Looking beyond your family, can you name 3 people who had a huge influence on your life?
We influence people everyday…strangers as much as friends.
As I started to write this post it was going to be about Romantic Getaways of the Mid-West, but sometimes when I start writing I get steered in a different direction.
I was reminded of a place we used to visit annually and as I wrote I could not believe how much this place, this woman’s vision, her business and her hospitality had influenced my life. I was struck with the impact of it. She will never know because she and her husband sold that business and we don’t know their names any longer my husband just reminded me her name was Lola, but we would not know how to contact them.
If we could, I would most definitely write Lola and tell her the beauty of her Lodge, her attention to little details, the way she made us feel very special and made the place romantic caused us to open our own business years later following her example. The unique aspect of this acknowledgment is that we were totally unaware of it until I started writing this post.
How amazing is it that we can be influenced so dramatically by people and not even realize until years later that it was by their example we came to do what we do!
Here is the story of Timber Rose.
When February rolls around I am usually ready for a little escape. We fell in love with a little place more than 20 years ago called Timber Rose Lodge in Gatlinburg, TN. The owners were still finishing up the lodge on our first trip there. Our suite was done but they allowed us downstairs as they were using a mop to add texture to the ceilings of the suite below ours. It was so cool to be watching them make their dream come true…this was before there were lots of HGTV shows that renovated homes all of the time.
I recall we stayed in the Palidium Suite. The female owner was an architect and had gotten some great pieces from salvage.The Palladium was actually between the bedroom and the living area above double french doors. The piece had come from an old church.
At the front door was a little welcome rug and next to the door an antique milk can with 2 walking sticks inside. When we opened the door there was beautiful instrumental music playing from a cassette player. We had a kitchen/great room and a private deck that overlooked 100 miles into the Smokey Mountains. There was also a hot tub awaiting us on the deck. I had never been in a Hot Tub before! In our room was a woodburning fireplace, an antique vanity and a gorgeous bed. A stain glass was in the wall between the bedroom and the bath. My husband and I packed books and just nestled in with the fire and the hot tub and enjoyed the quiet privacy.
She has no idea how her lodge influenced my home. The wallpapers that she used in every room were most certainly Waverly. So when we built the home we still live in 25 years ago, I went Waverly crazy! That was a time when it was in style to wallpaper every single room. I still have some of the original paper in my bathroom today. The amazing thing about wallpaper is it really wears better than paint if it is good quality. On a post I published earlier, Rose Gold Renovation?, I mentioned that my 25 year old Waverly wallpaper is still sold today on their website!
Lola also influenced me as Vacation Rental Owner as you can read in We’re No Chip and Joanna Gaines. I would have never imagined that I would be doing basically what she was doing years later. I really had no idea until I started writing the post how much this person’s gift of hopitality had truly planted seeds that grew and blossomed into something that I treasure.
We have walking sticks, I have the lights on and if the weather is cool the fireplaces are on, music is playing and there is a welcome basket with a hand written note, bottle of wine, an area tour book, a map rolled and tied with a ribbon, snacks, and if there are little ones there will be bubbles, jumpropes, frisbees, and or beachballs. Oh and we have Hot Tubs too!
I delight to do this because I know how delighted I am to receive these personal touches when I am a guest somewhere. There are two types of vacation rental owners, those who are only focused on their investment making money and those who are more focused on hospitality. We are of the latter and I am quite sure it is because of this woman, Lola.
Hospitality is a gift and sharing it makes the giver very happy while it makes the receiver feel cherished and special. I hope that is what our guests feel.
So here is to Lola and her husband and especially their lovely English Lodge, Timber Rose in Gatlinburg, TN. Thank you so much for one of the most romantic places we have ever stayed and for your notes, firewood, robes, special cakes and flowers on our anniversary…but mostly for the way you used your gifts of decorating and hospitality that shaped the direction of our lives! Cheers!
How about you? Can you give me a few lines on someone who truly influenced you when they had absolutely no idea they had? Or perhaps you haven’t even discovered it yet!
I hope that my hospitality and decor is having a positive influence on our guests and I believe in heaven we will get to hear all about the ways we left our impact on people and I will be excited to meet those people again to say “thank you!” Won’t it be fun to see who is waiting to say “thank you” to us?
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Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitalityto angels without knowing it.