There’s a poem in the smell of pumpkin pies baking and how a gentle Santa Ana wafts it through every window.
In my house there’s an energy that sparkles from a skylight full of sunshine.
Welcome, fall. Finally.
My kids are excited about this weekend because company is coming and that means a few givens around here:
- The kids will be kicked out of their bedrooms and then have to turn around and deep clean the floors, beds, closets, ceilings and bathrooms to prepare for our guests’ arrival.
- That mom will holler about this until they leave for school and then do it all herself.
- That kid #3 never gives up her room for company because she still has a soul and wouldn’t wish her room on anybody. She did take a stab at cleaning it anyway. The lizard living under her bed wasn’t pleased.
- That mom will be so engrossed (and grossed out) by the state of her house that she will be found, hours into cleaning the fridge, down in the den throwing Nerf darts viciously into the closet and muttering to herself about ant poison and not forgetting to buy toilet paper.
- The fam forgives this normal routine in anticipation of feasting like kings for three days.
There may be sheets hanging in our windows and trash bags suspended from the ceiling but by George, we’re having a carne asada fiesta tonight and three pies in case someone feels peckish at midnight and the boys are arm wrestling over whether we have french toast or waffles for breakfast.
Our guests this time are the Kiwi cousins and as we haven’t seen them in almost five years, all the kids will be reacquainted over swimming pools and Lego piles.
We’ll listen to their opinions of Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm (last two days) and what it feels like to fly around half the planet from New Zealand to California. I’m guessing the snacks will be assessed.
We aren’t necessarily a huge family anymore, my people are drifting on the continental plates spread out over this big blue world and in the suburbs of my own backyard.
More than ever, I’m glad we have a revolving front door. Family is anyone who walks through it and sits down for some tea and pie. Ya’all come.
Next week, we’ll go back to cold cereal and frozen hotdogs and cobwebs and squalor.
But today, the house is clean and there’s real food cookin’ and the towels are as fresh as the autumn breeze.