Once again, the Autumn weather more than made up for the cool, foggy Summer we had this year. But, as this newsletter zips its way to you, the weather has definitely taken a turn toward the Winter end of the scale, this past weekend bringing our first light snow, the remnants of which are clinging to the ground in the shadier spots. I must admit that the older I get, the harder it is to convince myself that the beautiful six months we have here from June-November is ample consolation for the cold, wet other six months, but I also complain a lot more every year about prices, automobile styles and the terrible music that my kids listen to, so maybe it is just age.
There isn't a whole lot of year-end news this time around, but one item that will impact some guests next season is the removal of the Captain's Quarters from the rental column. As many of you may know, Harborfields' owner, Rick Thorpe, has recently retired after a long career in the ship-building industry, and he and his wife, Patricia, plan to spend their Summers here on the ancestral home place in the future. The long-range plan is for them to build a house for themselves on the Harborfields property, but in the interim they will occupy the Captain's Quarters. This means that Barbara will need to do some fancy scheduling to try and get everyone who wants to come next season in somewhere, but, obviously, this will be inconvenient for some of our guests, and for that we apologize in advance.
The upside of this temporary inconvenience for the guests will be the renovations that will make the CQ a larger and more livable space. The kitchenette will finally be superseded by a real kitchen in which it is possible for more than one person to stand at a time, so when it is available again, it'll be grand!
Beginning this reservation season -- which starts December 1, don't forget! -- we will be asking for a slightly larger reservation deposit. The new deposit will be 25%, as opposed to the old 20%. The reason for this change reflects the fact that most of the work we do to upgrade the cottages takes place during the Fall/Winter/Spring months, and since we are doing more of that type of work than in years past, we find that a little extra cash flow during this period helps a lot. Our policy on cancellations will remain the same, meaning that deposits will only be refunded if we can rent the reserved cottage for the period in which it would have been occupied by the guest canceling the reservation.
Despite some crappy weather, it was another good Summer here at Harborfields, and we want to thank all our guests for spending their vacations with us and brightening up the place, something the Sun steadfastly refused to do for long periods of time. The Sunday evening mixer in the Gazebo continues to be the social high point of the week, with guests and guests of guests spilling out onto the lawn on many evenings and good times had by all. In August the Gazebo was the site of a massive "camp out" by some of the younger guests, our kids included, and I wish we'd taken a picture of them all crammed in there like sardines, but we didn't, so you'll just have to imagine what it must have been like.
The coin laundry continues to be a big hit, even though we have ignored the suggestions of some younger guests to install video games and a soda machine.
Just to remind everyone again, we will begin taking reservations for returning guests on December 1, and will do our best to accommodate everyone's wishes. Guests who have spent past years in the Captain's Quarters should call or email as early as possible in the month, so Barbara can begin to figure out alternative accommodations.
We want to thank all of you for helping us update our e-mail list this past season. Most of the newsletters will be going out via e-mail this year, for the first time, and we'll only be mailing them only to those of you who have no e-mail address or whose newsletters come back as electronically undeliverable. It would be helpful for us if you would add Harborfields to your list of addresses to which you might send your new address in the event of a change.
From all of us here at Harborfields, we wish all our Summer friends a joyous holiday season and look forward to seeing each and every one of you next year. Maybe the snow will be gone by then...
Rick, Barbara, Sophie and Celeste
PO Box 524
West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575