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What a Job! year #1 air b&b is in the books

Retirement has its perks. In between sore "whatever's" are stretches of time and space that I fill with a bucket list of personal and professional challenges.

One of which is dodging the thousands of phone calls from a gal named "______ ". She's triggered by my first "Hello" and does not quit until I hang up, ask her if she'd like to buy some beef, or be interested in securing her future in eternity if she were to die today. It's all about being 65.

Also, among my challenges are the maintenance of the butcher beef business in a wild Ag economy and the launch of our "Mulberry Cottage" Farm Stay.

What a joy it's been to work with hammer and nails from its inception to bare shed, and, to the finished tiny house. To the many of you who trekked out through the mud or snow to give me your impressions and feedback, I totally am grateful as I've needed the counsel of many to shape this reality and actually run a business from my grown up "playhouse". It's first guest arrived June 2nd, with many to follow. For a first year I'd consider it successful at about 50 nights booked and 98% of customers overjoyed with their experience.

Gleaned from my learnings is the fact that my idea of a good time is not necessarily the same as that of my

customers. This revelation has come with the reality that my groomed hiking trail was left un-hiked, the blissful sunsets were for the most part unwatched and the House Wrens in all of their chattering and socializing were unnoticed, Mulberries uneaten (except for the jam), and table games untouched.

Ah, but the feedback is priceless! Guests graciously acknowledge the cozy atmosphere, the fresh baked bread and peaceful setting in which they conduct their work remotely, deal with family business, attend local conferences and meetings, or take an overnight getaway from the pressures of home.

We noticed the front porch rocking chairs were well used as was the firepit. For some, a farm-stay simply meant eating snacks in bed and hibernating. Others looked for the baby calves and asked to collect eggs for breakfast. Perhaps the high point of my experience was creating a scavenger hunt for some active boys who successfully found all our tire tank cattle waterers for a package of beef sticks. They also discovered respectable bass and catfishing in 3 of our 7 ponds. (We will need rain or that will all change.)

Next season is in the works as I renovate a glamper camper which will join Mulberry Cottage on VRBO to provide another option for guests. My heartfelt thanks go to some lovely friends who donated the camper. Of course, we always have a good #ohnemusbeef steak or some dogs to roast on the grill. Lord willing, we'll have calves to hug and sunsets for all to enjoy. I'll be savoring the sunsets I love here at my every-day farm-stay holiday from my personal rocking chair on the porch. And I'll be hiking that trail, eating the Mulberries and watching the wrens return at the first sign of spring to occupy all their own tiny houses!

Until next time,

Mary Lynne

Book your Farm-Stay Holiday Property #3230957 on or find Mulberry Cottage on in Lacona Iowa


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