As time went on, we moved to a different neighborhood, and my social circle changed. I didn't hang out with Nana's granddaughter very much, and Nana and I drifted apart. But her lesson of hospitality always remained with me. My husband and I stopped by to see her a few years ago. Walking into her home, I felt that not much had changed. Sure, some furnishings were different. Things had been moved around. But it still felt like home - it was still the same place I had so treasured when I was young.
I don't live in a traditional neighborhood. And so far, my only experience with kids in my immediate vicinity were the ones who stole our shot glasses out of the backyard Beer Shack. But I remain optimistic. As my daughter gets older, and starts bringing friends over to play, I hope that they feel like our house is their home as well. A welcoming home is not about the decor, or the stuff that's in it. It's about the door's-always-open mindset of the people who live there. Nana was a hospitality master. Her home was nothing fancy. Her possessions weren't grand or fine. But her home encouraged me, comforted me, and made me feel like I belonged. I will be forever grateful for the role Nana played in creating the golden memories of my youth. I'm excited to pass her hospitality lessons along.
If you had a hospitality ninja in your life, I would love to hear about them. Share your stories on Facebook with the hashtag #goodliving!