually find out that he belonged here at our place and they were able to get him back to his room and back to bed.

By the time the troopers got here, the guest was back in his own room. They didn't know which room the call came from. So instead of coming and ringing our bell at the lobby, these state troopers decided to go room to room. That morning, the Meadowlark wake up call for ALL of our rooms was 6 am with two state troopers asking each individual guest, "Is everyone OK in there?" Thanks trooper guys, maybe you should have come to the lobby first.

After talking to Lynda and Bill in depth about the events that night, I realized that if it had been me, maybe I would have been too quick to judge the situation. I imagined myself screaming while I forced the intruder back out into the night. Even George's heart of gold got a little bit tarnished when Bill was telling us what happened. George's response, "I don't mean to be insensitive, but did any blood get on our carpet?" Lol. Really, George, that's your first response?

Instead, Lynda took the time to determine the real situation. I believe she quite possibly could have saved his life or prevented a serious injury. If he had passed out in that storm, who knows what could have happened to him. And the next morning, after only having four hours sleep, they never once complained about the happenings. Makes me definitely look at my life and want to be a better person. Maybe I won't be too quick to judge that middle of the night intruder. But then again, maybe that lock will always be turned to avoid any misjudgings on my part.

Walking That Tightwire Called "Friendliness"

Sometimes I never know how friendly to be with a guest. I try to read people as they come in. Maybe they want to be quiet and read the paper or a book while having breakfast. Maybe they want to know a little bit about the area. I try not to overstep my boundaries, but sometimes I go too far.

Take last week’s guests. Two very nice couples. Parents and their son and his wife. The father came in early for coffee and George and I enjoyed our morning talks with him.

I enjoyed talking with all of them but maybe a bit too much. After reading today's TripAdvisor review, I learned a few new spelling words. A five star review. Great! A nice title. Good! Our place is immaculate and comfortable with a good breakfast. Perfect!

And... friendly, gregarious. Wait, what? Oh, man, this is one of those moments I wish I had done better in English class. Well, they wrote it next to the word friendly, so it is probably a good thing. As I press the button "define" on my iPhone I am hoping it is something complimentary - "Fond of company, sociable." Phew.

But wait there's more - "perhaps even a bit garrulous."  Oh that can't be good! That just sounds insulting. As I press "define" once again, I just know this is going to be something I wish I wasn't - "Excessively talkative, especially on trivial matters." Ugh!!

Really? Oh my god, I am so going to keep quiet from now on. Sometimes when I feel a little too comfortable with people, maybe I do talk too much. But wait, he said WE were garrulous. Maybe it was George that talked too much! No, I'm sure it was me.


Oh well, for those future guests out there that find me quiet, reserved, keeping to myself... I'm not being unfriendly. I'm just trying to give you your space and not overstep my boundaries. I'm going to work at being somewhere in the middle - gregariously ungarrulous (yes, I know those aren't words!). And hopefully the next TripAdvisor review will be something like - friendly. That's it. Just friendly! With nothing next to it that I have to "define."





Ironing Out Those "Beginning of Season" Kinks!

This past Thursday George was doing some minor construction in our Suite. He was putting up kitchen cabinets and there was some construction debris in that room. We had a couple checking in for four days but they weren't arriving until Friday. Or so we thought.

That Thursday afternoon while we were in the lobby a couple walked in. "We're here!"  the husband said as they walked in. George looked at me and said "Who's here??"  I quickly ran to the computer and NO, I got it wrong. This couple was not checking in on Friday, they were checking in on Thursday, AND in the suite. That same room that, the last time I checked, George hadn't exactly finished cleaning up his construction mess.

Me, being the opposite of calm, tried to put on my best face and said that the room was just about ready and it would only be about ten minutes. As I ran as fast as I could with cleaning rags in hand to see the disaster that is Construction George, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't anywhere as bad as I thought it would be.

As I was cleaning the room, unbeknownst to me, George was being totally upfront with our new guests. "Truth be told, Tina thought you were checking in tomorrow." Thanks George. I'll get you back tomorrow morning! This was just the first of our innkeeper faux pas that we were about to unleash on these poor people.

In the beginning of our season, there always seems to be a few kinks that we need to iron out. And this weekend, they seemed to happen all at once. To this one couple. Now I have to say that this could have been a bad TripAdvisor review waiting to happen, but somehow we all got along very well. Even after George forgot to turn their hot water heater on. That next morning Michael and Sharon did not seem to share our concern for energy savings. They actually wanted a hot shower. Strike two.

Then when they were having breakfast waiting for their water to heat up, they commented on how there was no Internet. Hmmm, maybe it had something to do with George getting annoyed with our computer the night before and shutting off the power strip that the modem was plugged into. Strike three. And yes, I threw George under the bus for both strike two and three. Now mind you, Michael and Sharon never seemed to complain about any of these things. And they had every right to.

On to strike four. The next morning Michael told me about how his Galaxy 4 turned into a remote control and this was good because the remote in the room didn't work. Ugh! I forgot to check all the remotes in the rooms to make sure they worked before we opened. There's too much to check!! Two remotes, clocks, refrigerators, microwaves, emergency lights, irons x 12 rooms. I'm exhausted already. Well, thank you crazy cell phone technology. No one wants to get up and down to change the channels! That is so 1975! 

All this (and I am probably leaving out a few things) and never once did it seem like they were complaining. I don't think this nice couple was going to let anything bother their vacation. Thank you Michael and Sharon for being so understanding. I enjoyed our morning laughs and if you happen to be back in the area, I can guarantee that there will be a room ready, hot showers, available internet, and a warm and friendly face to greet you at the door!

I'll Find Something Wrong With This Place, Dammit!

Some people have this overwhelming need to complain about something. If there is nothing to complain about, they will find something! One couple stayed with us this week that seemed to be digging for something. Anything!

When they came in for breakfast, there was a table that was empty. A table for two. They immediately asked me, "Where are we supposed to sit?" Well how about this table here? You know, the empty table that you are standing right next to?? "Oh, ok. But this table has no silverware on it." Well the silverware is right next to the dishes. Help yourself to everything, and let us know if you want any waffles. They both ordered waffles. One with cinnamon and strawberries, no powdered sugar, sugar free syrup, the other was chocolate chips and powdered sugar, regular syrup. I felt as though they were trying to confuse me, so I would slip up and whalla, they'd have their complaint! But no, I was determined to get things right!

This particular couple was always looking around. Almost seeming to look for something that they could find that was wrong. But they found nothing. Which seemed very frustrating for them.

They were here for two days and upon check out they finally found something that they just had to complain about. "It was all very nice here, but I do have one complaint. You have a sign in the bathroom to conserve energy and water we should hang our towels up or put them on the floor if we want them replaced. But you only have two hooks on the wall. You should really think of installing more hooks if you'd like us to conserve energy." Well, we do have those two on the wall and another behind the door and another one next to the mirror. So that makes four hooks (for your TWO towels). But even telling him there were four hooks in the bathroom wasn't good enough. "I think you should really consider adding more hooks. It just doesn't seem to be enough."

As I stood there with my deer in the headlights look on my face, George jumped in, "Oh, ok, thank you so much for the suggestion. We will look into installing more hooks," he said with a smile forced upon his face. He's always so much better at these things than me. I think he was afraid that I might have continued asking, Why is four hooks not enough? What are you hanging in there? Your laundry? And how about the towel bar that the bath mat is hung on? That's like another long hook and how about the whole shower curtain rod, I bet three towels can go across that whole rod. 

As he walked out the door, George and I just looked at each other, shaking our heads. He dug and he dug and he found something he needed to tell us about. I am sure he was very pleased with himself. I'm sure at some point these words were spoken on the car ride home, "It was nice, but they needed more hooks." And with that, I'm sure they grinned, nodded their heads in unison... Their job was done.


You Called Us What???

What a fantastic couple of days. So many people were checking in and checking out commenting on our Trip Advisor reviews. "You really lived up to your reviews," "Everything we read about you was right." Etc.  I could listen to praise of our place all day long. But alas, that all came to a screeching halt at about 6 pm.

As they walked in, I felt an icy cold breeze brush across my skin. The husband's first words were the ultimate, all time dreaded words that I hate to hear. "Oh... you're... just a motel," as he looked around the lobby. What do you mean we are just a motel?? Really?? Does a motel feel like you are walking into someones living room?? Does a motel take so much care and effort in trying to make you feel like you are staying with a friend?? Does a motel give you such a nice breakfast??

Of course, I said none of that. I bit my tongue and said absolutely nothing. More afraid of not being able to stop once I started my diatribe.

I checked them in and off they went to their room. Of course, I knew it was only a matter of time before the lobby phone rang with some sort of problem. Oh, there it was. Earlier than expected. They were only in their room 7.6 seconds when the phone rang. "The TV remote doesn't work." I'll be right down. How come I knew that there would be no problem at all with the remote once I got there. As I pressed the buttons, the channels changed. "Oh, I guess I am going to have to stand in the exact spot you are standing in if I want to change channels," he said. No. Look. I can move around the room and be right where you are and it still works. See. Yes, I did say that as I walked around the room changing channels, turning the TV on and off and being a bit more dramatic than I needed to be.

As I gave him back the remote and walked out, he said to me "I hope I don't have to call you again!" Somehow I knew that was not to be. I hadn't even made it back to the lobby when the phone started ringing again. "The TV remote's not working again." Oh... my... God!!! On my way back, I swapped out remotes with another room hoping he would have better luck pressing the buttons with a different remote. As I gave him the new one, he asked me, "Where is your ice machine?" Ahhh... this was going to be a glorious 2 days. 

I'm sorry, we don't have an ice machine. But I can go get you an ice bucket. "Well I don't want it now. I want it right before I go to bed because I need to fill up my ice pack for...  blah, blah, blah," You lost me at "just a motel." 

The next morning as they walked in and I gave them a "Good Morning! Would either of you like a waffle?" I got no response or even a glance my way. They whispered to each other and without looking at me said, "Yes we will both take a waffle." I quickly made them their waffles and walked away knowing there would be no small talk. And after breakfast, no goodbye, no have a nice day, no acknowledgement of our presence.

And this was how it went for two days. Basically no acknowledgement but at least there were no more problems. I don't think they hated it here but who knows. They never officially checked out. Just got in their car and left the key in their room. Hmmm... Maybe they did hate it here. Because you know, we are... just a motel. Ugh!!






Something Is Always Breaking Down!

With 12 rooms at our inn and three rental houses, there is always something that needs to be fixed. George seems to be a master handyman when it comes to fixing any problem. It would get really expensive if we had to hire someone to come in and fix a plumbing, or electrical, or appliance problem all the time. We have even gotten pretty creative with our techniques to fix some of these things.

While George was busy at the inn, we had a appliance repair man meet me at one of the rentals to take a look at a refrigerator that wasn't cooling properly. There was a $65 diagnostic fee, so I knew I was going to have to eat that right away. I leaned against a nearby wall and half watched/half played on my cell phone. Or, that is what it looked like anyway.

The repairman took the refrigerator apart and showed me the part that needed replacing. As a woman (who seemed to be playing Words With Friends the whole time), I guess he didn't think I would be taking notes or paying too much attention to the specifics of what was wrong. "Don'tcha just love Words With Friends," I said. But instead of Words With Friends, what I was actually on was Repairclinic.com.

That part that he showed me that was $85 for the part and $220 for the labor, was only $30 on Repair Clinic. And really! I saw you Mr. Repairman!! It was 4 screws to the back panel and two screws for the defrost heater to be replaced. $220 for labor! Really?? He seemed really disappointed when I told him that I didn't want to spend $305 to fix the refrigerator at this time. He thought it was an easy sale.

I didn't feel bad, though. Sears made $65. AND they tried to screw us by tripling the price of the part and over charging us for 15 minutes of labor. Never underestimate a woman with a cell phone! You may think she is on Facebook or Words With Friends, but any subject is 5 seconds away from a google search.







A Fun Dreams Park Week!


Today's post is a little bit different than my usual curmudgeon complaint fest. Recently we had a wonderful Dreams Park team that stayed with us. Upon check-in several of them told me that they had read my blog. I always feel a little uncomfortable when the guest checks in stating that they have read some of my stories. 

With a hopeful look on my face I said, "Well I guess it didn't scare you away, since you are still checking in." They said they had their fingers crossed and that they would be really good that week. But as the week progressed it became the running joke. "Did that get us in the blog?" or "Uh, oh, come on, that's blog worthy."

We got to know this team very well and very much enjoyed having them as are guests. George even had somewhat of a bromance with one of the fathers. If we ever make it out to Texas, we are sure to look them up.

Thanks for a great week Southlake Dbats and for not making the blog! Oh, wait you just did :).