One of my favorite things in the entire world is to play host to visiting friends and family. Ever since I have moved out on my own I have made sure that damn the expense of it, my home would always have a guest room. There are, of course, the humorous admonitions that houseguests are like fish in that they start to stink after a few days. I could not disagree more! I love having guests. I love my friends and family and wish I have guests all the time!
Rita Rudner (American Stand-up Comedian) has a great line in one of her shows. The gag is that she and her husband have a small house. But it does have a guestroom. It is not a big room, but it is just big enough that when their parents come to visit for a few days they can be comfortable. So they are having the guestroom made smaller.
I feel exactly the opposite. I wish I could have a bigger house and have all my friends over as much as they want. I remember reading all those old novels (the dusty ones that everyone, myself included, hated) like The Great Gatsby, and seeing all those old films like The Philadelphia Story, that show the posh people of the bygone era “visiting” their friends. The summer houses (or country houses) always seemed to have dozens of guest suites. To have one of those would be great!
I would love to have a huge house somewhere and have rooms for all my friends to come and visit and stay as long as they wanted. Come, sponge off me like the people in the movies and books who seem to have all the disposable income in the world and no jobs to return to, at least none they ever seem to talk about. And it would take it! Having house guests all the time would be an expensive proposal. Luckily, my friends and family when they come to visit rarely ever listen to my pleas to “bring nothing.” My larder (and notably, my liquor cabinet) is usually better stocked when guests leave than when they arrive.
The occasion bringing-about this idle musing is that this morning, my parents will be leaving for the airport and heading into the United Kingdom for a visit. Since this is my last week over here on business (I have no trips scheduled after this one) and I have been writing about how much I love it over here, my parents have decided to come and visit before I leave for the states.
Dad and Flo are arriving to spend a week with me here in the UK. We’ll be taking in the sights and, as meeting my friends that I have made over here. My friends Angie and Terry are throwing a cook-out this weekend and we’ll be seeing the sights in town with Kevin. We’re going to have some fun, eat some food, drink some ale. It should be a hoot!
And as is usually the case, Dad will, with the least possible provocation tell “stories” to my friends that I will be hearing about for years. Yes, my friends in Denver still ask me to tell them the stories of the “Crunchy Pickles” that my father shared with them at a party I threw in my first home in Colorado. This and all manner of other embarrassing dirt is yours for the small price of buying my dad a drink and sitting down to chat with him. You should be cautioned, however, caveat emptor. Many of my dad’s stories are (to use Douglas Adams’ phrase) apocryphal or at least wildly inaccurate.
I am always excited to have my parents over, though and it does not happen nearly often enough. Dad and Flo have visited three times in the twelve years I have lived in Colorado. One of those time, it was not even to visit me but to go to the Mesa Verde park with my brother Denis’ family. (I was there, but also by invite.)
Well, keep reading and looking, friends! I will post pictures of my travels with my family over here in the United Kingdom as soon as I can get back to my PC and as frequently as possible. To Dad and Flo: I hope you get the chance to read this before you leave so that I can wish you safe and pleasant travels!
Wherever you are today and wherever your travels take you, I wish you clear roads, sunny skies, smooth sailing, or whatever applies to your mode of transit.
Don Bergquist - 27 July 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK