Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Overnight guests

When I was growing up, we didn't have overnight guests. I don't know where we would have put them if we did have them. Oh, we had an occasional "guest" cousin spend the night, but that was a child staying with us children. I don't recall any ADULT spending the night in our home. Cousins could sleep on the floor, I suppose. Adults could never be accommodated that way.

What brings this up is that we were neighbors with a family for 30 years. Alan worked with Jack at the Corps of Engineers, and his wife, Bev, was a stay-at-home mom. They had three children, who were older than my children, but it worked out okay because they were good baby-sitters. Bev watched my children when I worked for a short time after we first moved to Cincinnati, and we got together for various reasons over the years. Mainly, Bev and Jack had a wonderful Christmas Eve party every year, and we so looked forward to that event. They stopped having the party about the time Alan got cancer. In fact, the last year they held their Christmas Eve party was in 2001. Alan was in no shape to go to the party, but he did anyway. We had just gotten home from his first bone marrow transplant. He was one sick cookie, but he wanted to go to Jack and Bev's anyway. We didn't know it would be the last one.

Well, Bev called me the day we got home from Florida and said they were going to be in town, could they stop in. I asked if they wanted to spend the night. Now, folks, I had laundry all over the house -- three weeks worth -- and absolutely no food in the house -- and I'm inviting these long-time friends to spend the night. How unrealistic is that? Well, they accepted the invite and I'm glad they did because we had a wonderful time -- even though the house was less than spotless. I didn't get a chance to clean the kitchen floor. I was able to get the bathrooms cleaned and sparkling, and I pushed all the laundry and junk that wasn't unpacked into the laundry room.

There you have it -- a house presentable to guest as long as no-one opened the laundry-room door. If that had happened we would have had a "Fibber Magee and Molly" event -- things spilling out of the door all over the place.

For your younguns' out there -- Fibber Magee and Molly was a radio program and every week someone opened the door to Fibber Magee's closest which was so full that if you opened the door to the closet, the contents spilled out. It was a funny part of the program, even though you knew what would happen when that door was opened. You can "google" Fibber Magee if you want more information on the oldies radio program.

So, Jack and Bev have left. And Bev left the bathroom spotless -- I wouldn't have expected less from her. And I enjoyed the change -- we had been guests for two weeks at various homes in Florida, and I guess it was my turn to help someone who needed a place to spend the night.

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