January 07, 2013
The thing about having visitors almost every weekend is that it becomes a great balancing act: teetering between real life and life lived among company. Sometimes it gets a little heavy. We (because it is a "we" thing when it involves Champ, Bear, Ace, and me all wound up together) can- and occasionally do- reach the point where our cup runneth over to the level of flooding. That's when both lifestyles need to be reined in. Actually lock the doors. Say no. Respond gently to those who don't quite understand their postponed visitation rights, but still stand our ground. This past fall there was a lot on the plate of "real life" and so we closed down visits for a month. The guilt dissipated by the second week.
the tent migrated upstairs
There are rewards to having guests of course, as there is nothing quite like the effervescent trinity of camaraderie, great eats, and shared memories. It's good for all involved and it keeps that chi moving to every blessed corner of this house's foundation. I pinky swear promise I truly, honestly love having it regularly filled with activity. Not everyone is at the level of entertaining we are, but you know what you gain when gathering with just one girlfriend over a warm mug on a snowy evening. Chainsawing wood for the winter next to your very best friend (notice I kept that one unisex).
Each month brings a new variation on the theme. It's in the recognition that this is such a short season of our lives that I embrace the bed and breakfast feel of it all. After all, those who know me know that it has always been my dream to run an inn- I just never imagined it playing out like this, but "this" feels good too.
Soon guitar lessons and sports and school days will add a certain rigidity to our hours. Flexibility will be at a premium. The guests will travel the road north less often and some will have children entering into the very same time constraints as our household. I know all this to be true and so I swing the door wide to our threshold now while I can.
Holidays and tradition tend to jostle with guests for their turn to enter. We try to make time for them both, although admittedly this is the hardest aspect of navigating through our dual life (well no, actually it's tied with pre and post cleaning of house). Some traditions can lose their intimacy when shared too broadly. This weekend brought the Feast of the Epiphany. Bear and I led the wise men to the manger. We scented the air with francinsense and prayed gratitude for the birth of baby Jesus. My in-laws, visiting for the weekend, joined us for Sunday's mass. The sacred was shared.
I can't even begin to explain all of what's going on here
Old Befana arrived on the heels of those Magi as this morning Bear awoke to a room tidied over with glittering lights and a drop of chocolate. Childhood magic? Why it was twinkling in his eye.
These celebrations usher in the next winter wave: family motto dinner, our version of boxing day... sacred, binding traditions with only the 4 of us as participants. As it should be. But then the door swings open again: the Superbowl, Feast of St. Atticus, Valentine's day step in and with these celebrations- more guests, more robust revelry, more angles of tradition.