Skip Navigation Website Accessibility


Downtown Naperville, IL

Life is Beautiful With The Birds

I have a story to tell that you can place under the category of "you never know who you are going to meet at a bed and breakfast," and it starts with a visit from my mom.

Mom has suffered numerous strokes. When she comes to the B & B, she says she is coming to assist me, but she ultimately comes here to "help find her brain", as she puts it. Working at the B & B is a form of occupational therapy for her.

Last year, every time she came here, two little yellow finches came to visit us, too. The finches tried repeatedly to get into the room, through the window, where ever Mom happened to be. They seemed to know where she was in the house, too, and would follow her around window to window.

The two finches stuck around all 8 days of Mom's visit. When Mom left, they left. I was sad to watch Mom drive away in the Uber, and felt sad that the finches were no where to be seen either.

I went outside to wait for guests to check-in and chose to spend some time outside doing a little gardening. The entire time I was out there, the most adorable, but aggressive hummingbird whizzed around my head over and over again.

At first I was nervous not realizing it was a hummingbird - they are tiny, and the noise from their wings seem more like large bugs rather than birds. I relaxed a bit after knowing it was a hummingbird, then finished up when the guests arrived.

The guests who arrived were a lovely couple. As they were checking in, we shared a bit about ourselves, and I learned that she had major health issues, but no one elaborated beyond that. The couple were amazing together; the wife had a peace about her that passed all understanding, and her husband looked at her with complete adoration and protectiveness.

The next morning over breakfast, I shared about the finches and the hummingbird that buzzed my head prior to their arrival. The wife commented, "You must have been near a nest."

I came to find that this beautiful lady was a hummingbird farmer. Thirty years ago, she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The doctors didn't give her much time to live, so she and her husband decided to quit their high-paced city jobs, sell their home and buy a farm where they could raise hummingbirds. Her husband explained that she continues to be afflicted with cancer. He, with quiet dignity, stated that his wife was the most incredible person he'd ever known, because she had complete and total peace in her spirit. She lived in the moment, fully and completely, and brought a sense of joyful serenity to everyone around her.

The couple had no expectation to do, or be, or have anything other than what was right in front of them. It was a marvel to behold. They brought great joy to our inn, and I hope we meet them again someday.

You meet such incredible people at bed & breakfasts! 
So, now when I say, "Life is for the birds," I say it in the most loving way!

This blog is written and maintained by the Harrison House Bed and Breakfast in Naperville, IL. All content, written and photographic, is the creative property of the Harrison House. Unauthorized use or copying is plagiarism - which not only isn't nice, but is strictly prohibited. Please feel to SHARE the daylights out of it on Facebook! Visit the Harrison House Bed and Breakfast online for more information or to book a room.

We are committed to making our website ADA compliant. Read our accessibility statement