What's your favorite memory of staying somewhere with a fabulous host?
When I think of farm girl hospitality, I think of my Grandma Gloria. She lived on the Puget Sound in Washington, and visiting her home was always a special treat. There's a saying: "Treat your family like guests and your guests like family." Grandma Gloria had this down. Here's three things I learned from her that can make anyone staying over feel right at home and want to come back:
1. Make your home liveable, not an untouchable museum. A home should be attractive and comfortable. But if everything within reach is breakable, your guests may feel like fleeing for safety. There's nothing worse than being afraid you'll knock Granny's vintage crystal lamp off it's tiny marble table. Keep the breakables safe in out-of-reach curios and up high on wall shelves. The furnishings where people sit and hang out should be sturdy, approachable, and comfortable. After all, when you say, "Make yourself at home," your guests will appreciate it if you mean it.
3. Be prepared when your guests aren't. Grandma Gloria had a coat rack in the corner where she kept extra coats, scarves, umbrellas, and a row of boots lined up beneath. We didn't always think to bring such things in the summer. Sometimes we'd leave home with the sun in the sky, only to discover rain at Grandma's. And though we might've brought sandals, boots are better on a pebbly beach where you're digging for gooey-ducks or clams. People don't always think about what they'll need when they get to where they're going. How many times have you forgotten a toothbrush? You're guests will really appreciate it when you're prepared to fill in the gaps.
Grandma Gloria was a natural at hospitality. I could go on with the things I observed. But I'm sure you have lots of ideas too.
What are some of your favorite places to visit? I'd love to hear your story.
Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,
"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."