I am certainly no expert, but I imagine we all have childhood memories that brings a smile. I remember growing up in Charleston, SC, living on Winston Street, playing backyard baseball with Sammy King and of my friendship with Doug Cone who could play the violin like a virtuoso. (I tried to emulate him and failed miserably) I remember fishing off the pier in the Atlantic with my Dad on the coast of NC at Caswell Baptist Retreat Center. I remember accidentally pushing my sister down the steps at home one day (I hope she doesn’t remember, but I thinks she still holds a grudge), trying to keep up with my brother athletically ( another failure), and thinking my oldest sister was the smartest girl anywhere.
We are in the memory business here at Hemlock Inn. I don’t think I realized this when I first came here 26 years ago. I was too busy “learning the ropes” from John Shell and trying to figure out where all the light switches and hot water heaters were located. But after a while, I started to observe the families visiting us. The kids were giggling with glee as they ran around the front yard, playing tag or whiffleball. I saw them squeal with delight as they slid down our embankment on sleds made of cardboard or even when they rolled the shuffleboard discs down the same embankment into the field below, not to be found until we cut the grass. And I observed the parents sitting on the porches laughing with equal glee as their children relished the pure joy of simple fun. More often than not, they didn’t sit long and were soon up playing with their children and even taking a cardboard ride down the embankment themselves. No one needed TV or internet access or even their cell phones. They had each other and were having the times of their lives. They were building memories.
This still happens. We have had over 10 family reunions of various sizes visit over the past month. Each has been accentuated with carefree fun, abundant laughter, and yes, an occasional cardboard ride.
Years ago, we put a blank “memory book” in our sunroom for our 50th Anniversary and encouraged our guests to share their favorite Hemlock memory. Many wrote of their wonderful visits and all of them were heartwarming. But one comment has stuck with me more than the others. It was from a 12 year old girl who simply wrote in her comments “…my dad finally had time to play a game with me.” She didn’t want things, she wanted time.
All this came to mind as I read a great blog written by one of our guests of many years ago. Ashley Hackshaw writes a blog entitled “Little Blue Boo” and recently wrote about her childhood visits to Hemlock Inn. It is a beautiful and touching expression of her childhood memories here. I encourage you to click on the link below and read it.
Years from now, when I reflect on my time at Hemlock Inn, I don’t think I will remember the leaky roofs, or stopped up drain lines. I think I will remember the delight on children’s faces and the joy they experienced being and playing with their families. I will certainly remember my own three boys and their adventures here…and I will smile!
Hope you will come soon and start your own memory
Please read Ashley’s blog