A Story by Malati Marlene Shinazy
I have two good friends, one woman, one man, who each live 2-3 hours drive from me. “Mi casa es su casa” is not just a casual term for either of these friends. It is quite literal. Not only are their homes always open to me, they’ve given me keys, so I can pop in whenever I like.
Like many families, their homes have designated guest rooms. Unlike many, however, I am the nearly the only guest — I’m at one home or the other at least monthly. Over time, the guest rooms have been affectionately re-labeled, “Malati’s Room.” One has a bed I gifted my friend years back; the other has a bed I recommended during a refurnishing spree. I have purchased favorite high-loft pillows to leave in each room, and have moved the table lamps around to accommodate my late-night reading patterns (light over my right shoulder, please).
One of these guest rooms is a gallery of my daughter’s college artwork, and includes a triptych of photos of my kids at three stages of their childhood. Come to think of it, it has more of my children’s presence than my own room at home.
I most always call and ask the same question, “Is there room at the Inn this weekend?” And, quite naturally, the answer is always some variation of, “Of course; your room is always ready for you, Madame.” Still the gracious guest, I alert them my approximate arrival time. But, as it’s often late at night, I sneak quietly in like an errant teen, careful not to awaken them.
In the morning however, out of the guest rooms I come, the ceremonial coffee awaiting me, with milk, if I remember to bring it. At some time during the stay, we catch up on gossip at one house and solve all the problems of the world at the other. I always have other tasks on my visit agenda, but protect time for the treasured chatting sessions.
These guest rooms have been mine for over a decade now, and I seldom think how truly fortunate I am to have such caring friends. Raised to be well mannered, I often bring a little something to thank them, but staying in these guest rooms has more meaning to me than I express.
But now, as I sit in the living room chair I always occupy during a visit, while my friend prepares our evening meal, I realize…
This Is Wonderful! I am one of the most fortunate women in the world. I am home here too.
I have two precious friends whose guest rooms have been deeded over to me. Guest rooms aren’t really guest room in these homes, they are Friends’ Rooms.
photo by elisaself
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