Nothing attracts friends and family to visit like moving to the country. Don’t get me wrong, Cowboy and I love our friends and family but we have done more entertaining in the last three years than the last 12 years combined. My theory is that the smell of fresh air, the promise of a porch sitting evening, and just plain old peace and quiet is as enticing for folks as honey is to flies.
For years, we lived in the suburbs in your typical three-bedroom-two-bath house. We had a lovely guest room ready to welcome friends and family. But alas, the room sat empty and I can count on one hand the number of times it was actually used. So when we packed up and moved to the country and into our one-bedroom barndiminium, I was not prepared for the onslaught. (For those who don’t know, City Girl, a.k.a. my sister-in-law, dubbed our place the barndiminium. It’s a barn with living quarters, workshop, and horse stalls, a great big porch, and it is country living at it’s finest.)
Since moving into the barndiminium, we’ve had friends and family sleep on the sofa, the floor, and on chairs and ottomans. They showed up, and we found places to stack them. We’ve hosted dinners and cookouts and packed 12+ people into our little living space. So much so, that last summer Cowboy built a guest suite upstairs. And thank goodness Cowboy is handy, or we’d still be spreading pillows and blankets out on the floor.
Our move to the country even inspired both sets of our parents to follow suit. My parents came just 11 months after we moved, and Cowboy’s parents just two months ago. And let me just say that they are all hooked. We’ve got dads driving tractors and feeding horses, and moms enjoying porch time and deer watching. City Girl even has dibs on the barndiminium apartment for her retirement digs.
We’ve seen friends and family that we haven’t seen in years, and all because it’s enticing to take the long drive out of the city and head to the rolling hills, wildflowers, and calm. And, I’m guessing you need this allure to attract visitors when your most interesting personal skill is that you can scoop a darn clean horse stall or make a mean enchilada dinner (obviously not at the same time, and with much hand washing in between). I digress … so if you want to see your family more often, become the vacation destination. Oh, and it helps if you have a small zoo at your disposal as well. Nothing will attract the kiddos like the allure of petting a donkey, riding a horse, or chasing around the barn cats.
The bottom line, it’s a good thing to have an interesting place to hang your hat since otherwise we’d still be looking at a pretty but empty guest room. And if you need a break from your family, settle down in the suburbs.