We have great neighbors. The guy across the street is a retired car salesman and always has time to chat. He invited me into his house today. It is lovely. His wife did not mind that I came barging in when she was not expecting it. The house looked like it was just waiting there all lovely and welcoming for me to barge into. This is not what our house is doing. It is busting out of the door all busy and scattered and would be apologetically distressed if someone barged into it. In fact, last week our other neighbor stopped by to talk about a broken fence and there were suitcases and Christmas presents and strollers in our front room. Last night, upon seeing the fire glowing in our bathroom window (our tub has a fire place!) he came over concerned because he thought there was a fire. In our front room are suitcases, (from a different trip) toys and a circle of tape marking off marble boundaries for a game of marbles we played last week. If you don't know the back story, our house looks disastrously disheveled.
Reflecting on all of this I think I stumbled on a perfect win-win community arrangement. Retired people have lovely homes and sometimes lack visitors. Tired people (us) have visitors but lack lovely homes. What if we could work out an arrangement whereby visitors are entertained at retired people's homes? Or what if retired people maintain our home and we maintain the stream of visitors? (Or what if I just stop writing this and go clean my darn house?)