Property Manager’s Personal Reflections of 2017 at Oak Ridge Lodging

As we come to the end of 2017 I reflect on this past year here in Oak Ridge, TN. My heart is overflowing with a sense of community and closeness I have never felt in any other town. I was raised in a small town in Lancaster County, SC. As a child, I just wanted to see the big city. Over the past 10 years I have seen many big cities and realize I am not a big city person. As the saying goes, “we are exactly where we belong.” Oak Ridge, TN and Oak Ridge Lodging (formally WestGate Lodging) has become where I belong, and has been my job and residence since October 2014.
In 2017 we have had so many wonderful guests here at Oak Ridge Lodging. Every one of them leaves a positive memory. There were some very special memories I reflect on during this holiday season.
One couple moved here in 2015 and bought a house in 2017. Seeing them go, was difficult. Knowing they still live locally, makes me feel much better. Having met them showed me a lot about how to really go after a dream. Shari wrote and got her first book published while she was here. Her mother in law who is in her 90s had the same heart replacement surgery my mother will undergo in early 2018. Shari was able to point me to the right doctors for my mother.
Another couple, an Oak Ridge resident for many years stayed with us for five months during repairs to their Oak Ridge home after a house fire. During their time with us they became part of the family. Mr. Tommy and I hit it off due to his love for old cars. He fell in love with my 1968 SS Chevelle I had stored in the back-parking lot, waiting to go to the shop for restoration. To most people they only saw an old rusty piece of junk, but Mr. Tommy and I had a see-saw relationship with cars, he could see what I saw. He saw it the way it was back in the day. He saw a fast, beautiful, and rare diamond in the rough. He even went out of his way to make sure I got to see his 1955 Chevrolet Belair his son had restored for him, oh my goodness, I loved that car. He would always come by our office just to talk with my husband Gary, and me. Mr. Tommy went home to heaven this year, we cried. His wife was also so wonderful, who I will always love like family. She is so kind and sweet. She always gave special attention to our family during a critical illness with our grandson. She still stops in to check on us all from time to time.
Oak Ridge, TN has many wonderful people like this. I could go on and on for hours about the wonderful people here in Oak Ridge, TN. It is a small town feel with all the perks of a big city.
In closing, on behalf of the entire staff here at Oak Ridge Lodging, I want to thank you all for staying with us and for all the kind words you left for us during the holidays.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Oak Ridge Lodging in Oak Ridge, TN.

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