Plaid Pajamas – Michigan Bed and Breakfast Guests

Most folks come to the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan, for a leisurely romantic weekend.  Some people come here on business to enjoy our homey atmosphere.  But Cheryl’s family came here to bury her dad.


It was an occasion that is dreaded by everyone, a funeral.  The grandmother came back to North Adams from South Carolina to lay her husband to rest in the family plot.  She was joined by her two daughters and a granddaughter.  It was a solemn return to Hillsdale County for all of them.


After dinner on the night of the funeral, my wife, Lori, was walking down the hall to our quarters.  As she passed one of their guest rooms, she noticed the door was ajar.  She glanced through the opening to see all of them just sitting there, staring at the floor.  The fireplace was warming them, but the only sound to be heard was sniffling and whimpering.  Obviously, it was going to be a very long, somber evening.  That’s when Lori noticed they were all wearing different colored plaid pajamas.  She immediately went to her room and changed into her plaid pajamas, too.  She went downstairs, made a pot of tea, and brought along skewers and marshmallows.


She knocked, entered the room, poured the tea, and passed out the marshmallows.  What a sight to behold:  five women sitting around a fireplace, drinking tea, and roasting marshmallows in their plaid pajamas.  Within a few minutes, they were all on their second marshmallow.  The warm gooey mess made everyone smile.  The sadness turned to cheerful reminiscing about the good old days when their loved one was still alive. 


plaid-pajamas-016_9aAbout this time I walked by the open door and saw these funeral attendees with my wife.  They were laughing, telling stories, and having a good time.  Lori shooed me out of the room and said I wasn’t allowed to join them unless I was wearing plaid pajamas, too.  I went to my room, searched through my dresser, found the required garments, changed, and joined the group of marshmallow roasters.


The saddest of days turned into an evening full of laughing and sharing.  The grandmother had tears in her eyes.  She turned to Lori and said “I haven’t roasted marshmallows with my girls in a long time.  This is like it was 30 years ago. Thank you.”  We hugged and went back to our special roast in front of the fire in the guest room at the end of the hall.


When they checked out, we looked to see if they wrote in the journals that are in our guest rooms.  Yes, they did and it said “We had a good time despite the sadness of the occasion. It ended up being more of a family reunion.  We picked the right place to stay.” 


One year later, the daughter and mother came to stay again at our B&B.  The thing they enjoyed talking about most, was roasting marshmallows in their pajamas.  We had helped them get through a very difficult time.  They remember it as an evening of celebration at a time of incredible loss.  We remember it as another day we did our job to make people feel comfortable in our house.  Now, every time we see plaid pajamas, we smile and think about marshmallows.


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