Does it seem as we get older the more thoughtful and weepier we become?  This weekend was one of those times.

Steve and I spent his 71st birthday at one of our favorite local places – The Walnut Street Inn Bed and Breakfast.

“From the first glimpse of the Walnut Street Inn Bed and Breakfast, Springfield first “Boutique Hotel,” you begin to feel its charm, its personality. Hand-painted Corinthian columns frame a wine, airy veranda with an inviting porch swing. The gracious beveled glass front door is opened by your innkeepers, and you know your stay at the Walnut Street Inn Bed and Breakfast will be a special, unique experience whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure.”  ~

I left my 8th months in Colorado in October 2012. I was not happy about this. I did not want to come back. However, I was forced by my finances.

A friend had commented that the Walnut Street Inn was looking for housekeepers. I knew about this place, as I had driven by it a few times.

I applied for the job. Gary, the owner, hired me although I had no experience in the “hotel” business. However, I believe he saw me as a hardworking, mature individual.

I started out as a housekeeper cleaning rooms.  All 12 of the rooms had their own unique personality and I really enjoyed the job. At times I was alone in the big house, and this quiet work allowed me to heal even further. I felt safe and appreciate by my Walnut Street Inn family.

Over the next three years I would be a housekeeper, innkeeper, and event coordinator. I eventually had to leave because I needed a job that provided more of an income and paid time off. We were a small staff, so it was sometimes difficult to take off at the spur of the moment on the weekends as Steve and I did and still do quite often.

Today I still have a love for the old house and the WSI family. I am afforded a massive discount when we stay, and chef Lisa makes my favorite Buttercream Lemon pancakes. I feel at home there, an ease I don’t often feel.  We sit on the back deck or laze about on the front porch swing.

Gary and WSI is given much credit for being a part of my journey to healing from my past.  Yes, the WSI is only a place. But the people of that place give the house a life, a personality that you can feel, that you can soak in the minute you are greeted at the door.  WSI is the only place I have worked where, when I step back in it is as if I never left.

A good memory, a happy spot in my history and one that I will cherish forever.

Do you have a place of impact? Tell us your story in the comments.

Have you checked out our Facebook Group – Women over 50, A Life Redesigned

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2 thoughts on “A Place of Impact”


Everyone needs to find their ” happy place ” where cares fall away & time stands still; a place to recharge the spirit. Mine is at 15500 N Lighthouse Point Dr. on Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula.
And how I arrived there is a mystery 😳

After my 10 ” Rip van Winkle ” years of simultaneously caregiving hubby, Mama and working full time I was burned our physically, psychologically, spiritually. I was in a catatonic state for 2 yrs after hubby passed.

A few weeks after Mama died in Mar, 2013 I was sitting on the sofa w my pup, pondering the upcoming summer. I was used to doing interesting activities, now was in a community that does revels in golf, car shows & spectator sports.
As I was musing, out of the BLUE, the word ” LIGHTHOUSE ” came to mind.
This was interesting since I’d never even thought nor ever visited one.
( I’ve since learned MI has more lighthouses & fresh water coastline than any other state.)

Of course with the wonder of Google, I searched and found the Grand Traverse Light. It was my default choice because I had a new 1 yr old rescue pup & didn’t want to kennel her for 2 week assignments. The GTL only wanted a 1 week commitment.

So I packed my duffel bag, stocked up on provisions and off I drove 250 mi North. After reaching Traverse City it was another 40 mi to my destination.
My 1st trip w/o gps seemed to take so long I thought I was driving to Outer Patagonia, but I finally arrived.

The 1st year I spent a week. The 2nd year I spent a week. The third year off/on a month. Now after 6 years, 26 weeks, I’m on speed dial, in charge when director’s gone shipwreck hunting. I’m “ Jill of all trades”—Museum docent, PR person, gift shop operator, admin assistant…

My fav time is off season when I stay in an empty state park, all alone in the lighthouse only w the ghost of Capt Peter Nelson and the majesty of Lake Michigan surrounding me.

To some people it’s just a lighthouse. To me it’s ” My Monastery, My Ashram, My Sanctuary for the Soul “. It’s a healing place.

It’s a beautiful place:


    Thank you so much for sharing and what a beautiful story and a beautiful place! I love how your journey took you from one week to being the 2nd in command.

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