Recently, an acquaintance paid a brief visit to my home. Upon entering, the guest looked about and “smirked”. Yeah, I will call it a smirk. I have visited this person’s home and it is quite stylish, very formal and tidy.
OK, being completely honest – I am NOT the world’s best housekeeper. I am NOT the worst either. My house is a simple farm house, no fancy furnishings or carpets. Everything is more “homey” and functional. Yes, there is a mule halter hanging on the closet door handle and I have a saddle in the guest room.
I keep up with the laundry. All dishes are washed and put away promptly and counter tops are cleaned. Beds are sort of made (dogs have a tendency to unmake them). I also sweep and mop at least four times a week. With windows open, my house is filled with good, clean country air – and dust and pollen. I need to dust and wash windows and put away some clutter – so yeah, my house looks “lived-in”.
I have a dog door, and two dogs – hairy, shedding dogs. So, there are little hair balls hiding under beds and chairs. On any given day, there are probably muddy little paw prints about as well.
So, the fact is – if you come to my house looking for dust and dirt and dog hair – you will find it. But, if you come to my house looking for hospitality, friendship, warmth, acceptance, and a hot meal – you will find that too. Visitors are welcome to put their feet up on the coffee table or grab a cozy blanket and snuggle up on the couch. I don’t freak out if a drink or a snack is spilled. In fact, dogs handle most spills rather quickly and efficiently. I invite visiting youngsters to pull out toys and rocking horses and crayons and books, spread them about the living room – and just play.
So, here is my question. What is more important, housekeeping or hospitality? Maybe it is just a personal preference, but I want people to “feel at home” in a cluttered, lived-in house with a few stray hair balls and muddy paw prints – oh, and some dust and dog snot on the windows.