We have made it through our first year of managing Harborfields! A big Thank You to all of our guests! As we reflect on the year past, and think of the years still to come, we can sum things up with two words:
Stewardship and Sustainability.
As stewards, we have taken on a lot of responsibility. Not only are we caring for a piece of land and collection of buildings, but we are also caring for the Harborfields experience -- your vacation experience! And we are stewards of a true family legacy, as well: our son Bennett is the seventh generation of the Thorpe family on this property, and of course some of your families have been vacationing here for several generations!
We also worry about sustainability for the long haul. This is not just a question of minimizing Harborfields' environmental impact, thereby helping to enhance the sustainability of a habitable earth. But how do we ensure that Harborfields can continue to sustain itself as a viable business? And of course, how do we sustain our own efforts at managing all of this?
Lest that last bit cause you to worry, let us reassure you that we love Harborfields, and we are deeply committed to it. We will continue to invest heavily of our time, energy, and talents -- and money. You will see (as you perhaps have already seen) clear evidence of some of these investments, as they constitute real improvements that directly enhance your experience as a guest.
Other investments however will be less obvious but just as necessary and perhaps even more important. There is much work to be done just to maintain the status quo, just to ensure the basic structural and functional integrity of the cottages and the underlying infrastructure. This year's big project is just such an infrastructure project.... (and we will leave it at that, for now). Of course, there are many smaller projects as well.
We know many of you love Harborfields too, and perhaps you are wondering "so what can we do to help?" Well, here are some ideas:
Back in Keene for the winter, Wendy has started in on the fall craft fair circuit, selling her pottery. She had a very successful Open Studio event last weekend as part of the Keene Art Tour and New Hampshire Open Doors. She did not get to throw very much (if any) over the summer, but she has a new kiln to set up and learn how to operate. Meanwhile, Bennett is pining for an early winter with lots of snow, as he is looking forward to joining the Keene High School Alpine Ski Team. And Tim has to work hard to not let Harborfields business distract him too much from his real job of teaching, research, and department administration at Keene State College. The 2012 sailing season was something of a bust -- Greyhawk limping home from Cape Cod with a scarred keel -- but we can't win them all.
That is all the news from here, for now. We look forward to hearing from you over the next few months, and hope to see you at Harborfields this coming summer!
All the best,
Tim, Wendy and Bennett
The Harborfields Herald newsletter is published annually in the fall, with maybe a few other short updates in the winter, spring, and early summer. You can subscribe to have future editions delivered to your e-mail address.
PO Box 524
West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575