Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


We owned a little mom-and-pop motel for three years in central Minnesota, back in the ’80’s.  It was an enlightening experience (roll eyes,vast understatement). We had regulars–truckers, salespeople. We had entertainers for the local watering holes, of which there were plenty.

And we had tourists.  Tourists are usually in a pretty good frame of mind, and they rarely caused us trouble.  Usually, they were passing through to points north. Sometimes they were there for the Brainerd International Racetrack, at which even the great Paul Newman showed up now and then. Not that we ever saw him. He used the more upscale motels in the area, I’m sure.

Some of the tourists were just unbelievable.

There was the night we notice headlight pulling into the parking lot, long after we knew all our roomers were safely tucked into bed. Being of a suspicious turn of mind, Terry grabbed the shotgun he kept under the bed and  let himself out the side door into the back yard, which was surrounded with lots of shrubbery and trees. Stood very still. It was a moonless night, so he couldn’t see much, but he could hear rustling and–yup–giggling.  Hmmm. He crept out into the yard, staying in the shadows, found the car, and followed his ears to the bushes. As he was lifting the shotgun, several girls came running out of the bushes, pulling up shorts and pants and yelling, “Don’t shoot, mister!  We just needed a bathroom, and we couldn’t find one!  We’re leaving, honest!”  Doubled over in laughter, Terry  watched them peel out of the parking lot and disappear into the night.

We had become a motoilet.   Good grief.

There was a night when I had to be alone.  Our bedroom faced directly into the tiny hallway that was the entrance/office.  Suddenly, around 3 a.m., someone banged on the locked office door, over and over.  Groan.  I grabbed the trusty shotgun, donned robe and slippers, and fumbled my way to the door. I switched on the light, which of course revealed to the drunk outside the door that I was carrying a gun.  His eyes got as big as plates, and backed away shaking his head and waving his hands, and the next thing I heard was the squeal of tires as he peeled out. I had a little trouble getting back to sleep.

(A Brainerd tourist attraction)

One more.  Loved this one. Our sons were about 15, 13, and 11. All big boys,  looking older than they were.  It was the middle of the day when a single man came into the office and I went to do my duty.  He must have thought he was some punkins, because he actually started to flirt with me!  As the air froze around him from my frosty response, he smirked and made as if to come around the desk.

I hollered, “Mike! Ken! Dan!”  and three sets of feet came thundering down the stairs, three big teenagers poured into the very small office space, and Romeo looked as if he was about to faint.

My boys thought it was hilarious. They kind of grouped around him and ushered him back outside to his car, and I admit I had to sit down and unshake for a minute after that one. What if they hadn’t been there?  What if it had been just me and my 9-year-old daughter? It was a slow time of day, no one else was in the motel, and I wasn’t a pistol-packin’ mama at that moment. Never occurred to me  to keep my shotgun handy in the daytime hours.

All’s well that ends well, as they say.

It was an interesting life.