Older That Dirt: Keep Those Cupboard Doors Closed

There was a time many years ago when my sister and I really enjoyed having company. She would start cooking at least two days ahead, and I would do the deep cleaning that we had not done since the last time we had company.

When we lived in Reno, Nev., everyone wanted to visit. There is something about living in Reno that draws visitors to your home. If we had moved to North Dakota, I doubt that ANYONE would come!

My mother had an odd superstition about visitors. She said that if you left kitchen cupboards open, it meant you were going to have company. My mother liked company. She did not work outside the home, and had plenty of time to entertain people. (Although she did say more than once, "After three days, the fish start stinkin.'")

I, on the other hand had a full time job to go to. When people come to visit in Reno, it is all about casinos, buffets and not being on any kind of schedule. If they only have a few days, they are going to make every minute count.

Your guests may have planned their visit many months in advance. Sure, they could stay at a hotel, but are certain YOU would not want them to. To them this is a visit. To us, it is work! So you dig out all the extra pillows and blankets and make floor beds for everyone.

If you have pets, you should expect them to go a little berserk. They are on a schedule just as you are, and do not appreciate these people entering your property at all hours. Your guests most certainly do not want to be a problem. They want to take you to dinner, out to the casinos and just show how much they appreciate the hospitality. Even if you gain 10 pounds while they are appreciating you.

When you have to get up for work in the morning, it is a bit like stepping through a mine field. Feet are sticking out everywhere and there is snoring that could suck the drapes in!

Going to work has suddenly become an escape. You can forget all about what may or may not be going on at home. Just please don't let the dogs out! They may decide not to come back.

By the time your loved ones are ready to say "Good-bye" you have a fixed smile on your face, and are not sure who's side of the family they actually belong to. You hug everyone, and tell them how WONDERFUL it was having them. As the car pulls from the front of your home, you start feeling guilty that you are not sad that they are leaving. Does that make you a bad person? There is that "guilt" thing again.

Sister and I have lived in four states, although we spent the first 40 years in California. Our whole family was in California then. It seems that once your parents have gone, you realize that they were indeed the glue that held the family together.

Over the years, we have surely been someone's house guests and certainly stayed longer than the three-day rule. I have to think that perhaps we were those guests that may have inconvenienced people without ever realizing it.

When you have friends and family who you love, you just bite the bullet. Keep smiling and look forward to the next visit. Perhaps they would enjoy a hotel in Laughlin.

Now that sister and I are old, we don't do so good with company anymore. Since moving to Kingman, no one has asked to visit. I don't know what that means. But so far it works for us.

Sister does have a habit of leaving the kitchen cupboard doors open. I have to smack her with the fly-swatter!