The Visit

Each time I am visited by family or friends I go through a series of emotions. Before they get here I am full of anticipation. My wife and I try to make sure that we have any possible food or device that the visitor will need. It may be that we know they eat a certain cereal, so we make sure that we go to the store and buy it. Or we may know they like a certain type of meal. Then I’m headed to the meat market to pick up some steaks or hamburger. Or maybe I’m running down to the store to make sure ever a certain type of beer or alcohol is on hand. We pay a lot of attention especially to what the children might need. So, usually after a visit that includes children there is a plethora of cereal choices in the kitchen. Of course, we usually try to give the cereal to the parents so that they can take it with them.
But more times than not that cereal box is forgotten about and ends up staying in the kitchen. Another interesting item that is bought and usually forgotten about is soda. Usually, when we buy soda for a visit we buy those big 2 L bottles. The same goes for milk and orange juice. We buy some large bottles and almost every time the bottles end up in the refrigerator with only a portion of the bottle gone. Then there is the cleaning of the sheets. Before each visit there must be some unwritten law that says all sheets and all beds must be freshly cleaned before a visit.
Of course, there is all the planning for the different activities and events that are supposed to take place. At the tree farm, there is a pond. I have worked hard or should I say had a lot of fun, fishing local lakes and bringing back any largemouth bass that is 14 inches or longer. I put the bass into the pond in hopes that when the visitors are here they can go to the pond and catch fish. This means that I need to have several fishing poles ready for both adults and children. I also need to have bait like minnows ready for use. Just like the soda in the fridge there is always many minnows that are still swimming in the bucket after the visit.
All of this is said not as a complaint but it is my sharing the experience of having visitors when you’re a senior citizen. So, I go through the anticipation then there is the official greeting that leads into trying to have a conversation when there are small children making multiple requests. It is always amazing to me how the parents, just like I was, can tune out the small children making the request and carry on a conversation. After all the bags are unpacked and the bedrooms are assigned, including who will sleep on the couch. Then there is the first bit of relaxation, then there is the joy of speaking to visitors and playing with her children. There is nothing more amazing then to see the look of surprise and joy in a child’s eyes when they caught their first fish, or they achieve a goal. It is also amazing when talking to your grown children on how they remember their years as children and your years as a parent. Almost every time, there is the feeling of love and endearment.
As great as it is to have the visit it is also great when the visitors leave. It is not anything that you really prepare for but it is certainly something you experience. For me, I usually find myself exhausted. Not because of any physical demands but it’s like being on 24 hours a day. Constantly worrying about the many different aspects of the visit. Working hard to make sure that everyone has a good time and that nothing bad or uncomfortable happens.
It usually takes two days for me to recuperate from a two-day visit. In the first few days after the visit there is no thoughts of future visits. But soon you are looking at inviting more family and friends to visit you on the tree farm.
There are many emotions the experience when you are receiving visitors. Like most things that happen in your life, you’re more likely to remember the good times than the bad times. Unless there’s something that big happened, like an argument or bad words being exchanged. That usually happens when there’s a lot alcohol involved for the adults.
All in all you’re welcome to visit as long as you promise to leave.

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