We women prone to procrastinate can easily put off hosting people in our homes. Most reasons not to welcome others into the space we live in boil down to either the furnishings or the orderliness or the time it takes. In other words, we’re held back by less- than -House Beautiful d√©cor, lack of order, and the trouble we’d have to go to, like cooking. What joys we miss out on!
To help us walk free of the burden of not-good-enoughness and get in on the joy of sharing our homes, I’d like to share some stories of women who showed me what hospitality looks like. The first was my mother.
Salesmen often called on my dad at work – which often led to Mother’s getting a phone call late in the afternoon. “Carl is in town. How about if I bring him home for supper?” (That’s “dinner” for lots of you!)
Mother welcomed anybody any time. I recall occasions when she’d say, “Of course! Just tell him tonight is potluck. I’m cleaning out the fridge so it’ll be a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” She welcomed people into whatever we were already doing.
What fun nights sitting around the table eating leftovers! I remember smiling men reaching for that dab of peas in the cereal bowl or the cornbread on the saucer. There was lots of laughter. The salesmen who came home with my dad were glad to eat with a family instead of in a restaurant alone. They were glad to be with friends in their home instead of in a hotel room missing their own.
Those men knew they were welcome. Several became good friends and we looked forward to hearing “‘Uncle’ John is here.” Sometimes a trainee would come along with the older salesman and join the fun.
Another thing – my granddad thanked Mother for this. “It means more to your husband than you know.”
I’m grateful for my parents’ example. Mother enjoyed setting a beautiful table, but she wasn’t bound to that. She was more interested in the people at the table. If it was leftover night, she was happy to spend time with you over dibs and dabs heated in a pie pan.
Folks came away every time happy to have been there.
Who have you welcomed recently with whatever was in your fridge?