It has never happened before. A guest merely emerges from their bedroom for breakfast and the innkeepers are speechless and their eyes fill with tears. These tears were of surprise and joy. With almost a child-like wonder–our eyes must have been huge–two adults became children once again. On December 25, 2011, our only guests at Boreas Inn for Christmas morning were Lindley and Charlotte Mixon from Raymond, WA. When they came in the front door, it did occur to us that he was a lovely older gentleman with a white beard and how ironic that it was Christmas Eve. Being polite, we said not a word about the resemblance. We were sure he’d heard it before.
But only when he emerged from his room on Christmas morning for breakfast, did we truly hold our breath and respond with actual childhood glee that we were in the presence of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Lindley was dressed in a red shirt, with suspenders holding up his trousers, and had a red hat on his head trimmed with white fur. My first words to him were, “My goodness, Santa, you must be exhausted and very hungry! Did you have a busy night?” Yes, this Jewish girl did say that…couldn’t help it. Lindley responded that yes, it was a tiring night but he had a good rest and was very hungry indeed. We posed in front of the Boreas Inn tree with Mrs. Claus, Charlotte, and I couldn’t resist a shot giving Santa a kiss. Lindley has never played Santa professionally! Bill and I were truly moved by Lindley and Charlotte. Lindley is an artist, a warm, loving man with phenomenal talent for throwing big pots and painting. He is currently recovering nicely from open heart surgery. So, sadly, Santa and Mrs. Claus won’t be with us this Christmas. We will miss them and keep in touch on Facebook. We will forever remember the wonderful holiday gift they gave to us a year ago. The richness of life in our 16 years as innkeepers never fails to reward, surprise and enrich us. Thank you, Lindley and Charlotte, for your friendship. Take it easy this Christmas, Lindley! Get healthy and come back soon.