So relieved to be extremely embarrassed … all by myself

Some guests might not expect to do a short list of tidying tasks before checkout: emptying the garbage and taking it outside, vacuuming (only if necessary), wiping off the kitchen counters and dining room table, putting used towels in the basket in the bathroom, and removing the linens and placing in a basket in each closet. Guests who do these things for me are a huge help.

Typically I spend 4-8 hours deep cleaning the house and doing laundry before a guest arrives which doesn’t include any time I’ve spent on yard or house maintenance.

Lately I’ve had an intuitive earworm humming a mantra in my brain for a couple of weeks: “♪ ♫ Check the guest vacuum cleaner to see if it needs maintenance.”♪ ♫

Well, I finally followed through. Took the vacuum out of the utility closet and had to manually shut my mouth after my jaw dropped to the floor. The removable canister was completely, utterly full to the brim with debris! 😯

I was, still am, mortified! I work hard at prepping the house so my guests don’t get the impression I cut corners cleaning at their expense and finding the vacuum in this condition was not a fine example!

My mistake? I naively assumed guests would empty the canister after each use. Well, and why exactly should they? Time to change my paradigm.

After attempting to remove the canister, I realized it’s not the easiest contraption to figure out and it’s a messy job! From my experience, when I’m checking out of a vacation rental, it’s a hurried activity for whatever reason: anxious to move on to the next adventure, get home in time to pick up the dog at the kennel, the kids from the babysitter, or just because.

To my guests who were equally mortified, I apologize! Future guests will not have the same experience!


Our historical frigid winter didn’t deter our success!

Bookings at Pine View Retreat have exceeded our expectations! Did I anticipate so many guests would venture out to stay in the country when the average temperature this winter was 9 degrees! No Way!

Most common reasons to stay were: having a girlfriends’ weekend or mother-daughter reunion, guests arriving from opposite directions to visit halfway, attending an event or visiting family in the area.

What’s been appealing about our house so far?

A well-stocked kitchen makes creating meals as easy as in their own home.

The natural beauty and solitude the property offers is so relaxing. Definitely not difficult to immediately feel you are on vacation. Recent guests heard the owls hooting at night. I’ve not seen them, although I’ve heard them too late at night. Listening intently didn’t help me identify what direction the sounds came from as they beckon each other from one corner of the property to the other.

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing without having to drive somewhere! More than one group of guests gave us high marks for the opportunity. Taking advantage of discounted rates at a nearby ski resort was a plus.

As the host there has been a couple of bumps over the winter. What I didn’t expect? Discovering break-downs due to wear and tear.

Discovering the dishwasher motor makes a ferocious, horrendous noise. No one has complained. Dishes were always clean in the dishwasher and waiting to be emptied. In this situation, let your host know .. immediately! If anything as a safety precaution. Don’t leave the house with a dishwasher sounding like a jet plane is taking off. You might get a discount for being proactive! You’d save the host a ton of embarrassment if they can tell the next guests BEFORE they check in that they’ll be washing dishes if the repair can’t be done in time.

Second discovery, the DVD player went wacky. Looking for a reasonably-priced replacement with decent quality and mid-range features was futile. It doesn’t exist. The number of models for sale is shrinking rapidly. My techie son and his bff both declared DVD players are phasing out, unless you go blu-ray. And no, I’m not inclined to want to own a Blu-ray DVD library. An easy fix was handy had I known. Already have an external DVD player that looks like an external hard drive for the computer. Not pretty, no bells and whistles, but it works! Another situation where I could have prevented disappointment for my future guests.

Don’t hesitate to tell your host something mentioned on the listing isn’t working. It’s not your fault if normal wear and tear has deemed an electrical appliance inoperable.

I’m enjoying being a host very much! Following your dreams, even thirty years later, is highly recommended.