We’re staying with our friends Jenny and Brendan in Budapest. One of the absolute delights of spending time in their company is their elegant, effortless hospitality.
Many (most?) of us are glad to welcome people to our homes. Many (most?) of us want to provide for our guests’ needs. But not everyone are the Sleep Number™️ bed of hospitality.
I’ve been gently ribbing Jenny over her family’s extraordinary skills.
- Breakfast with three kinds of freshly cut berries appears.
- An assortment of pillows on each bed with the offer of different types if none are exactly right.
- Budapest exploration ideas for any interest and activity level (a stack of bus passes sitting ready to be used.)
- An offer to ship home the excess clothing we have accumulated to lighten our load.
- Family members gave up their bedrooms to allow space and comfort for our assorted family members.
- Brendan finished up a packed day at the embassy, then walked in, offering to fix a cocktail of choice for each of us with beautifully clear, hand-carved ice cubes.
- Sharing recipes and the homemade red cabbage juice that “heals the gut.” (Not everyone thought this hospitable.)
- Despite the extra stress for them, being willing to drive around the city to save time and feet when it helps people feel more comfortable.
- The fridge and pantry are filled with foods specifically selected based on a Google forms survey Jenny created to ensure she was getting our honest food needs.
After yoga one morning Jenny was telling us about hosting a party for some of her childrens’ friends. Participants were Halal, Kosher, vegan, food-restricted. (I know this sounds like the setup for a joke.) Jenny described the party as a joyful puzzle, giving her the opportunity to make sure each of these friends would feel welcome.
Another piece that is critical to this comfort and joy they offer to their guests is that there is never a sense of martyrdom. They all offer these generous kindnesses, but they continue to care for their own mental and physical health all the while. We are welcomed into their abundance, not depriving them of it.
And that’s why, my friends, I’m going to try to lean into challenges. Be the most inquisitive, the most questioning, the most sharing, the most artistic, the most funny, the most caring you can be.
For me, I’m inspired to learn more of Rochester activities and foods when we get back so we can provide our own sumptuous buffet to visitors.