Tis the time of year when the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Jet Stream partner up and give the USA some brutal weather. While we Californians covered our citrus, shivered despite wool sweaters, and bought new boots, residents of 45 states to the east took it a little harder. So, begins the advent of Casa Colando House Guest Season: three weeks scheduled so far and…our first guest arrives tomorrow…More will come in 2013. They’re welcome.

As you may recall, my husband and I have lived here over half our lives. Long ago, based upon an expansive survey among people I knew, I’d declared us as native as anyone. Now the sandals, tennies, or boots really fit and I consider this state my home. Home is where the heart is – and my heart is here. Here, so there.

We’d only been in our house a few weeks when the relative stream began in 1979. We average 2 months/year and figure that we’ve had 5 years of house guests since then…perhaps more. Really. But, as you may have heard me say, I’d rather have them come here than us go there.

Here’s the advice we garnered from friends at that time:  never pick guests up at the airport and never give them a comfortable bed. By all means, don’t go to Disneyland every time insisted, and have the house guests wash the dishes. To which, I’d add: don’t let them think of your home as a spa or restaurant where they can order food, turn their nose up, or send a plate back.

Seriously, these have happened. Imagine the face of a suddenly frightened teenage lout, eying his plate of food suspended in the air  until he apologized for dissing my husband’s BBQ and my vegetables and salad. I had swiftly lifted his laden plate off the placemat where I’d just placed it. Youngun, you are not entitled to dislike the free food or wax unkind to the host and hostess. And, do not let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

Dear Past/Present/Future House Guests: Here’s your sign (with regards to Bill Engdahl).

Be Nice or Leave

What are your Happy House Guest Rules, Mr./Mrs./Ms. Reader?