Yankee Classic: Love Letters at the Waybury Inn
Many of the letters are surprisingly candid, with references to broken relationships, personal hardship, illness, and death. A husband has surprised his wife with a Vermont vacation because… in February we found out that our eldest daughter has diabetes. She was almost at coma level. Then just a week ago I found out I’m going to have surgery.One particular letter is remarkable for its unblinking clarity: I remember the night I met him. Before I went out, I told God that I had had enough — no more physical abuse and no more mental abuse. No more. What was the sign that it was right? He asked to kiss me goodnite. (No one ever asked, just assumed the role and went for it.) You know what I said? No. He wasn’t offended, and yes, I saw him again… Just remember: Fight for what is yours and ask God to bring you through it. You can’t do it alone. We have been sober 12 years and have a beautiful five-year-old and are in this for the long hauI.
One gets the feeling that many of these writers are articulating things they’ve long felt but never expressed. One muses on the therapeutic quality of the letters.
Upon reading these letters, I was surprised how quickly moved I was, am, by their sincerety and strength. Perhaps writing here is like talking while lying on a psychiatrist’s couch, free to think, to feel, to remember — trusting the listener as I do now you, the reader.
Another writer picks up the thread: … It is your quiet voices, your secret voices that have moved me. You prove that we all have much to share with each other. Thanks to this wonderful place and those hearts who have been willing to share space within you.
The letters also tell of young love: Not bad accommodations for a couple of college kids! We cannot afford to be staying here, but we are young and in love and funding such a wonderful night is a detail we will work out later.
P.S. Mom and Dad, if you ever stay here and read this, Paul slept on the couch.
And of the tricks of the trade in surviving the longer-lasting variety: Just celebrated our 25th anniversary. The man spoils me rotten and I know it. Sweet man, but tonight l will be up till the COWS come home. He snores like a 747 coming in for a landing. The trick is to go to bed before him and get a running start.
The advice in one note is especially poignant and persuasive, given its source. Four traveling widows, having a lovely time in beautiful Vermont. We travel around for two weeks together each year since losing our beloved husbands. Much happiness to each and every one who stops here. Sometimes life is short with your partner. Live each day with laughter, love, and kindness to each other.
In the 1980s the Waybury Inn served as the exterior for television’s Bob Newhart Show. (Passersby might not make the connection today. During taping, the inn was painted white, but now it’s a more historically appropriate shade of green.) That very funny show is long gone, but the comic muse is alive and well in Room 9.
We picked this place to help celebrate a milestone in our lives … but now he is sick and in the bathroom while I am out here alone reading all these romantic letters of good times and fun in this room. Sorry we missed it!