Three busy women. Do we take time from separate lives to converge for support and sheer fun? A getaway? The answer was a resounding “yes” when three of us came to The Bay to play.
We arrived at Aunt Dot’s B & B early enough to take a nice walk around the town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Antique shops, the pier, and old homes provided a delightful slideshow for the eyes. Walk fast or saunter. It didn’t matter. We were in The Bay, so we “did what we wanted to.”
Afternoon at the Bed and Breakfast
From the front porch where we enjoyed refreshments, the three of us slowed down with the rhythm of the waves. A healthy salad and gumbo, a family specialty, graced the glass table. No time limit on conversation or eating. The burdens of the day slipped away, moved out to sea by laughter and stories about the house.
Evening and the House
Noel, one of the trio, grew up in the house, so she regaled us with tales of the Lady who withstood Camille and stood again after Hurricane Katrina.
“222 North Beach” was now “Aunt Dot’s B & B,” run by Sally Hogue, Noel’s cousin. But stories of fun times at the house are never old. Always a beehive of activity, “222” has a wonderland of antique furniture, each with a story of its own.
A painting of crashing waves has long graced the shotgun hallway. Connie was immediately captivated by it. Although the original was damaged by Katrina, Noel’s husband Dennis thought it could be repaired and contacted the artist who offered to repaint the seascape. We thought the second was even better than the first. The gesture? A blessing.
I don’t think anything is better than sleeping in The Bay. There’s a front sleeping room filled with a breathtaking bedroom suite, but the furniture begs to be handled, not treated with awe. Aunt Dot would want us to feel at home.
The three of us took the “dormitory” where sleep was welcomed and deep. The morning peeped in through soft filmy curtains like a gentle tap on the shoulder. But like a whisper, if we didn’t want to climb out of bed right then, coffee would arrive on a tray straightway. Is there any better way to get up?
Breakfast around the formal dining table reminded me of days when Aunt Dot reigned over the table, making meals an event rather than a necessity. As we ate the delicacies, I recalled this was the first time I’d eaten at this table since Aunt Dot’s passing. I felt sad and yet revitalized because her entertaining spirit lives on in her daughter Noel and niece Sally.
So three women took time away from the normal routines of life to gain strength for their tasks—one a physician with recent grief, another fighting cancer, and the third a caretaker for elderly parents.
The smile on Connie’s face says it all: “Let’s do it again real soon.”
If you have a special getaway place, tell us what it is in the comments section. If you’d like to go to Aunt Dot’s B & B, contact Sally and her husband Joel. They’ll welcome you just like Dot would.
Until next time, may God shoulder your burdens and turn them into joy. He is able.
Diane, Noel, and Connie