The cowboy loves to be spontaneously hospitable. It is not unheard of for him to ask me if it's okay for him to invite people over for dinner . . . only he will ask me at 5:45 when I am just walking in the door from work and the house is a wreck and there is no food in the fridge. Seriously. When I respond with, "No. No you may not." and explain why, he comes up with things like, "Then let's just build a bonfire outside and roast hot dogs." Of course, we don't have hot dogs in the fridge either, 'cause, well, yuck.
Gotta love his simplicity though.
He recently invited a complete stranger to spend the night with us. Okay, she was a complete stranger to Kevin and me. My husband had met her once in Fort Worth at the "Saddle Boy" competition. She is an insurance claims adjustor and had been working about five hours east of us, and her home is about five hours west of us. Anyway, she called to see if she could stop by on her way home and see the cowboy's new "Extreme Mustang Makeover" horses. (Yeah, that's plural. Remember, he decided to go with two horses this round, you know, because of all his extra free time.) So . . . instead of just saying, 'Yes, that would be lovely,' he says, "Yes, but why don't you come early and stay the night at the Reynolds' Bed & Breakfast?"
She thanked him politely but said she would be staying the night elsewhere and would see us on Wednesday morning. A couple of days later she called for directions and he asked her again to spend the night with us. "Really," she said, "I appreciate the offer, but I've already got a place to stay."
This is when he decides to inform me he has invited a complete stranger to stay with us. On a night he will be at work. On a night I already have other plans. But since she has declined the offer twice, I don't give it much thought. (Not that I mind her spending the night. Really, I don't. It was just that he made the offer twice before conferring with me.)
So, Tuesday comes along and the cowboy calls just before leaving for work at 5 p.m. "Are you coming home?" he asked. "Not planning to . . . why?" I responded. "Just wondering. I'm going to leave a key for Karen just in case she changes her mind and decides to show up."
Knowing that this lady had no intention of spending the night with us, and knowing that Sara and I were planning some girl time, Kevin decides he want to go home. So I took him home around 5:30 for a quiet night of frozen pizza, Facebook and X-box.
About 9 o'clock he is in the den and hears the front door open. Thinking this strange, as I always come in through the garage, he goes to the safe, gets out a gun and hollers, "Mom?" (You know, 'cause my kids always greet me at the door with a loaded shotgun.) To which a complete stranger's voice answers, "No? This is Karen?"
Sufficiently freaked them both out, as neither was expecting the other.
By the time I got home she was holed up in Kacey's room sound asleep. Kevin and I had a good laugh about it. Apparently, once he regained his bearings, he became quite the host and offered her food then showed her where all the essentials were. I asked him all about her, but since the Y-chromosome makes men oblivious to details, the best he could tell me was that she walked upright on two legs and she was not bald. So I try to get specific: Is she tall? Short? Young? "Oh, no, she's not young. Definitely older than you, mom." Okay, so we have a bit of information.
The next morning I met her and was pleasantly greeted by a VERY sweet, gracious and MUCH younger woman. Kevin gets big brownie points.
We had a great visit. She helped the cowboy feed the horses, they went for a ride, I fixed a big breakfast, we had the "get to know each other" talk, then she was on her way back home. She called the next day and left a message:
"Hey guys! This is Karen. Thanks so much for letting me play with the horses. Stephanie, thanks so much for your hospitality and the best breakfast I have had in weeks. Oh, and Kevin . . . BOO!"
I liked her. She can come back and stay anytime. :o)