Hospitality: When a house becomes a home

One of my big fears about moving to BHFH was that it would be harder for us to have people visit, hang out, feel at home. If Bill and I had a mission statement for our marriage, providing hospitality would be front and center. I hoped that people we love would feel comfortable hanging out here, but I didn’t know. I hoped that our housemates would be comfortable with our family and friends, but, again. I didn’t know. Not everyone appreciates having a rambunctious 21 month old or people they don’t know invading their space.

marton and leila asleep in library Mostly it’s worked out well. Clearly our son-in-law and granddaughter feel comfortable enough in our home to fall asleep in the library shared by all 21 residents. Leila loves to ride the elevator, play hide and seek around the dining room and explore all the different staircases. She has a place she prefers to sit at the dining room table and when we do a round of names (when we have guests at dinner) she usually pipes up with “LEILA!” Our house mates have been patient with her noise and our clear adoration of her. One of the big pluses for her is having a whole new set of aunts and uncles whose names she is gradually learning, sort of. Clarissa is known as Issa and Ryan is Iyan. Continue reading

There’s a baby in the kitchen

It wasn’t that unusual over the years to walk into our kitchen in the morning and find someone we didn’t recognize.

baby in the kitchen2We were lucky that our kids felt free to invite their friends for extended stays. And in Florida, the sphere of visitors expanded as Carol’s brother, Jim, and his wife, Karen, brought friends to help them sail the boat they kept at the end of our dock.

Still, I can’t remember walking into our kitchen and finding a baby we weren’t expecting!

That’s happened a couple of times at the Friends House, most recently this weekend with the appearance in the kitchen of 13-month-old Alice and her parents Brittany and Andrew. Continue reading