See this property line here? That’s where my yard begins.
This strip of concrete over here? That’s my driveway.
This other strip of concrete over here? Well, you can walk on it.
This large building with windows, doors, siding, etc.? That’s my house. I live there. You must knock or ring the doorbell to gain access.
See that lady in there, peeking out through the blinds at you? No, not the living room window - that would be too obvious - over there, the bedroom window up on the second floor - yeah, that’s her. She doesn’t look very, um, well, presentable. You can stand there and ring the doorbell a hundred times - she ain’t gonna to answer it. She’s pretending she isn’t home, even though she is. She hasn’t gotten out of her pajamas yet and she needs a shower before she even dares to open the shades in the living room.
This probably all explains why no one ever just drops by our house unannounced. Okay, that’s not true, on occasion people have dropped by unannounced. If Hubby was home, he answered the door while I scrambled to make myself look guest-ready. If Hubby wasn’t home, well, said guest was never invited in or even greeted.
Clearly, I need a butler.
Or maybe a change of pace. Most of the time when you hear someone say that they mean to say they want to slow down a bit. Not me. I need to kick it in gear a bit.
We’ve had people around working on our landscaping this month. Which has gently forced me to actually take a shower well before 3:00 p.m. In fact, I showered and got dressed and THEN got Reagan up. It was a shocking event for her too. No doubt, it scrambled her little brain a bit when I woke her up smelling of some lovely lotion and wearing an actual outfit. Her brow furrowed and I’m certain a whole slew of thoughts floated through it like: oops! how long have I been sleeping? and wow! Mommy knows how to use a comb! And don’t tell me she probably didn’t notice, because I can tell you that for certain she absolutely did notice. I get a very careful head-to-toe examination of my apparel and accessory choices each and every day. When I wear earrings, she will lift up my hair to check and recheck that I have one in each ear and that they do, indeed, match.
Of course, three days a week I work so those days are pretty safe bets as far as the showering and hair brushing events. But its those other days - the ones that begin with T and S, specifically, that normally find me peeking through the blinds and very much not ready to face the world till late afternoon.
There’s really no reason for it. Its not like Reagan isn’t sleeping well and I need to sleep in a bit to recover from a bad night. Nope. It would be theoretically possible for me to get around 10 or more hours of sleep a night. I just get lazy and I wake up in the morning and I love my soft warm bed and I snooze until I hear that little voice in the other room saying, “Mamamamamama.”
But I’ve tried to be different a couple days here and there where I knew people would be “around”. And you know, I kinda liked it. I mean, there’s something refreshing about knowing that anyone who drops by will be welcomed. And should I need to run to the store for some last minute groceries, I can easily do that. All I have to do are slip on some flipflops and run out the door.
Which is precisely what I did this weekend. Just ran to the store without 45 minutes of "getting ready". At 9:30 a.m. With no makeup - but that’s a story for another time.
So here I am thinking hey! This sounds like fun! People can actually come over now! Whenever they want! Friends will be welcome visitors at any hour of the day! Neighbors can run across the street and borrow a cup of milk (does that ever happen? really?). Family can drop by unannounced and I’ll actually answer the door! One small problem: our society isn’t exactly prone to this kind of social calling. I can count on one hand the number of times I have just dropped in on someone. It just doesn’t happen. Because I don’t think to do it. And because I’m not so sure everyone else feels the same way.
My Hubby’s grandparents are a perfect example of how I wish my home was more often. With her 8 children, Grandma never turns away a guest. Never. Not even overnighters! Anyone who wanders in her door is immediately invited to come inside and sit down and have a chocolate chip cookie. No matter what you’re wearing (farm clothes accepted at all times), no matter what your hair looks like, makeup or not, there is always a place for you in her kitchen. And people stop by at any hour of the day. They walk in and find themself sitting down to a snack and a cold drink. And they come back because they were invited in and welcomed - and they know they will be again.
I hope I don’t have to wait to be a Grandma before this kind of visiting happens to me. Over the past couple of weeks, its become clear to me that impromptu gatherings are pretty fun times. Having a get-together with some friends doesn’t mean we have to plan a huge event. Maybe we’ll just all gather at the softball field and have some pizza together. Or maybe you’re on your way home from church and you want to check in on us and see what we’re up to - so we can have a bowl of ice cream together.
Or maybe you want to see this landscaping project so we’ll have you over and we can sit on lawnchairs and sip lemonade in the cool of the summer evening. People, we have a frisbee and we know how to use it!
You know, whenever the mood strikes you to visit - you just do that. We’d love to see you. Take a walk around our yard, park your car in our driveway, stroll along our sidewalk. If we see you pass by, we might invite you in for a chat or a snack or a cool drink. Because what fun is it to live in town surrounded by your friends and never hang out with them? To me, that’s well worth the shower!