“To everything there is a season . . . .” Ecclesiastes 3:1. The above scripture is the favorite of business partners and sisters Anita Wade and Marie Pope.
“To everything there is a season . . . .” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The above scripture is the favorite of business partners and sisters Anita Wade and Marie Pope. For the sisters, who share the same smile and the same gift of gab, life in the past six years has had its many seasons―both good and bad.
In 2015, Anita found herself in-between jobs. Then, also in 2015, Marie’s husband passed away. Not wanting to take over his trucking company, both Marie and Anita knew it was time for another season.
With their love of crafting, the sisters remembered Bell Buckle. Traveling down there one day from Lebanon, they found the old Carney Family home for sale. A sign read: “potential bed and breakfast.”
“I thought, ‘Hey, there’s a job. And we’ll be in Bell Buckle with our crafts,’” Marie recalled.
They bought it and opened what is now Seasons Bed and Breakfast―named after that favorite Ecclesiastes verse. And it’s a verse that’s encouraged many a-weary traveler to come to the doorstep of their bed and breakfast.
What do they love the most about running a bed and breakfast? “The people,” said Marie. Anita added, “We’ve been blessed in that way, with good people.”
Those travelers: their stories and their friendships are what keep them going-especially through the maintenance of their Victorian home. Leaky pipes, toilets that won’t flush (even after the plunger), broken AC and heating units-it’s the most challenging part of running a bnb, they said.
But, like seasons, they take one challenge at a time. And still manage to have a hot, country breakfast ready for any one of their dozen or so guests at 8:30 a.m.
Often, it’s an international crowd, with as many of the guests being students or family of those studying at The Webb School in Bell Buckle.
“I told Marie... ‘Did you ever think we’d be cooking breakfast for somebody from Turkey, or South Korea, or the Bahamas or Ghana?” said Anita.
One lady was visiting from South Korea, Anita said, staying for about 10 days (one of the longest stays at Seasons). And she thoroughly enjoyed the sisters’ “breakfast sauce.” That is, their sausage and gravy. They learn what those travelers like to eat for breakfast culturally.
One couple from Germany wanted cake and baked beans for breakfast. “So, you learn what they eat,” Anita said. “But everybody’s just been great.”
It’s one of the benefits of choosing a bed and breakfast versus a hotel. It’s a home away from home.
There are many different reasons why guests choose to stay there.
Anita recalled one group of friends who booked the bed and breakfast just so they could play board games for 24 hours together. Another man, who lives in Nashville, books a room just so he can ride his bike through Bell Buckle during the day, then sit and read on the porch.
Many guests are parents visiting their kids at The Webb School or vendors traveling to the Bell Buckle craft festivals or visitors of the Walking Horse National Celebration.
During those seasons, they’re fully booked. But Anita and Marie make room-even if it means giving up their own bed on occasion.
It’s those evenings on the veranda—when the crowds have died down and twilight hides the faces of the guests, and the sound of a distant train is muffled—that Anita and Marie just sit and talk with the guests late into the night.
One of the visitors from the Bahamas said all he was missing was a pitcher of lemonade. So, Marie whipped one up. “You just put the icing on the cake,” Marie recalled him saying before they left.
“The people-they’re just great,” said Marie.
“Really when we have people here, it’s pretty easy. All we do is cook them breakfast and clean up,” said Anita.
They also recently renovated and opened up an “original” tiny house-their late 1800s farmhouse, located in the backyard of Seasons for those who may want more of a solitary retreat. It is complete with a kitchen, two bedrooms, and an outdoor fireplace and porch.
For bookings, visit the Seasons website at www. seasonsbnb.com or call 615- 516-3421.