The last week plus has been amazing. While M and I were running something akin to a homey hotel, it was crowded, noisy, schedule and plan for showers, and a truly wonderful experience. Everyone was gracious, happy, grateful, and terrifically funny. People cooked, cleaned, helped out with anything and everything, and were exceptional guests. I left for work every morning having eating a really good breakfast prepared and cleaned up by someone else, had a lunch made just for me (when I remembered to take it) by one of our guests, and dinner every night was a gregarious, communal affair. Since most everyone was up early to go run in the mountains, lights were out and people mostly asleep or at least settled by 9:30 in the evening, giving me time to do my part-time job work and stress about the drama at my full-time job. In that respect it was the week from Hell.
Our final 4 guests left this morning for a day at the coast and then the long flights home. Since it was 110 here today I wished I were going with them. I feel sad about the departures, because it will be at least another year or longer before we are together again. It was a week of bodies everywhere – like some gigantic slumber party – and some memorable events that go down into the history books.
A couple of our last-minute additions were skinny dipping in the pool their first night, and while I appreciate the sight of pretty bodies as much as the next girl it’s kind of disconcerting to walk through my living room and see naked men standing on the pool deck. Our backyard is not very private – there is a large greenbelt behind the house, the one home next door is empty at this time, but we have iron fences and very little shrubbery around the perimeter of the property and gates from which you can see straight into our RV parking area and back yard. M had to explain that while we (mostly) do not care if they traipse around naked, there are children and far more conservative folks walking by all day long and neighbors across the street will likely have a heart attack and report them for indecent exposure. On top of which – I began having irrational fears about wrinkles and skin cancer and trying to politely ask if everyone was utilizing sunscreen … everywhere.
There were 5 ladies in our group as well, and where they live topless sunbathing is completely normal. M was home the day that happened, and had to have another conversation that while we (mostly) don’t care if they wander around nude from the waist up we live in a conservative neighborhood, our backyard is not very private, etc. M is so much better at that stuff and I am glad he was the one to handle it.
Later on the topless sunbathing conversation day we had a visit from our local law enforcement. As soon as I opened the door to them I was sure we were about to be arrested and labeled as pedophiles because some neighborhood children had seen our guests wandering around pants-less. and topless. But no, the curmudgeon across the street had complained about all the cars parked on the street (6 extra cars around our place). Only 2 were parked on the street in front of our house; the other 4 were in our driveway and the neighbor’s empty home driveway (with advance permission). There was no problem – the neighbor apparently made it sound as if it were a danger to the pedestrians – but my wild imaginings at their appearance on my doorstep had us all laughing.
I had a glorious 24 hours on Friday night to Saturday night while everyone was out awaiting the early race start on Saturday morning. My house was absolutely clean when I got home – everything neatly put away and tidied by our guests, several thank you notes, monetary contributions, and small gifts for me on the table. I had dinner out with my daughter and her fiance Friday night, then spent most of Saturday cleaning and decluttering. I make a lot more progress whenever M is not around to look and express irrational desire to keep 3 out of 4 things I want to sell, donate, or throw away.
The race itself was good and everyone finished without injuries. M got to see and spend time with other dinosaurs from his racing days, new friendships cemented in the dirt and heat. And our summer house guest season is now concluded. I miss them all already.