MACEDONIA – Melia Clark was trying to figure out her "Plan B."
Clark and her husband lived in Atlantic for about 25 years, and she had taught at Schuler Elementary for about 20 years, five of those as a substitute teacher. Her husband Neal was going to be retiring from his job, and the two were considering a move to his parents' family farm near Macedonia. Neal was likely going to be spending his days on the farm tending to their livestock, including chicken, cattle, hogs, and even dogs and cats.
When Clark was able to take early retirement from the school, she figured she would continue to work as a substitute teacher, but she also wanted another challenge.
"It just so happened that this one day Neal mentioned there was this little house was going to (be taken over by the city)," Clark said. "And we drove by it And I just fell in love with it. I could definitely see the potential of bringing it back to life. We ended up buying it."
Her "Plan B" was to create a bed and breakfast in Macedonia-known as the Macedonia House Bed and Breakfast.
"I was just trying to think of something (I could do) not only for myself, but also to help our community," she said. (Adding) another business for our community."
So she dove into this new endeavor, starting this past June. Clark works with the company airbnb, who have an app people can use to make reservations to stay different places. After they have made the reservation, Clark said she meets people at the house, which includes two bedrooms with queen size beds, a living area, a big kitchen, a bathroom with two vanities and a shower as well as big back deck, that many people comment on how much they like after staying there.
She will show them around the house, give them the key, and discuss whether or not they want to have her serve them meals or if they want to take care of it themselves. If people want to take care of their own meals, Clark said she does leave things like farm fresh eggs from the chickens they raise, homemade jam, honey from a local beekeeper, and seasonal fruit for them. She also offers to bring fresh towels and gives them her phone number so they can call if they need anything else.
She said some people like to visit or learn about the history of the home, which she said was built in the early 1900's, and others just want to go ahead with their plans. She said the average stay so far has been between one and five nights.
Clark said she likes attending auctions and flea markets to look for items that fit the time period of the house, and she also likes the opportunity to meet people from all over the nation who come and stay there.
She said so far she has had a variety of people come to stay, including some who had husbands working in Red Oak, another group who had a son playing in the College World Series, and even vendors and riders who were recently on the RAGBRAI ride. One group who stayed own a BBQ Food Truck, and were going to Avoca after their stay. Clark said they happened to leave their laptop at the house, and the couple offered to bring it back to them in Avoca.
"So they sent us home with a lot of BBQ (that day)," she said.
Clark said she has enjoyed operating the business so far, and said it has been a pleasure working with all the different guests.
"Everyone that has been there has been very friendly," she said. "Very easy to communicate with, left house in good space. People have been wonderful."
To find more information, people can search for the business on Facebook and Instagram or even give her a call at 712-249-8102. Clark will even help people go through the reservation process on airbnb if they give her a call.