Monday, August 29, 2011

Vacation on a Dime: Part 1

Rule Number One

We left on our family vacation on August first.  Of course we were late.  Of course.  We had wanted to get to Billings the first night, which means a 13 hour drive.  With the time change, we gain an hour, so clock-wise, it's a twelve hour drive.  But we had arranged to stay with friends, and it always seems so rude to roll in late. 

But this time we did.  We rolled into Billings at 10:30, and yet, Val and Ron and Ken with all their wonderful hospitality, were there to greet us and even feed us.  Thank you again for all your kindnesses.

This is rule number one for the Vacation on a Dime method.  When someone offers you a stopping off point, take them up on the offer. 

Val lived in our area during her early childhood, and still has many relatives in the area.  Joe got to know her and Ron through a series of funerals in Val's extended family several years ago.  When we first stayed there during our last trip out west two years ago, I had never met them.  But Joe assured me that these people, who were strangers strangers to me, seemed very genuine in their desire to have us stop over.  And they have been nothing but hospitable and kind.  Val and I are facebook friends, so have continued to get to know each other, and I consider myself blessed to have had opportunity to know them.  My life is richer for taking a near stranger up on an offer of hospitality. 

When I was growing up, there were eight us kids in the family.  We were often exhorted to not impose. It was perhaps one of the most often used reasons for not doing something, "We wouldn't want to impose."  So going out on a limb like this is very foreign to me.  Joe's family was very gregarious.  They have the gift to make friends wherever they are.  Joe's grandparents have even been known to exchange addresses and keep in touch with people they have met in cafes around the United States.

It's still very difficult for me to accept openness from strangers.  Even so, I do wholeheartedly encourage it.  Life is richer for the risk.

No comments: