The website is alluring. Across the top of the page, in elegant, serif font, run the words, “Win The Blue Hill Inn.” Below that is the unbelievable promise:

Become the new owner of a million-dollar inn for $150 and 200 words.


Zowie, is that a deal, or what?

Below the magical words is a photo slider showcasing image after image of beautiful rooms, stately grounds, scrumptious food and wine, and happy smiles.

Now, I don’t know about you, but having the chance to win something of this magnitude (a million-dollar, award-winning, historical inn) for only $150 and 200 words seems like the chance of a lifetime.

There’s only one teeny problem. I don’t want to own a million-dollar, award-winning historical inn in Maine. At least I don’t think I do. Up until this ad came to my attention, I had never once given running an inn–or really, Maine–a thought.

I thought about writing the essay, sacrificing a couple bills, and seeing if I could win it. Then reality set in and I remembered: I don’t WANT to run an inn in Maine.

But this begged the question: what DO I want?

So I decided to write a letter, but not to Sarah Pebworth, the owner of the apparently unmarketable inn and savvy businesswoman extraordinaire, answering her question, “Why would I want to own and operate The Blue Hill Inn?”

Instead, I will write a letter to The Universe, Supreme Power of All, and the keeper of all personal intentions of every being everywhere, answering this question, “What do I want to do, have, and be in this lifetime?”

200 words. Here goes:

Dear Universe,

When I was a kid, I wrote a letter to Santa every year, outlining what spectacular new toys I would like to see under the tree. It always worked; he always provided. In this letter, I would like to ask for some things but not toys this time.

First, I would love to keep on keeping on with what I’m already doing, how I already am, and what I already have, but would like that superpower, Wisdom, to remember to always be grateful for it all.

Second, I would appreciate a peaceful heart and the ability to spread that peace to everyone I come into contact with. Good energy begets good energy, and me being happy only makes me (and others) more happy.

Third, if it’s not too much trouble, can you help me strike that balance I so desperately long for, with a good mix of personal, physical, family, professional, spiritual, and intellectual pursuits. Sometimes imbalance happens and something seems to be missing.

And, last, I would LOVE to reach my professional goals and to know that I’m on the right path with all of my plans.

That’s it! Thank you kindly for listening.

Yours truly,


I probably wouldn’t have won the contest, anyway, but maybe writing my intentions to the Universe will help me in the days ahead.