Everybody’s family when they sit down to eat at the OCI.

Family-style frivolity at an OCI holiday dinner.

Family-style frivolity at an OCI holiday dinner.

If you sit down to breakfast or dinner at the October Country Inn, it’s a family-style affair.  By family-style we mean that everybody sits together, and eats together.  Nobody sits alone unless they’re the only one here.  We have three large tables that seat at least eight persons each, in two dining rooms, and it isn’t unusual to have them all full.  Sitting down to a meal together, especially among strangers, is a fundamental family experience that lifts the spirit, and sets the stage for some fascinating revelations.  You just may meet a long-lost cousin.  It’s happened.

Six degrees of separation.

Six degrees of separation.

There was the morning that two couples from Toronto, who didn’t know one another, sat down to breakfast.  After chatting a bit they discovered that they lived three houses apart from one another, on the same street, yet had never before met.  Closer to home, while chatting with a guest, Edie discovered that they were distant cousins. This “its-a-small-world” phenomenon happens all the time, and it’s really fun when it does. This phenomenon is sometimes attributed to the 6 degrees of separation theory.  This theory, originally from Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthya’s 1929 collection of short stories titled Everything is Different, arises when a character in one of the stories believes that any two individuals could be connected through at most five acquaintances.  This theory has been much studied since then with the general result that, where the global population is concerned, any person is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world.  When this theory is limited to the population of the U.S., any person is three or fewer steps away from any other person.

Part of our coffee mug collection.

Part of our coffee mug collection.

One tradition that has been a part of the October Country Inn experience for many years is to provide guests with a large collection of coffee mugs from which to choose.  Mugs are emblazoned with logos representing different cities, states, countries, schools, businesses, and so forth.  The choice of a particular mug reveals something.  That might be the spark that ignites a conversation which leads to the discovery of a connection to another person that you didn’t know existed.  So when you sit down to breakfast or dinner at the October Country Inn, chat up the other guests.  You are only three steps away from a common connection.  All you have to do is find it.