I’ve written about hospitality before. Writing and talking about things is not the same as doing things. Can I get a heartfelt “Amen?”
For the last two months, I have had the good fortune to live in two places. I’ve had my apartment on the Mason Family Compound and my new old house on the hill in town. I’d slowly started moving things down from the Compound at a snail’s pace. There was no need to speed; I had time.
Then I decided to push the envelope and I invited some dear Florida friends to stay at my house for the Moxie Festival and beyond. Come to the Moxie Motel, I said.
And they arrived!
They were perfect guests and they “test drove” my house for me. They discovered night-time clicks and bangs, squeaky doors, and kitchen traffic patterns. They did a lot of cooking and since there were teenage children involved, they wore lots of shoes and read books and crumbled cookies at their leisure. I think they liked the location and they walked to and fro, from the library to the Dairy Maid to Faye’s Barber Shop.
At some point during their stay, I realized that I was a control freak. I had professed and embraced hospitality in theory but my years of living in a chicken-coop-sized condo had reduced my understanding and practice of it. Not everyone needs to have everything in its place all the time and some people don’t fret to see nine pairs of shoes lined up in the hallway.
I knew my Bible and I knew what it says about showing hospitality without grumbling and entertaining angels unaware. Why was it so hard for me to live and let others live in my house?
I did the best I could, but I was upset with myself. Hospitality was more than a plywood pineapple or a wooden pineapple candy container. I had measured myself against such hospitality giants as Conrad Hilton and J.W. Marriott and I had come up short. My pineapple was empty; maybe I was really Leona Helmsley.
I miss them already.
I’ll keep working on this hospitality thing and I’ll keep inviting people over. You know what another lover of order, Helen, would say:
Practice makes perfect!