This is the time of the year when it's really not fall and it's not quite winter yet. It's the "in between" season or transition time. For us inn keepers at the Korner Kottage B&B in Suttons Bay, it's the season where we can take a deep breath and transition into a much, much slower and much needed relaxed pace. Our busiest seasons of the year are behind us now.....for awhile any way. We can linger in bed a little later in the mornings. I can don my robe and slippers, lingering over coffee and the morning crossword, which is my simplest pleasure. I cherish this quiet time now that the guests are fewer in numbers, especially during the mid week.
Don't get me wrong though, there are still many seasonal "to dos" on our job list for sure. We wash all the windows, put on the storm windows and put up the plexiglass on the screened in front porch. These are one of our most dreaded of jobs. The windows in this b&b must be the originals, circa 1921 and they are NOT easily washed and maneuvered. Lots of up and down on different tracks and old pegs that barely hold. Once done though, they look so bright and shiny and in my opinion, there's nothing better that clean windows.
Next we tackle the garden and get it ready for winter. Slashing flowers and plants that once were spectacular in their blooming glory, now are out of control and in need of cutting down. All our glorious window boxes must be dumped into the street. This is done with much sorrow on my part. So many people stop and gaze at the window boxes all summer long, many taking pictures and asking about the flowers. It's so rewarding to be able to share this bit of nature to all the passersby. I miss the enjoyment of the flowers at my kitchen sink, now bare as I stand doing the dishes. The garden looks so sparse after this stage.
And then begins the raking and raking and raking of leaves that seems to go on and on. Thanks to our village workers who keep these piles of leaves and garden debris cleaned up on a regular basis until all the piles have vanished.
Next the garage must be cleaned and reorganized for all of the outside furniture, metal sculptures and various other garden ornaments needing a place to be stored for the winter. Again the garden and patio area continue to look barer still. We continue these jobs, mind you during all kinds of "in between" weather. High winds, sunny days, cloudy days, rainy days in the cold, continuing the work as the weekend forecast is calling for "rain mixed with snow". We don't relish the thought of carrying out these outdoor tasks in the snow. However, as one of our German guests told us while visiting during a cold and wet spring weekend a few years back, "there's no bad weather, just wrong clothing choices". I've kept that saying posted on a sign on the front porch of the b&b.....I always feel responsible for offering our guests good weather when they visit.
With these end of season jobs list completed, this transition time offers us the new possibilities to take to the woods and to the trails. This is time of season offers some of the best hiking opportunities in the area. There are so many interesting and beautiful places to hike in Leelanau. We are truly blessed to live in such an awesome spot in the world. So even though the weather is colder and the skis are grayer and filled with intermittent showers, we put on the "right clothes" and head out to do some exploring. There's no bad weather in Leelanau and Nestle Quik our fur kid and hiking expert agrees. There are still plenty of trails to be walked and enjoyed.......and now we have the time to do it.