Here’s how you’d be received if you decided to one day show up at our place unannounced: coolly. Sure, I’d probably be happy to see you, but I’d also feel anxious because my place would likely be a mess and distracted because I’d likely have been in the middle of something before the doorbell rang. No big deal and we’d get over it, but who knows? I can honestly say that, apart from my mother, I’ve never had a drop-in since I moved out of the house.
I likely inherited some of my discomfort with drop-ins from my folks. I’m sure they frown on them so that’s probably why they’re unfamiliar to me.
Here in Kevin’s hometown, drop-ins are a way of life and happen all the time. Our day began with a drop-in from a cousin of Kevin’s who knew we were in town. It was a pleasant surprise to see him and led to breakfast at a local restaurant. An hour of catching up and we were back at Kevin’s brother’s place. With nothing going on for our afternoon, Kevin’s suggestion was we go out and do some drop-ins.
Kevin grew up within a large extended “family” in friends with whom he spent a lot of his childhood. That large family has grown into many other families and Kevin and his siblings are certainly still a cherished limb on the tree. These were some of the people we visited this afternoon.
Every time, we would pull up in the driveway in a car nobody would recognize and wave and say hello after being greeted at the door. Everyone greeted us with huge smiles, big hugs (none of those flimsy ones) and exclamations of welcoming. While spending time in the yard with a man who Kevin described as one of his male role-models, I noted that he repeatedly said, “I’m so happy to see you,” or “I’m so glad you came over.” It was then that I realized that the greatest gift of these drop-ins was that everyone made both of us feel like they were truly and genuinely happy to see us. When we left, we were again wrapped in affectionate hugs and
This has become one of my favourite things about visiting Six Nations. Kevin’s community is welcoming and wonderful and it gives me a lot to aspire to. The people that we spend time with are warm, friendly, inviting and without pretense. Their homes aren’t pristine and nobody cares. I’ve talked before about how, just after I’d moved out and was having nerves about hosting a dinner party, my mom counselled me that the guests weren’t coming for the food, “they’re coming to spend time with you.” Kevin’s extended family puts that into practice every time we see them, with or without warning. It’s probably a trait of country living and it feels really nice. Given that I’m already considering relocation, maybe this is the kind of place we could fit in…while we’re still where we are, feel free to drop in sometime and help me polish up my warm welcome.
What do you think – is it okay to drop in at someone else or are you a call ahead kind of guy/gal?
My family doesn’t drop in on me, but they do like to make plans on short notice. Usually they’ll make tentative plans a few days in advance, and I’ll have 7 hours’ notice that they’re definitely coming when they call to say they’re on their way. It’s not ideal, but it’s hard for farmers to make plans too far in advance.
I never used to mind drop-in’s, but now I’m very aware of how much of a disaster my place usually is and that embarrasses me. Now, if you were to drop in while my place is clean…. go for it!