Our Sunday routine is pretty simple, just like all our other days. We ring the bell and serve our family style home cooked breakfast promptly at 8:30am. Sunday’s breakfast is always scramble eggs, cheese grits, local sausage and gravy (store bought sausage just doesn’t cut it), fresh strawberries from a local farm, biscuits, and bran muffins.
Most folks finish around 9:00-9:15am unless they have a few stories to tell their table mates. Sunday is a “turnover day”. Most of the guests checkout to head back home. It is usually one of the busiest mornings of the week for us. Checkout time is 11:00am. This is pretty standard. It’s not too early and gives the guest plenty of time to pack the car, pay their bill, and depart. And it still gives housekeeping ample time to clean the rooms for the next guest. So after breakfast, some of the guests work their way into the office to “settle up” and some return to their rooms to clean up, pack, and get ready to leave. Most Sunday mornings…..most guests….but not always.
The mixture of guests this weekend included a small family gathering (do I ever write a post or blog without mentioning family reunions or gathering?), a variety of couples both young and older and a single lady who came to the mountains to visit the casino in Cherokee to play live poker. After breakfast, some gathered on the front porch to visit just a bit longer, some took their last cup of coffee out to the deck to sit and take in the beauty and coolness of mountain mornings. Often you can catch the glimpse of a deer in the meadow below the deck. This morning, someone spotted a small red fox near one of the cottages.
The moments continued and it wasn’t too long that I heard the sound of bean bags striking our corn hole platforms. It seems a spontaneous game had broken out in one of the families and there was a spirited game on the front lawn. I smiled as I listened to the laughter and ribbing that ensued. I glanced out the once and was surprised to see one of the contestants was our lady gambler and she was having a ball. I’m not sure how many games were played, but it took on a life of its own and no one was in a hurry to stop. Another game started as soon as one was completed.
Around 10:00am, the games subsided and the family members sunk back into the rocking chairs to have one last conversation. I assumed our lady gambler had gone to her room, because I knew she was eager to make her way to the casino. I expected her to go last night after dinner, but she told me she was just too tired and wanted to rest. I thought she would leave directly after breakfast, but she was the last one to finish her meal and the first one to join in the corn hole tournament.
Cleanup in the dining room was almost complete and I worked my way to the office to assist those checking out when I heard voices on the back patio and a clattering racket. I recognized it immediately. Someone had found the Skittles Game, an old mountain game where you wrap string around a spindle, pull it as hard as you can to get the spindle spinning in an attempt to knock down as many wooden pins as you can. I peeked around the door to discover an eleven year old girl and , you guessed it, our gambling lady giggling as they played the game over and over.
Finally, around 10:45am , the game suddenly stopped when the lady checked the time. She smiled and told her new friend she had to go to her room. It was almost time to leave. I smiled too, reflecting on our guests who met new friends and enjoyed themselves up to the last minute. I didn’t mind they played so long. It was only 10:45 and after all, checkout wasn’t until 11:00.
See you next trip