Monday, March 14, 2011

Life Is Good: Hospitality

Having Company was a lot different when I was a kid. Friends had to be announced and approved before they could visit. The house had to be perfect (no small feat with 3 young girls and a dog). Someone joining us for dinner was a very big deal, and it didn't happen often.  Even now, you don't just drop in on the family home. Visiting was an event.

It is a lot different in my home. People stop by all the time without notice. The children have friends over almost daily. Sometimes they split their free time between our house and their friends' houses, even changing locations several times in a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Friends and neighbors stop in to donate time or food scraps to the cause of our little farm and sometimes come into the house to use the bathroom or share a cup of coffee. I've come to terms with the fact that my friends and their kids do not think less of me when they see the folded laundry still on the dining table or the dishes still drying next to the sink. They wipe their feet at the door just to see the wood chips that frequently surround the wood stove. It is a welcoming home, though not a perfect one.

The other thing that has changed since I was a child is the issue of visiting at mealtimes. Such a thing was unheard of most of the time when I was young. If a friend's mother started setting the dinner table, you excused yourself and left. If you didn't, you were asked to leave. Saturdays and Summer Days were split into two visits: before lunch and after lunch. In my home, however, I stopped sending children home some time ago. Adults never seemed to leave just because it was mealtime, so I just got into the habit of over-cooking. Leftovers make perfectly good lunches if no one happens to be around to eat the extra portion. Growing children often take care of the excess as well. So, if you happen to be hanging around my house at mealtime, expect to be offered food.

No comments:

Post a Comment