The construction  outside the Banyan House Bed and Breakfast has nothing to do with renovating the city's historic inn.

Owners Susan and Chuck McCormick have decided to close the B&B after 26 years . They are turning the property into short-term rentals, with a minimum week stay. What that mostly means is that Susan will no longer be preparing and serving her breakfast strata and stuffed French toast or providing maid service. The sense of community brought about by communal breakfasts will be gone as well. There are now fewer hotel-ish rooms in a city that is sorely lacking accommodations.

"We have been enriched by all the guests that have stayed with us through the years," the couple wrote on their company website. "Thank you so much for being a part of our lives."

Staying at the Banyan House used to be a highlight of my late mother-in-law's visits. She enjoyed the McCormicks' hospitality, the serenity of the lush gardens and the enormous Banyan tree for which the inn was named, and, of course, Susan's legendary breakfasts. We enjoyed getting to know Susan and Chuck over the years.

Shortly after my mother-in-law passed three years ago, my husband and I stopped by to chat with the couple. We were saddened to hear that they were trying to sell the property.  For a moment we wondered "What if...?," but it's a tough business. Too bad there were no takers. It's a loss for the city and for all of us.