Friday, June 26, 2009

Brenda's first post!

There is a longstanding Seattle tradition at St Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral a few blocks from the Mansion—a Sunday evening Compline service of plainchants that I had attended once before and found to be enjoyable… a good quiet time. Lew and Clarke, some dear friends for over a decade, were on vacation recently in Seattle and decided to meet me there one Sunday during their visit. Of course I was a tiny bit late. I was carrying a big bright bouquet of flowers for my buddy Clarke I had purchased at the local Broadway farmers’ market that morning. The church was packed when I arrived and the mood was still and somber. The beautiful male voices had already started to sing and I felt at peace. I quickly spotted my friends ( both are a head taller than most!) Lew stepped out into the aisle and put me between them. I felt safe and happy. I closed my eyes and asked God to give me guidance for the future.

I opened my eyes and before me were four large beautiful banners hanging from the tall ceiling. They read WELCOMEINSPIRESERVETRANSFORM. I started to really read those words over and over to myself. Focusing on what those words truly mean. My role and purpose in Seattle and particularly at the Shafer Baillie Mansion became very clear to me. This is exactly what I want to do at the Mansion. Glenn and I have discussed this job and the changes we are making in our personal lives to move here. So when I returned from the church, I told him what had become clear to me and he said it made good sense to him.

So what do we see ourselves doing here? We want to welcome each and every visitor into this splendid restored home, We want each guest to be inspired from their time at the Mansion and in Seattle. We want to serve our guests a scrumptious and healthy breakfast and then hopefully we all will be transformed into stronger and better people. My wish is for the guests to use this beautiful Mansion as a restorative and relaxing place. A time for reassessing and making plans for their futures, whatever they may be!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Glenn Freshour, newest member of the Mansion team!

We are so fortunate to have Glenn joining Brenda on our innkeeping team at the Shafer Baillie Mansion! Glenn did his undergrad and graduate work in Biology at the University of Georgia and had a long career as a research microscopist. He comes to us from Athens GA, after a year-long side trip to Tempe AZ. He is an avid biker, although still adjusting to the fact that biking in hilly Seattle is not quite like Athens or Tempe! He loves hiking and the outdoors, which should make the Northwest a great place for him to explore and discover. He was the person who inspired Brenda's love of gardening, and you'll likely see him out in our garden every day, watering, checking the health of the plants, and enjoying some fresh air.

Glenn enjoys guitar and piano and I hope he'll decide to share his talents in our salon from time to time! Brenda is thankful for his attention to detail and organization that complements her more, uh, freeform approach to life. We're also relying on him to help our guests navigate around town and to develop neighborhood and area maps showing places of interest, although of course his own familiarity with the city and region is still developing.

Glenn's about the most helpful person you'll ever meet. He's happy working quietly behind the scenes, but is equally likely to greet you at the door or take your reservation over the phone. In fact my only worry is that, as he gets the hang of my idiosyncratic ways of running things around here, I'll be left with nothing to do!

Did I mention he's a little camera-shy?