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Tales from an innkeeper’s daughter

It was 1973 when my family purchased a home in a hotel located in a crack in the mountains of the Adirondacks in New York state. We were a family of seven, with my mom, dad, dad’s life partner, dad’s illustrating partner, and my two sisters living in a hotel. Let’s not forget the dog!

Welcome to Home Hotel

We moved into this 1940s furnished hotel as a residence and rented none of the rooms. I was 13. My sisters were 8 and 10 years old. We were living with all the modern conveniences of the 1970s, when we traded it all to live in this 1940s incredible, unexpected, time-regressing home.

Hotel Amenities

We used a wringer washer, toasters from the 1940s, hundreds of feather pillows, a steam press instead of an ironing board, and seriously so, so much more from the 1940s! The woodstove featured in my upcoming book, Snow Day Tumble, was a challenge all its own!! We learned to sing the Andrew sisters in harmony, me and my two sisters, and put up with all the antics my family could put together for us to experience this incredible period. Sharon Springs, New York, was a hub for the Hasidic Jewish population, who ventured from Manhattan into Sharon Springs for the benefits of the many mineral waters that flow there. As children, we walked amongst fully garbed Hasidic Jews, Zen center participants, and Christians. I didn’t even realize how much we were being shaped by this town until much later in life.

Home Hotel Memories

My memories and experiences that come out of this era are vast! If I had to capture it with one feeling, I would say “innocence. “We played in the woods, we found mountain lion caves, we adopted baby raccoons, we became part of the town, the art show, the community! It was absolutely enamoring and burns vividly in my memory.

Sharing the joys of Home Hotel

Circumstances forced us to leave that sweet spot on earth, but I am bringing them back to life now! I have written approximately 30 stories about this period, full of innocence, playfulness, and joyful tones from the past. The name of my series is Home Hotel, as my father always asked us to address our letters to HOME. That’s exactly what we did and is how the Home Hotel series gained its name.

Home Hotel book series coming soon…

Book number one, Skateboard Escape, is due out this summer! Join us as our foster boy, Mitchell Marble, loses his skateboard and then nearly his mind! There may or may not be a dog in tow, as well. Book 2, Snow Day Tumble, will arrive in the fall with Easter Egg Surprise this winter.

Plenty of stories to come, revealing the fun we shared during this unbelievable stint of time in the Adirondacks. Oh yes, I’m illustrating them all as well!

Please join me on this journey… Subscribe to our blog, and I’ll continue to update my story here.


Special educator of gifted adolescence, Desi Schell grew up in New York state, moving to Florida in the 1980s. For the last 22 years, she taught in public schools ranging from teen parent to gifted education programs. In 2021, Desi retired from teaching and partnered with Purple Owl Publishing to bring the Home Hotel series of children’s books to the public. She enjoys sharing her dozens of stories and shaping our youth. Desi and her husband live in Florida most of the time, spending some time in North Carolina each year. Check out Desi Schell Facebook page and her POP author page.

#Adirondacks #SharonSprings #NewYorkState #HomeHotel #gaypride #gaymarriage #gayfamilies

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