What do you do when you have overnight guests?
I like to offer them the gift of laundry.
But let me start with this.
Do you have the luxury of having a guest room that is ready to go, with clean sheets, a guest bathroom – pretty much like an in-home hotel suite? You are blessed if that is the case.Or is your situation like it is in my home? You give up your master bedroom and bath for your guests?
My husband and I really enjoy having guests, and we don't mind giving up our room at all. But not always during the hot summer months when our temps get up into the 100s! Our upstairs is very hot, and who in their right mind wants hot, grumpy, irritated hosts? When the weather is a little bit cooler, we like joining our teens upstairs in “their area,” and sharing a bathroom with them. It actually makes us feel like we’re visiting someone else’s home.
Of course I change the sheets, vacuum and dust when out-of-towners are coming – but I have to admit, I also do a little “deeper” cleaning than usual. If you’re giving up your room for 2-4 days, do you really want your guests to live amongst your clutter?
I’ll sometimes leave an extra little touch of fresh flowers, or a few gifts on the bed, or bath items in the bathroom for the guests to use and take with them. But not always - it depends what I have on-hand. When visiting my friend Barb, in Wisconsin, she had numerous magazines laid out in the bedroom, plus our favorite chocolates to munch on! Yum!
I also try to be organized with the meals I will be serving, because it allows more time with our guests. I thought I’d share a breakfast recipe that is tradition in our home, when we have company. I love this recipe because you can prepare it 1-2 days before the guests arrive, throw it in the fridge – and then it’s ready for the oven, any morning you want to cook a hot breakfast!
It’s one of our family’s favorites.
1 pound bulk sausage or links, cooked
1 ½ cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 ½ cups grated cheese
1 T. minced onions
6 slices bread, crusts only, cut in small pieces
(Small can sliced mushrooms, drained – optional)
Cook sausage, drain. Beat all other ingredients except for bread; add sausage and bread pieces and mix well. Pour in greased 9x13 dish. Cover and set overnight. Bake 350, 30-40 minutes.
(I always double this recipe and make 2 pans)
Hosting out-of-town guests also gives me the opportunity to accomplish miscellaneous chores that I’ve been putting off! What a perfect way to kick it into high gear – when you know you’ll be sharing your home with another family! So a day or two before my guests arrive, I pull my kids in to help! No friends over and no going to friends’ houses, I tell my kids.
I pull out my trusty notebook and organize the chores. Our kids do better with lists. I think because they’re visual it helps them stay organized, they can get the jobs done on their own timeframe, and they don’t have to hear mom barking orders!
It’s actually very rewarding to all work together. And when the guests arrive – No! Things are not perfect. Things don’t always flow smoothly, but at least you know you’ve given it your best effort to make things enjoyable and relaxing for all –for the guests and the hosts!
Oh, and what about the gift of laundry?
I offer my guests the use of my washer and dryer. It’s a gift to be able to go home from vacation with clean clothes. I always make the offer, and I give free-reign to my laundry room.
Along with a comfy bed, good food and conversation, have you thought about offering your laundry facilities to your guests?
(More canning! This time cherry jam (on the left) and cherry chutney (on the right). We haven’t tried either yet so I’ll let you know if they’re good!)