Someone recently asked me if I had given much thought of my legacy at Hemlock Inn. Lainey and I are second generation innkeepers. We have run this family owned inn for 27 years, an usually long time as innkeeping goes. And we plan to be here for the foreseeable future, simply because we love it. We love the heritage it has, and the values it shares, and the focus it embodies. Hemlock Inn is a good, old fashioned get-away…genuine…unpretentious…full of simple pleasures, homecooked meals, and real southern hospitality. We are nothing like many of today’s high paced, high speed, glitzy, amenity filled locations. Conversely, we are slow paced, interested in personal attention, beautiful scenery, soft breezes, and warm conversation. Out of date? I guess so, but that is the way we like it.
But I have never thought of my years here in terms of my personal legacy. There are several definitions of the word, but I like to think of it as “what defines you”. I am proud of what we have done over the years here, but it is not necessarily how I want to be remembered.
Interestingly, I did have the opportunity to give some thought to this subject a couple of years ago. Lainey and I were in Boston to visit Steven, and I woke up early one morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I got up, took a walk, and came upon one of the many old cemeteries in the area. As I walked through the sacred ground, I started reading the markers. It gave me a glimpse into the lives of those who rested there. In just a few words, the markers revealed what was really important to them…“what defined them” . Many were veterans of the many wars from 1812 through the present. Their rank and perhaps their regiment were listed. Too many had given their lives to the cause of this country and that was important for everyone to remember. Other markers defined some in other ways; as a minister, mayor, doctor, or industrialist. As you can guess, most were defined in one other way…their family. Beloved wife or husband, mother or father.
In reality, is there any other better way to be remembered? I can list all the accomplishments of my life. You may be impressed or you may yawn (which is more likely). It doesn’t really matter, because what is really important to me is less about what I have done, and more about what I am leaving behind…my legacy for future generations. For me that is easy to define… it is three outstanding men. If you know me well, you know them too…Andrew, Steven, John Thomas.
This weekend is Father’s Day. I can think of no better time to acknowledge them. I have been proud of them from day one. This has been reinforced over and over by the caliber of men they have become and the choices they have made. This includes their choice of spouses. Like me, they have chosen well, so special recognition is also given to Jeanette, Sarah, and Alli. And now, I have a grandchild on the way, the first of many I trust. So my legacy continues and my sons’ begins.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!