Some of our favorite guests stayed with us a few weeks ago and brought us a present. A new cat. You would have thought that we had enough of the four-legged variety but this one is different – it doesn’t need attention or to be fed, but still looks adorable and has found a spot under the antique high chair in the dining room.

It came from one of my new favorite places – Graybuck Country Home in Mohnton. Last fall, my friend, Paula and I went to Graybuck looking for Christmas decorations for the Carriage House. We weren’t disappointed – they have some great ideas and nice gifts. I can’t wait to go back in the summer when the garden center is open. I was already drooling over the outdoor fireplace. Check their website for directions and hours and, if you go, tell Barb we sent you.

It seems a lot of my guests are quite fond of shopping. I do my best to investigate new places, whether it’s a craft shop, nursery, or woodworker. There are so many great little stores to discover in Lancaster County – we are really blessed with lots of local talent.

But buying is the easy part – getting everything home sometimes presents a challenge. We’ve helped folks tie luggage to the top of cars, mailed home goodies and even held an occasional piece of furniture. I should really start taking pictures of people’s cars when they leave – the shot of two outhouses in the back of the pick-up would have been nice. Or the station wagon packed with purchases – I had to help load the tall planter so it would sit across the laps of three women or it wouldn’t have fit!

And so, as I look around the inn, I see that many of my favorite things have been gifts from people. Little reminders of fun times and warm hearts. But the best gifts of all are the friends that come to visit us at The Artist’s Inn.

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