A dear friend and her family recently stopped by my home as they were returning from visiting relatives in another state. She had called me a few weeks earlier to indicate their expected arrival time. I was delighted that they included me in their travel plans! I welcomed the opportunity to offer hospitality and a break in their travel day.
In times past, I might easily have needed to completely disrupt my daily schedule for one or two entire days just to get my house presentable—finally get all the laundry picked up, washed, dried, and put away; finally throw out all the old newspapers and magazines that have been cluttering up the living room; finally clean all the bathroom surfaces; finally put away the unfinished craft project on the kitchen table; finally pitch the unused leftovers in the fridge so that there will be room for fresh food; finally sweep the front porch and remove the dead flowers from the pots…does this sound familiar?!
This time I was pleasantly surprised that it was much easier to get ready for my guests! I discovered that my simple daily routines have helped me to manage clutter and create cleanliness on a consistent basis. All I needed to do was simply refresh my home, which required considerably less time. Yahoo!
Here is my simple strategy for summer hospitality:
- SIMPLE PREPARATIONS: I wrote down my cleaning chores on one card—dust furniture, run sweeper, and clean bathroom. I set my timer for 20 minutes for each chore and finished in 1 hour.
- SIMPLE FOOD: I wrote down my menu and grocery list on one card—veggies, fruit, and chips. I decided to have a simple salad bar with everything displayed in bowls. I cut up the veggies before leaving for church and rinsed off the fruit after I came home.
- SIMPLE ENTERTAINMENT: With no TV, radio, or electronics to distract us, we simply enjoyed table conversation! It was a treat to share updates about our families. Age-appropriate toys were readily available in cubical bins in the living room when the children were finished eating.
- SIMPLE DESTINATIONS: Take advantage of the opportunity to share special hometown hangouts, such as a favorite park or museum. Oftentimes these are free! We chose to drive downtown to see the HUGE “Lincoln & Modern Man” display in front of the Miami County Courthouse.
- SIMPLE CLEANUP: Since there were no pots and pans, cleanup was a breeze! All I needed to do was return the veggie and fruit bowls to the fridge and wash the plates, glasses, and silverware.
- SIMPLE LEFTOVERS: I will be enjoying a few quick and easy lunches this week while remembering the fun fellowship with my friends.
What is your favorite super simple summer menu to share with friends?