Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 on Thursday

I haven't blogged 10 on Thursday like I said I would.  I'm glad Marianna and I didn't bet on this one.  Maybe I should blog 10 once a month!  Ha!

1.  Tim is getting married this weekend.  I'm so proud of him.  I heard yesterday that God never gives us more than we can handle.  So if you are going through a lot, it just means God trusts you a lot.  When I read that, i thought about Tim.  He's loving, funny, caring, giving, and stubborn.  And I'm so happy to welcome Steph, Jon and Micah into our family.

2.  Yesterday Garrison got my keys off the counter and hit the car alarm.  Then he walked up to me and said, "honk honk beep beep."  Stinker knew exactly what he was doing!

3.  It seems like every day he is saying more and more words.
- "where mama?"
- rainbow
- sweet pea (the name of his rocking horse at Nana and Pops)
- "I toot."  Or more recently, "I toot on Dada" when he was sitting in Will's lap.
- There it is!
- he sings the abcs, then says "now I jal;kjdklfajifj;eiaefae.  akne;lna;ifnea ME"

4.  He has wanted me to rock him lately.  After only wanting Will for so long, he finally wants me!  But he knows rocking is going to put him to sleep, so now he wants to lay on the "big bed."

5.  Carla, Sam, Mac, and baby Fin gave Garrison a Pete the Cat book.  He loves it!  All of Pete's buttons pop off his shirt, but Pete still has his belly button!!!

6.  We got Garrison's hair cut for Tim's wedding.  I hate it.  I see pictures of his long hair and wonder why I did it!  I may not cut it for another year.

7.  EE (Emily) is pregnant!!!  What an answered prayer!  She was 10 weeks yesterday.  

8.  Yesterday Garrison and I met Marianna and Tripp at the zoo in Birmingham.  I'll post pictures later.  The boys had fun.  I was exhausted!  

9. A few weeks ago our friend Jason Harper came to visit.  Garrison loved him!

10.  For my birthday, we went to Anthony's.  Garrison loves to play the drums "dums" with straws.

Look at the difference in his hair!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Mine and Will's anniversary is Friday.  Maybe I'll write a sweet, sappy post about the last 10 years of our lives.  But for right now, I'm just going to post an email.

You may remember hearing about the journal I gave Will on the night of our wedding.  Will accidentally left it at the bed and breakfast we stayed at that night. 

You can read the story about it here.

So this week, I emailed the owner and begged for the journal back.  Here is my email to him:

Hey Eric.  I don't know if you remember my husband, Will and I or not.  We stayed there 3 years ago on our anniversary.  We were the couple whose journal we found in the honeymoon cottage.

The story is....I gave Will a journal the night of our wedding.  I wrote him a note on the inside of the first page.  He accidentally left it there.  We actually didn't know thats where he left it (we thought he may have left it in Jamaica where we went on our honeymoon).  When we stayed at the Inn three years ago we saw it in the cottage.   You made a copy of the note for us.

It's crazy because every time I tell that story to people, everyone says it sounds like a movie!

So here is my request.  This Friday is our 10 year wedding anniversary.  I would love to give that journal back to Will.  I know it's now filled with notes from guests who have stayed at the Inn, but I just feel like it's really ours and has just been lost for a while.  I know it's a long shot for you to actually agree to it, but I had to email and beg!  :)

Please, please, please!

Our address is

Renee Reedy
1123 10th Ave. North
Columbus, MS  39701

Thanks for even considering it!


His response is LENGTHY.  Honestly I haven't even read it yet.  I'm not sure I can bring myself to read it because he tells me he's not going to give it back to us.  

Here's his response....


I do remember you and Will. I congratulate you both on your 10th Wedding Anniversary and wish you a very bright future. At the moment of this reply the Cottage is still available if you would like to rent it for this weekend. It would be a privelege to serve you again. Sorry for the length of this reply but hope you'll bear through reading this after my giving it much thought.

Since buying the Inn 7 1/2 years ago I've done my best to remind people to check their rooms carefully before they check out and think of cell phone chargers and other things they may be leaving behind. Despite this I frequently find things, try to call them asap and, more often than not, end up mailing the items at my own expense. Just two weeks ago a couple from Edinburgh Scotland forgot prescription sunglasses in their room despite reminding them to check carefully. I found their next destination and at my own expense got the glasses to them in time for a wedding they were attending in New Orleans. As you know, I was not the owner when you first stayed here 10 years ago, and when I bought the Inn, I certainly didn't know that the journal you mention had been yours. At that time it already had entries from several years of guest visits.

Not all guests write in the journals (each guest room has these) but the guests who choose to write things as memoirs do this for their own reasons. Some return as frequent guests and look forward to remembering their first or previous visits and reflecting on their lives together. The journals provide them with a glimpse back in time. Sometimes it helps them remember simpler, happier times and helps bring back what they love most about each other and rekindles the flame of their youth.

About some of the guests, past and present. Wives arranging special quiet reuniting times for their husbands coming back on short leave from fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Victims of the New Orleans and Mississippi Gulf Coast floods during Hurricane Katrina. Travelers during the Mississippi River flooding of last spring. Couples attending weddings, visiting family members in hospitals, tourists who seek the legendary local attractions and travelers that just need rest and a hot breakfast to safely continue their journeys.

My most memorable guest told me this striking story when she made her Cottage reservation.

They had become engaged as high school sweethearts and he gave her a beautiful ring. They were both very much in love, but they were separated by great distance with her going away to college. After she hadn't heard back from him at all for months of her unsuccessful calls, she assumed he had fallen in love with someone else. Feeling smitten, eventually she mailed back the engagement ring to him in a box without a note. Still receiving no word from him, she finished college and her life moved on, sad for her lost love.

What she didn't know was that he had been in a terrible car accident, that he was hospitalized and in a comma for a very long time. After finally waking, the doctors told him he would likely be paralized the rest of his life.

So he had a nurse write a letter to his fiance saying that, despite his great love for her, under the circumstances he would understand if she could not bear to marry him with such physical limitations. She NEVER received the letter! He, however, received the ring alone in a box some time later with no letter and assumed she didn't want to see him any more. His heart was broken, but he understood what he thought to be her decision. Fortunately, he lived to recover fully even to the surprise of all his doctors.

Unknowing of each others' events, they went separate ways, both later married other people and had children only to divorce unhappily once their respective kids were on their own. He went on to become a bush pilot in Alaska living single again. She also living alone for many years after her unrelated divorce.

Then more than forty years after their original engagement and living half a country apart, an old friend looking up class mates accidentally found the gentleman on Facebook and shared what she found with her lady friend who had sent back his ring so long ago. Greatly surprised, she contacted him. Both explained the strange events that created the misunderstandings which had tragically separated them. Their love was once again as strong as if they had never been apart and again they became engaged. They agreed to meet for the first time in person since she had gone to college with her picking him up at the Memphis Airport. They drove here to the Sassafras Inn and stayed at the Cottage with the mutual promise they would marry the very next morning in Little Rock, Arkansas near her home with some of their old friends all reunited for the wedding. And happily they did!

Yes, I told them this also has the makings of a novel or movie.

Many pastors with their wives (6 in the last two weeks) have stayed here for their Wedding Anniversaries, for speaking engagements at local churches and from congregations giving Pastor Appreciation. Elderly couples have found each other, married and stayed in the Cottage for their Honeymoon after years of living alone as widows from their original marriage and started new lives together. One local gentleman was 85 when he made his Cottage reservation with his new bride. They are very happy and live a few miles from here. And other couples of all types with special needs who have graced the Inn's journals with their recognition of the hospitality, comfort and tranquility this bed and breakfast experience offers.

Just last weekend I had another couple who had stayed here on their Honeymoon before doing mission work in Africa and other countries over the last several years. They returned to our Cottage for their 4th Wedding Anniversary. Yes, they made an entry in the journal like many before them. They also look forward to returning again and reading their entry in the journal.

Couples were married in Hernando decades ago and had to leave the next day to fight wars overseas. A few of them have returned to Hernando and stayed in the Cottage on their 55th wedding Anniversaries! It is my hope that they return as well.

My own memory of all this and their's is kept alive in the few memoirs that some kind guests have written with pen in hand.

I do understand that the journal you speak of was once yours with its first entry, but it has been added to by years of travelers adding their own life memories while choosing this place as customers to share moments of their lives together.

It is my hope you can see they have collectively written these journals and that I can not give away their memoirs. What would seem fair to one couple would be unfair to the many who wrote from their hearts at times that were theirs' alone.

If you should call this afternoon, please leave a message as I need to clean up the grounds and try to mow after the recent storm and won't be able to hear the phone for several hours. Of course I will return your call.

Yours to serve,

Eric Hartung
Sassafras Inn Bed & Breakfast

His contact info is above if anyone wants to beg on our behalf.  Just kidding.  Well, sort of.