A few months ago I wrote that we have an empty nest. Having a 16.5 year gap between my oldest and youngest child has resulted in a longer-than-usual child rearing time-frame. Daughter #2, aka Guzzy, moved out last October, and has not (yet) returned.
So – we did the logical thing, and rented out her room. We dipped our toes slowly into the AirBnB waters… and now we regularly host a variety of guests who temporarily share our rustic (with A/C and other amenities) log home in the woods. There is a young couple ‘napping’ (or whatever) in the room even as I write this.
It has been really interesting. In the few months since we’ve been renting the room, we’ve hosted people from many states and countries of various races and multiple generations. This experience has turned our home into a mini melting pot.
A few weeks ago we hosted a charming young man and his mom, on her very first visit to the States from China, to see him graduate from the UW. She spoke no English, yet her pride was obvious and it was endearing to see the young man dote on his mom.
Early one Saturday morning, we had a young and adorable Asian couple in residence. After returning from taking Cleo from a walk, I heard a surprised squeal from the bedroom–the cause of which was immediately apparent. Cleo had interpreted the sightly ajar bedroom door as an invitation to go in and ‘nose’ the young woman awake. I sheepishly retrieved our overly friendly hound and shut their door firmly behind me. Most of our guests really enjoy Cleo–but this couple did not appreciate her early wake-up call.
Another interesting couple spent several days with us exploring the area. They live continents apart from each other; but they regularly meet up at various locations in the US to explore together. He was a talker! We’ve had a model stay with us while she had a photo shoot in town (she was absolutely lovely — her legs came up to my armpits) and a surprising number of people stay with us for a one night stop-over in their travels.
Dan is an amazing host, and is generally more engaging with the guests than I am. I tend to show them the basics and then retreat into areas of the house that are off limits to our guests, such as our den, which is where I am now. We try to give our guests space, even as we share a space; and some prefer more conversation than others. Dan tends to be more gregarious than me, and (unlike myself) he has the amazing ability to stay awake after 9:30 pm; whereas, I am better suited for early morning conversation and engagement.
The extra cleaning and laundry is a bit of a hassle though. Last night Guzzy spent the night – but she had to sleep on the couch, because I had already prepped the room/bed for tonight’s guests. Of course, she is always welcome here — but she just might need to make a reservation ahead of time if she wants to stay in her (former) bedroom.