A chance encounter

Published 5:40 am Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Since Mike is employed by a Tennessee company, it seemed like a no-brainer for me to spend some time here and check out the area. The natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains is breathtaking. Lush green forests, crystal clear babbling brooks, and an abundance of wildlife are just a few of the wonderful things about this area.

When a grandson playing his first year of high school football is added to the mix, having a place in Tennessee seems like a great idea. My eldest son is housesitting while he looks for a larger house for his little family, so our Mississippi home is well cared for while we are away.

Housing in the area is almost nonexistent. The rentals are very few and far between. I have heard of people who wanted to find a place in the area actually living at a campground for a year before they found a suitable place. I was almost ready to give up on the idea and head south when something pretty amazing happened.

One morning a few days ago, I took a morning drive following whatever path looked interesting. On this particular morning, I decided to ask God to grant me favor as I went about my day. I wasn’t thinking about anything really; I just know that God can open doors that may otherwise remain closed.

What an exciting day I had! I spotted a sign for a B&B and decided to check it out. I asked Janice, the owner and now my new friend, if they had a cabin or room I could rent for the week Mike is off every month or so. Janice said, “Oh no, our rooms are too expensive for that, but I have a cabin off property you might want to purchase.”

Off we went to look at the property, which turned out to be unsuitable. As Janice and I chatted about our background and such, I mentioned that my late husband and I had planned to build a B&B ourselves before he passed away. One thing led to another and to my amazement Janice said, “I think you just may be the person I’ve been looking for! Would you like to intern with me and take over the B&B while I travel?”

“Would I ever! I exclaimed.”

We worked out a pretty sweet deal that includes a beautiful place for Mike and me to stay when he has some time off, with a little extra money to boot. Our first guests were two brothers from India. They were warm, charming and friendly. After meeting them I have a better understanding of their culture, and I’m sure they feel the same.

After a week of training, Janice took off to Scotland for three weeks, and left me to run the B&B. My palms are a little sweaty just thinking of tomorrow, my first morning with guests. I know I’ll have a blast with my darling daughter’s help. Isn’t it funny how those chance encounters are sometimes not by chance at all, but by design?


Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.