Welcome to StoneHaven Bed and Breakfast…a story years in the making! I love our story because we are doing what we are called to do; You know, what we were meant to do. Some people call it irony. I say it’s Destiny.
The summer of 1972 will always echo memories in my heart. I was six years old and my sister, Amy was five. My Dad’s best friend, Bobby had called him to say that his girls had “out-grown” their playhouse and wanted to give it to us! Dad was working overtime to provide for our family while Mama stayed home to care for us three children. You can imagine the excitement as they unloaded the small stick-built house and placed in our side yard. I remember the tiny kitchen sink, small cabinets and the little bench table. It was complete with checkered curtains and dishes! Oh, the meals we made with sticks, grass and mud! My favorite task was to fill the little vase with wild flowers I would gather from the wood’s edge.
It’s easy to play house when you have a good teacher. Mama was a talented seamstress and gardener. She took pride in cooking and began to learn to decorate her home with the labor of her hands. I can remember lying flat on my back at her feet looking up watching her sew, catching stray threads between her lips talking to me all the while. Many hot summer afternoons I spent watching her water her flower gardens. I can still smell the lovely fragrance of her gardenias that graced the sides of our front entrance. It was here in our first brick home that my Mama imparted to me the joy of flowers.
My early adult years were filled with raising my own family. I spent hours on the phone with Mama. She literally taught me to cook over that old rotary telephone with its seemingly ten foot cord. My husband and church family would brag on the chocolate pound cakes and chicken casseroles I proudly carried into our monthly fellowship meals. So it would be that in my first home I became domesticated as many would call it. Mama also taught me to paint and wallpaper. Oh, the days my husband would return home from work to find newly painted walls and moved furniture! Playing house had become a passion.
Destiny continued to pursue me. That predetermined course of events which seemed to be an irresistible power was full force in my life. In 1995 I found myself single raising two small boys. And then in 2004, I met and married the Love of my life.
Chris took me to Maine for our honeymoon. Maine was enchanting to me. It was here that we had our first bed and breakfast experience. Our first stay was at the refurbished home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Portland. Our second experience was at The Spouter Inn – a beautiful B n B located in Lincolnville Beach. I remember the vibrant blues and whites in her dining room and thinking how “fun” this type of life would be.
The defining moment of our experience in Maine was when we had stopped at a well known lunch spot in Camden for their famous lobster rolls. Not aware of the time, they were closing to prepare for the dinner crowd. As we turned to walk out, we were greeted by the owner who escorted us back in and insisted on serving us himself. Wow! What a honeymoon memory. He also walked us out and wanted to know, “Did we have plans for our future together?” And so he began to compliment our Southern hospitality and offered us an opportunity: He owned a local bed and breakfast and was looking for the perfect couple to run it for him…Would we consider moving to Maine? We humbly thanked our kind stranger as we declined, but never forgot that engagement.
That was 15 years ago. Seeds of Destiny planted in childhood and watered through the years finally brought forth life in May of 2018. Chris and I purchased the old soapstone home on Christiansburg Pike and opened StoneHaven Bed and Breakfast for business two months later. It has been pure joy to serve “all who enter in.” As one returning guest recently emailed, “…We’ll treasure the memories of gathering around your breakfast table and we feel as though we’ve made friends with you and your other guests. We respect your sacrifice and the hard work it must take in providing much more than a room in a hotel – you are touching people’s hearts and turning strangers into family.”
And so it is with Destiny. You can’t stop what is meant to be.
Jennifer Kennerly Miller