Just when you think you can’t add one more, you always can — one more chocolate, one more cup of tea, one more guest! My house is stuffed to the gills right now, and I love it. My parents and brothers were already scheduled for a visit this weekend when I got a call from Aunt Elspeth telling me that she and Uncle Mike wanted to come up for my Messiah concert. Since they live two hours away, I invited them to spend the night. “Do you have enough room?” she asked. “Of course,” I said and she laughed: “You’re certainly your mother’s daughter!”
Ten people aren’t really a lot, but in a house with only two bedrooms, one of which is occupied by little ones, it can be a bit tricky working out the sleeping logistics. However, with some creativity and a few sleeping bags, anything is possible. My philosophy is that a bed can be created wherever there’s floor space. It might not be the most comfortable bed in the world, but it means that we can be together.
I’ve learned the skill of squeezing friends and family into my house from my expert parents. When I was two years old, they both left professional jobs in the city and moved into a tiny 480 square foot cabin in the forest. It had a single bedroom for me and my sister and a sleeping loft for my parents. Despite the cramped quarters, my parents entertained all the time, hosting entire families for weekends or holding large dinner parties. Even after they built a bigger house, my childhood memories include people sleeping randomly all over the house — on sofas, on the floor, on pull-out beds, on air mattresses. Lack of beds never compromised my parents’ desire to connect with people, and I greatly admire that quality in them.
Even though I sometimes feel frustrated by the stubborn knee-deep layer of sleeping bags, extra pillows, and clothes strewn on the floor that goes along with having guests in the house, I remind myself that what it represents is supremely important: a home full of warmth, positive energy, laughter, and love where people want to be. So that’s why I’ll happily continue to stuff ’em in. Please just tell me a few hours in advance if you want to claim a corner.