Yesterday a question popped up on our neighborhood association’s website. A 17-year-old Swedish exchange student was in need of a home until May 25. Anyone game? I took myself by surprise when I responded after giving it maybe 20 seconds of thought.
I’ve lived alone long enough so that I’ve become pretty much set in my ways. I don’t plan meals. I eat funny stuff. I’m seriously addicted to National Public Radio—day and night. There’s more, but you don’t wanna know.
I have a guest room with a good big bed surrounded by piles of my valuable “stuff.” The only closet in that room is filled with other “stuff” on its way out the door to the Goodwill. Out-of-season clothes hang there and extra bedding is stacked on a high shelf. The shelves and cabinets in the room are loaded with favorite books, mailing materials, and way too many files of information for “one day I’ll write this story” projects. My bathroom is small. The only place to land cosmetics is above the toilet tank. I don’t have many, so it works for me but I manage to fill it up.
The essential fact is the room is available, used only occasionally when friends or family members visit. I live within walking distance of this student’s school. Our family has had exchange students in the past. Mark Rushworth, from the UK, who was 17 when he spent a year with us, remains a dear friend along with all his family. That experience could not have been better.
I like being alone. I treasure my privacy but right now I find myself excited about providing a comfortable home for this student. It’s not yet a done deal. There is paperwork to complete and at least one face-to-face meeting with the coordinator of the exchange program.
Meanwhile, I’m about to dig into that guest room and shape it up. I can’t think of a better reason to be nudged into some overdue organizing and decluttering. With any luck, I’ll be meeting my house guest within a day or two. Stay tuned.