Some people dislike surprises, but I love them, excluding, of course, practical jokes and car breakdowns. But like an old warhorse, I am at my best when the bugle sounds.This past weekend was the perfect example of my favorite kind of spontaneity. I found out Friday that a favorite college chum and her lovely husband would be spending a few days at Chateau Gillette as of Sunday midday.
This was all good news, except that Murphy and his law were in action, as is often the case. The day before my friend called, the remodel began on my guest bathroom. In short, it kind of doesn’t exist and the guest room is filled with everything that was once in the bathroom.
I jumped into Plan B, which meant making my son’s former bedroom and bathroom upstairs presentable for guests. Allowing guests upstairs is always dicey and, in truth, I hadn’t even opened that bedroom door for six months.
We will just say Saturday was a full day, with major hustle and bustle. But knowing that I was cleaning and/or decorating for a reason makes all the difference.
Still, I was a tiny bit nervous. This is an old, near and dear friend who has seen my best and worst and never judges, but she is an interior designer, artist and woman of taste. In short, I wanted to impress her just a little, as women will do. Yes, it’s silly. Yes, it’s in our DNA.
This, plus always wanting my guests to feel pampered, sent me directly to the coffee shop for an extra-large, heavily caffeinated drink. I then became the “White Tornado.” Pine needles, glitter and ribbon flew in all directions, decorations went up, beds got made, things got dusted, sorted and stored and the vacuum hummed.
I had a checklist and I went through it with the focus of an Olympic hopeful in training. It was glorious and a bit nuts but as I put on the finishing touches and collapsed into bed, it was with a big smile on my face.
The visit was a huge success and my friend was full of compliments, which has gotten my holiday off to a quite perfect start. My halls are decked; my heart is merry. Come on by, but be forewarned you will need to dash upstairs if you need to powder your nose.
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who adores hosting friends from afar. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.