Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Mark, Amy and I are far away from family (it is a 11 hour drive) but they like to keep the family traditions alive especially at the holidays. Just the other night they went into downtown Bath for open house night and looked at all the wonderful lights and decorated shop windows then out for pizza at The Cabin. When Amy was a little girl, her whole family would go look at the store windows in downtown Erie, PA and then for pizza at Luigi's. This year they created a Maine version of that family tradition. Another yearly event is how Amy, Mark and I spend Christmas Day. Even when we lived in PA, Christmas Day was for the 3 of us. We stay in our pajamas all day (if guests are here they do dress to serve breakfast and then get back in the pj's for the rest of the day) and watch old holiday movies. Christmas dinner is always special (lamb this year!) and they always make sure I get a little. The one big tradition that Amy learned when she was just a little tyke is giving back during the holiday season. Whether it is sponsoring a family in need with gifts for Christmas morning (something her family back in PA still does every year), dropping toys in Santa's bag in Bath or, this year, baking cookies to bag up and distribute at a local food pantry, it brings them such joy to give to others. Now I just need to think of another way to give back besides barking a Merry Christmas at everyone who walks by the house!
Our Journey to Bath
Before Amy and Mark ever even thought about making me a part of their family, they were thinking about being innkeepers. About a year and a half after they adopted me, they left me in Erie, PA and took a trip to explore possible towns in New England to open their new business. While I patiently waited at home with a dog sitter, they journeyed to Bath ME, their first stop on the trip. It was December of 2004 so it was cold and raining in Maine but they fell in love with the town and the people they met. Driving to the next town in New Hampshire in a snow storm, they knew in their hearts that Bath was going to be our new home. They went ahead and looked at the other places as planned, but Bath was it. In February of 2005, they left me once again to look at a house on the market in Bath. It had been a B&B but had gone to a private home for the past couple years. Well, lucky us, they loved the house and put in a bid. It was so exciting when the realtor called us in Erie to say the Benjamin F. Packard House was ours! Things started moving quickly then. Packing up the house in Erie, making long distance arrangements for licenses, sprinkler systems and all the things that go with opening a new business. On May 14th, they packed the car and this time took me along too. We closed on the house on May 16th and in six hectic weeks, opened the new Benjamin F. Packard House B&B! My life as a bed and breakfast dog had begun.