Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Down in Loomis, a sleepy country town about 45 minutes from where I live, is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast Inn owned by friends of ours. It is owned and run by a group of three couples who were all school teachers at the school that my children attended grammar school. This has been a dream of theirs for a long time and it finally came true. This place started out as a vacant B&B when they took it over and after many hours of refurbishing and building, it is now up and running and quite an incredible place to visit.

They have built an events center on the property that is always booked for weddings. They also built a coffee shop and re-built the existing nursery where they have not only plants but also gifts. What is really special about this place is that it is community oriented. They host artists there monthly, they have bonfires outside in the evenings, they host Halloween hayrides and Christmas functions, and they have a boccie ball court outside and host "competitions".

This place has really started to catch on with the locals. You can see people there at all times of the day eating big "slabs" of carrot cake (as told to me by the person actually eating the cake!), drinking coffee, sitting outside enjoying the pond and ducks, the flowers that are abundant, and just the warm atmosphere. I can see why this place has caught on: when you are there you feel as though you are family.

I have never lived in a big city town and there are things that I enjoy about both the city and the country. But, I think of either place, if I had to choose, I would have to say country. I miss the family atmosphere that I find lacking when I visit the city. People don't seem as apt to want to engage in conversation when I am in the city. This B&B is someplace in between the two. It is definitely not in a BIG city but it is not totally out-of-the-way in the country. From this place, you can actually GET someplace within fifteen minutes of leaving. Not so where I live. It is a major ordeal to find vegan foods or good yogurts in our local market.

Living here is a bit of a push and pull for me: I love the serenity and quiet but I would also like to be able to get to a Whole Foods Market at the drop of a hat. What the Flower Farm attempts to offer is a bit of both feelings: they have cozy rooms that remind you of yesteryear. They even have chickens (The Gypsy Chicks to be exact) running around the grounds. They have fresh-picked flowers and organic vegetables and a beautiful Koi pond (it used to be a swimming pool but has been filled in with gravel and beautiful plantings and now houses HUGE Koi--quite impressive). You can still sit out by the pool and dip your toes in (if you dare)---you just can't swim! That sure takes care of the pool maintenance, doesn't it?

So, I guess the best thing is to "bloom where you are planted" as I've heard the saying. Enjoy what you have in your own backyard and take advantage of those times that you can get out of town for a day or two or even a week and really soak up all that the place has to offer. Because life is so short, I have to stop wishing that I had something other than what I do and really appreciate what I DO have. There are people worse off than me, certainly. I feel so fortunate to be able to have what I do and also to be able to enjoy what other people have and are willing to share with me. How lucky I am!

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