Saturday, February 1, 2020

It All Started with a Rug

It All Started With A Rug

Have you ever wondered why things happen?  What chain of events leads to certain outcomes? Why certain decisions make all the difference? This is a story of faith and friendship at Swan Song Inn.
Many of our followers know the story of how Inn Keeper Doug and I gathered all of the furniture and decorations here at Swan Song Inn. I love to shop at out of the way places where I find some of the most unique treasures that I adore. One of those items is a rug, a simple entry way rug.

Facebook Marketplace, online yard sales, regular yard sales and estate sales. I am a treasure hunter. I answered an online sale ad for a rug. I didn’t know where I would use it but it looked pretty and I was sure I would need 8 or 12 rugs soon anyway. So off to House Springs MO I go to meet a gal about a rug.
I drive out there after work and it was getting dark.  I parked my truck where the headlights would shine into the pole barn where said run was being stored. They had other things for sale too and we gabbed and chatted and then her husband came out and we gabbed and chatted some more. I liked these people, Kris and Susan.

Now,  I was still in the planning stages for an Inn that I had not yet closed on the purchase of. But I had business cards made up with my cell on them and a picture of the beautiful home on the front. The cards looked really “real” for a business that didn’t yet exist. I gave these nice folks one of those cards.

I turned to leave with my rug, and my truck would not start. I had left the headlights on too long. Kris immediately got his truck, jumped my battery and got me running. We chatted and gabbed some more. We found we had a lot in common, outdoors, fishing, hunting and good times with friends. I learned that he really liked to duck hunt. I had told him about the water fowl on my lake that I didn't yet own.  I left feeling good, convinced that there are still nice and kind people in the world. This was sometime in October of 2016.

Life goes on and I kept acquiring furniture for the Inn that I still had not bought. A dining room table from some nice folks in South County and an awesome wine cabinet in Wildwood, MO from a couple who even loaded it for me. 

An amazing bedroom set in Fenton, MO, a bedroom set in Farmington MO, and bed in Waterloo IL. You, my readers have seen all these pieces in the website in the rooms here at the Inn, if not, take a look.

Finally we closed on the Inn and we moved to Marshfield MO in December 2016. Swan Song Inn was born. So we open January 1, 2017. The website is still not up yet, and we are still putting touches here and there on the 4 rooms. Swan Suite, Lake View, Park View suites and the Cygnet room.  We have a few bookings, people who know us and want to help support us.  

 Photo by Ryan Wallace
Then I get a call from Susan. She asks, did you ever open that B and B? She had kept my card. She
booked a Valentine get away weekend and brought another couple with them. Really, they were our first guests who we didn’t have a prior relationship with. It was a great week end and Susan found out that she LOVES steel cut oatmeal. (And my Stuffed French Toast)

They booked again and brought more friends down with them. We planned Murder Mystery weekends and more friends came. Kris and Susan seemed to be our main cheerleaders, and they wanted to share the Magic that is Swan Song Inn with others.
Photo by His Fingerprint Photography

They come down for the Hunts, both Egg and Pumpkin, but they don’t act like guests, they pitch in and help. The get the bonfires started, they help set up the tents and tear down, all in between rounds of fishing of course. By this time they have tried several of the rooms but always seen to migrate back to their favorite, the Park View Suite. This room is large enough to have an extra bed set up in the walk in closet. Yes, that is true, it is a huge closet. Their teen age daughter loves sleeping in this closet on the queen size bed. Their son, snoozes on the couch in their suite. At one of the hunts they won a garden bench. They really didn’t have a place for it at home and asked if we would just set it up here by the lake, and they donated it back to the Inn. I knew that Susan’s Mother had passed away so I dedicated it to her Mother with an attached plaque. It still sits lakeside on the far side of the lake, really close to the best bass hole to fish.

Susan is such a giving person and loves to bring presents when she comes. I have been presented with many gifts over the years. A beautiful wreath to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival, which is huge here in Marshfield, hangs in my dining room. A string art wall plaque that looks great hanging in my kitchen is yet another gift. Kris is ever ready to lend a hand with anything. I am blessed. As you can guess, by now, we are friends.  They have been here I think, 9 times in 3 years.

                                                                                        Photo by His Fingerprint Photography
They decided to renew their vows this past October. The planning had begun. Susan and I both were florists in our earlier lives and between us we had the wedding details down! We do a lot of weddings here at Swan Song Inn. The lake is the perfect setting and when Mrs. Lola and Mr. glide by and photo bomb the photographer, it can’t get much more perfect. They renewed their vows, with Inn Keeper Doug officiating and myself coordinating.
     Photo by His Fingerprint Photography

We always say "Enter as Strangers and Leave as Friends" This is just one example of the friends we have made here at Swan Song Inn. Inn Keeper Doug and I have so enjoyed the past three years Meeting and Greeting strangers into the Inn and waving goodbye to them as new friends. I like to say                              " A Guest is just a friend I haven't met yet."
     Photo by His Fingerprint Photography
 Now if I can only get Mr. to start thinking that way.

Valentines Day is on a Friday this year. Visit our website and book your stay. If you shoot us an email at that you read the February Blog and you stay the 14th and 15th of February, we will have chocolate covered strawberries in your room for you.

So if you are a past guest, we thank you for the time we spent together and may our paths cross again. If you have never experienced the Magic that is Swan Song Inn consider this an invitation to come meet us and experience the Destination for Relaxation for yourself. Remember, it all started with a rug.

Inn Keeper's Doug and Cheri Colson
Swan Song Inn
Marshfield MO

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Large and In Charge - The Perspective of Mr.

My story starts several years ago, long before Inn Keepers Cheri, Doug and Ryan came into the Bed and Breakfast picture here at Swan Song Inn.

The "others" brought me here as a young Cob.  They then brought me a young Pen for my mate. Unfortunately, a fox took her away from me.  So for a few years I was alone until the "others" brought me another very young Pen. She was beautiful and sleek. I loved her. All seemed fine, and one day a turtle, (nasty amphibian) took a piece of my Pens webbing off her foot. She had trouble with that foot every day from then on.

We were building our nest to be ready for cygnets, and we both were very excited. During my show of love for my Pen, she stopped breathing. I didn’t know what to do. I climbed on land and let the Inn Keepers Doug, Cheri and Ryan know that something was wrong, very wrong.  They came to see, and when they tried to take her away I fought very hard for her. I never saw her again.  I sang the song of my people for three days. They say we are mute, but we have a bellow that can be heard from a distance.

So for a few days I was very distraught and I even thought of flying away. I flapped my huge wings but never left the lake.

Photo credit to His Fingerprint Photography

I start my days patrolling my parameters. The Lake is my home and I ferociously guard it from trespassers. I allow a few ducks to coexist with me, for without them I would be very very lonely. I also allow just a few wild geese to stay here to mate and raise their young. I tolerate them barely; such vile creatures, but we all have a purpose on this earth. I watch them and the ducks raise their young and my memory flows back to my Mrs.

The winters here are not as cold as my native area up north. From time to time I am glad the geese are here. They add numbers that help keep a spot of open water on the lake. The Inn Keepers have only had to break ice for me one time

I am very vigilant when guarding my lake. I know the second the front door of the Inn has opened. I know when one of those loud moving things on wheels is coming over my dam. I know if deer are drinking from the edge or moving in on my leftover cracked corn the Inn Keepers give me two times every day. I am forever watching the skies to see if a mate may be looking for me. From time to time I attempt to stretch my wings to the heavens and fly north in search, but alas, I never leave the water. My routine is mundane, but I have purpose, food and safety here. I have accepted my life as it is.

I see the loud thing that moves Inn Keeper Cheri along the dam. I see that she does not disappear into the Inn as usual. . I notice that she has set up that see through contraption that the ducks seem to always get caught in.  It is in the yard by where I like to build my nest; I go to investigate very quickly.  I do not understand what she is doing over here. This is MY area and I don’t tolerate much activity over here.  Just ask the humans that I have ran off. They are scared of my large wings and I can move really fast when I want to. Most is all bluff, but don’t tell anyone.

Oh my stars! I see a cloud of feathers.  Could that be a Pen in the back of that wheeled thing?  She is not white, like me. She is not making any noise; does she not see my majestic self? What is this sad creature that should be so white and is not?

I watch closely as she is handled ( oh I see she hates this) much hissing involved. But Inn Keepers Doug and Cheri are very gentle and are talking to her softly. They are singing to her.  “Her name in Lola, she was a showgirl” Once she is in the see thru contraption, she takes a drink and I swim up to introduce myself.  She meets me at the edge of the cage and we touch chests. Oh this is a good sign, SHE LIKES ME!!!

Feeding time is together, I spend most of my time at this side of the lake. I do not want her out of my sight.  I still wonder why she is not white and glamorous like me. She begins telling me her story. She lived with some very nice keepers, but her space was not like this. She had a lot of mud and clay and no grass. She told me she has never seen such beauty as what is here. Oh I take so much for granted.

For two days the see thru contraption separates us. Then Inn Keepers Doug, Cheri and Ryan open the door and she swims free. I thought she would come straight to me. NO…. she stopped to take a bath. Girls….sigh. She says she has never had this much clean water to swim in before and she was going to use it.

 After her bath she swims to me and again we touched chests. This is how we greet each other. Sometimes we make our necks into a heart shape, (humans love this) and entwine our necks. This is a part of courting. I have allowed our Keeper to see this just a few times, but never allowed her to video it. Privacy please! She always has that picture taking device with her.

The next few weeks was molting season and the shore line looked as if one of us has exploded. Feathers everywhere!  But as time passed and I look upon her, I realize she is no longer clay colored but is as majestic as I. I have found MY Queen.  Her name is Mrs. Lola

Well another season of red bows and bells on the front of the Inn has come and gone and more cold weather will be upon us soon. 

This is the time we take to nest building. I noticed an abundance of straw has materialized up on the other side of my lake. Maybe I will show this to Mrs. Lola. Our time to show love is coming up soon and I hope I am an acceptable partner. I hope we succeed in nesting eggs and raising young. I will feel so complete and my purpose will be fulfilled.

So come out to the Inn, meet the Inn Keepers who take good care of me. We may have Cygnets this spring to watch. Check out that web thingy, I hear humans talking about while they are strolling along the lake. I hear them say how relaxing it is here. Then I, of course, have to come out of the water to remind them who is in charge. 

Until later in the spring,
Mr., King of the Lake at Swan Song Inn