Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photo A Day, Day 23: Entrance

My mom used to get very nervous and slightly flustered every time she was expecting company. After I was married, I was talking to her about getting ready to host a large party with my husband and she told me, with just a hint of envy in her voice, “You have such a gift of hospitality.” Her name was Martha, and her friends often teased her that she was well named, because if Jesus had been coming to her house, she would absolutely have been the one fussing over whether there was cream for the coffee instead of sitting at His feet, enjoying His company. I, however, tend to be more of a Mary, preparing carefully in advance for guests but once they’re here, spending less time worrying about their needs and more time enjoying their company.

But that’s not to say that I’m not concerned about making my guests feel comfortable and welcomed. That is very important to me. I try very hard to make my house feel welcoming and cozy. I scrub the floors and the tables, I put everything in its place, I light candles, I make sure there’s plenty of soap and towels and toilet paper and food, I set out snacks and wine glasses and cocktail napkins. And when my guests pull up in my driveway, I meet them at the front door.


As a hostess, I feel like the entrance to my home is the first impression a guest gets of my hospitality, and I want to make it a pleasant impression. I turn the chandelier on to a low glow, I make sure the rugs are laying properly, I clear out enough hangers in the hall closet that I can hang guests’ coats neatly, I light a candle and put flowers on the hall table, I put decorations and plants along the walkway and the front stairs. And for just a few days every spring, Mother Nature herself decorates the entrance to my house by sending our magnolia tree into magnificent blossom.


The deep pink buds explode into white flowers with bright pink tips, bursting with color against the pale beige and dark green canvas of the house behind it. Our front yard won’t sustain much other than evergreen shrubs, hostas, and a handful of dwarf irises which won’t bloom for another month, so the splash of bright pink is doubly striking as the only color around. Those blossoms may be spring announcing its entrance, but I appreciate the fact that she does it so conveniently in front of MY entrance.

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