Pages from Elizabeth Pennington’s Diary

With all the uncertainties the Covid19 pandemic has created, I thought it would be interesting to take a peak–albeit a fictional one–at pages from Elizabeth Pennington’s diary. Elizabeth is the strong female protagonist in the Precipice Series: Murder on the Precipice, Murder Beyond the Precipice, and Murder Returns to the Precipice

False Start

March 25, 2020

Just when we were gearing up to open the inn for the season, we’ve had to put on the brakes with no idea when we’ll get the all-clear. I know it’s the right thing to do to slow the spread of the Corona Virus, but effective today the inn has been shuttered per the governor’s mandate that only essential businesses be open—and those have strict

composition cute design diary
Photo by Miesha Moriniere on

guidelines within which to operate. We’re all using terms never spoken before like social distancing, shelter-in-place, and self-quarantine. These are scary and uncertain times.

It pains me to have to send the waitstaff, housekeepers, and maintenance staff home with only a promise to bring them back as soon as I can. I’ll continue to pay them as long as I can. Who knows how long this shut-down will last. Hopefully Pennington Point Inn, as a business venture, will survive.

Our chef Tony and I have put plans in place to prepare meals for takeout. He’ll have his sous chef to help him. I’ll answer the phones and bring the food to the door. That way we can be of help to our neighbors and bring in at least a nominal amount of cash flow. Fingers crossed it will be enough.

Once we do reopen—and I pray it’s soon—I hope our future guests will feel comfortable traveling to our beautiful state of Maine and taking up lodging in our cozy seaside inn that has been in the Pennington family for generations. It may take an ambitious marketing campaign to make that happen.

Trying to Stay Optimistic

April 15, 2020

We’re 3 weeks into the shelter-in-place order. Fortunately, we’ve had a steady business of take-out—nothing that will cover the bills, but it’s still positive all the same. I’ve been in touch with some of the staff, and they all seem to be in good spirits and optimistic, including Rashelle. At this point, their biggest concern seems to be a lack of toilet paper. They’ve had to do with substitutes. Guess it could be worse.

There’s something quite unsettling about the quiet that hangs over the inn. Even our pup Jake seems to notice—although he’s thrilled that Kurt and I have time on our hands and take him out for a nice long walk on the beach or, once in a while just to change it up a bit, across the breakwater out to the lighthouse. He’s getting much more comfortable navigating across the uneven and jagged boulders that tend to jut out at odd angles here and there. He’s only made a couple missteps so far but recovered nicely on both—much more impressive than my first few times out on the rocks as a child. I’ve got scars on my knees to prove it. They’re not attractive.

A Bad Movie

May 3, 2020

You’d think with no inn to run, I’d have more time to write in my journal. It’s just hard to write about. There’s an emptiness here you can feel in your bones. It makes my stomach ache. Maybe it’s just all the worry about the bills and whether or not the regular guests will return—or any guests. Latest word is the stay-at-home order from the governor has been extended to the end of this month. Still only essential businesses are allowed to be open within their strict guidelines. Everything is getting canceled—even the annual lobster festival in Rockland. They—the powers that be—project the state will allow hotels and inns to open July 1st. I only hope that date doesn’t get pushed farther into the future, but I pray we can open safely. A second round of this virus could be worse than the first.

We’re doing okay with supplies—all except for hand sanitizer. But we have plenty of soap which we’re constantly using to keep our hands clean. (Dry hands are becoming another problem.) I’ve raided housekeeping’s closet for toilet paper and antiseptic wipes. Our food suppliers still show up. We greet each other with facemasks and gloved hands. It’s like something out of a bad movie—sci-fi meets Groundhog Day.

#mysteryseries #Maine #precipice #NewEnglandInn

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