Monday, December 28, 2009

Unexpected Guests

Sarah, Stephany, Jami and Maria surprised me with a cake they made for me.

I am from the South where it is commonplace to invite people to stop by for a visit anytime. It’s how I grew up and I like to think I welcome unexpected guests.

When you have unexpected visitors stop by your house, how do you react? Do you ignore the bell-ringing and door-knocking? Or, do you cautiously look out the peep hole or even open the door just a smidge? As much as I hate to admit it, how I react is directly related to two things:

1. Since whoever is out there is unexpected, am I comfortable answering the door from a safety standpoint? (I have to confess here - I watch lots of crime shows and sometimes feel a little paranoid.) So…..if it’s after dark and I can’t see who it is, I turn the porch light on in their faces. Not really hospitable, I know, but they are unexpected. If I had been expecting the visit, I’d have the outside lights on already!


2. Am I showered and dressed? Do I look (fairly) presentable?

Often we get late, unannounced visitors in the form of Matthew’s friends. Well, that’s always ok! We love and welcome these kids.
Having said that, there have been a number of times when they have come for a visit – especially the girls – when I look like death warmed over. I remember last Christmas break when four of them surprised me by making me a cake. I was thrilled to see my beautiful girls. I had been sick all day and felt like a dog, but I tried to hide all of that and enjoy the gift of their company - and their chocolate cake! (I’m sure the pajamas and lack of make-up gave nothing away.)

Then, there was the time that an exchange student visited. Come to think of it, I think that was last Christmas, too. He was such a nice kid, from Australia, as I recall. He had family in the area, so he wasn’t a “true” exchange student. Anyway, Matthew’s group of friends really enjoyed his company and he hung out with them and spent a good bit of time here during his visit to the States. He was delightful and so polite! Ken and I enjoyed his company very much, too. And then there was the night that a whole gaggle of friends showed up together with him. I had had a terrible cold for days and was really dragging. Still, praying I wasn’t contagious, I made hot fudge cake for the kids and loved hearing their enjoyment and laughter – by-products of this group of friends being together. Ah, the stuff memories are made of…..

So, what is the moral here? Well, I am learning to welcome those who stop by regardless of what I look like or how I feel. Visitors may be aghast at how I greet them at the door, but I do believe what they will remember later – much later! – is how I welcomed them when they arrive - not how I looked when I opened the door. I hope so, anyway.

No comments: