Half of our Couch Surfers (the Romeo half)
is breezing through town tonight
and staying for the THIRD time at the farm,
so I am reminded that we never really wrapped up that story.
When last we spoke, I believe Pacino had attempted but failed to ruin a good night's sleep for all four of us. Despite his best bird efforts, we managed to sleep through the night, comfortably twined up in happiness and exhaustion. I did not dream.
My eyes popped open at precisely 6:09 the next morning, as if they were spring-loaded. Apparently my hostess-slash-new-friends nerves were still awake from the night before. This should be interesting I thought to myself. Then I ignored myself and rolled my eyes.
I found a tank top and some yoga pants, scrunched my hair into a halfway normal ponytail (because nobody, not even a globe trotting couchsurfer, wants blonde-hair quiche for breakfast), and tiptoed downstairs. No Hot Tub Summit today; today we have guests.
Thanks to a timer, the strong, steaming coffee was already forcing its way through to the glass carafe, hissing and bubbling, filling the downstairs with that glorious Good Morning fragrance. So far the doors to the Green Room (where Josh and Megan slept) were closed. Pacino was thankfully still imitating a tiny blue flamingo, head bowed and eyes pinned shut. I tiptoed across the wood floors and began opening curtains as quietly as possible. I poured myself some coffee, trying to keep the kitchen clinking down to a minimum, and surveyed our options.
Seriously, we struck gold with our
innaugural Couch Surfing experience.
Josh & Megan were soooo nice,
so interesting, and such easy-peasy guests
that Handsome and I are actually nervous
to have other
murdering strangers people here,
because they cannot possibly be as wonderful.
Some of the details escape me now, but I can tell you that it was a beautiful morning in every way. Handsome had to eventually trudge off to the office, but he found a way to linger with us for a couple of extra hours. While he showered and dressed for work, I started some food, and at some point pretty early in that process, Josh appeared in the kitchen.
Our conversation picked up right about where it had left off, me greedily pressing Josh for details about their travels and him politely accommodating me, lots of smiling and laughing, lots of free flowing stories. He could not know then that I was secretly trying to memorize his faint accent to add to my Garmin-like collection. Megan's is even better; she is a Canadian transplanted to Florida, with a little back note of southern drawl. Hers are enviable inflections, all natural.
Josh also helped cook, which was so much fun. I had been told that Megan likes to sleep a bit later, so we tried to not be too loud.
The mix of sounds, smells, and mood reminded me of being a little girl and overhearing grown ups sharing the earliest morning hours together, happy and calm, safe from the inevitable chaos of the day. I used to stay in my room and just listen, not so much to the words, but to the muffled, echoing peace that came from the house before five million children were filling it.
I LOVE CHILDREN!
Don't get me wrong, But you know as well as I do that a house has a different vibe in the hours surrounding dawn. And adult voices still creaky and hoarse from sleep are just flat out interesting.
The table was gradually filled with cinnamon rolls, bowls of chopped tomatoes and mushrooms, sliced fruits, shredded cheese, and sweet, tasty jams and jellies for toast. We prepared eggs for everyone, poured juice, and made more coffee. When Handsome descended all spiffy in his office attire (growwwl) he offered to make his famous hashbrowns. YUM. So within half an hour the downstairs was overflowing with delicious food fragrances, and we had enough breakfast to nourish the occupants of at least five additional couches. Megan joined us and made the conversation absolutely sparkle!
When I fiinally sat down to eat, I was dreading that everyone would be in a rush to leave. I knew that both the office and the interstate beckoned and so gave serious thought to hiding everyone's car keys. But apparently I wasn't the only person having a great time!
Walking Like an Egyptian...
That's how I celebrate.
An early breakfast stretched into a liesurely brunch, interrupted here and there for someone to take a shower or walk outside and get photos with the animals. Having arrived on a late-winter evening, Josh & Megan had driven up to an already dark farm, and visually things are a lot different in the morning.
Over the course of our brief time together, we learned that Josh and Megan had finished their Master's degrees a semester early and decided to spend their free springtime travelling the country via, you guessed it, Couch Surfing. They had already amassed quite a fascinating collection of stories from all over the place, some fully justifying my murderous tension. But most of their stays had been exceedingly pleasant and actually very life-affirming.
All of this serves to remind me that life is meant to be lived
and that there are many ways to go about it successfully and happily.
Just because one person or one couple finds a click and a formula that works
does not necessarily rule out a very different click and formula for someone else.
And why not share? Birds of a feather may flock together,
but then they also tend to blend in.
The men pored over a paper map of Oklahoma, identifying spots along Route 66 that might be worth a look-see. Megan and I chatted more about the meaning of life and good smelling shampoo. I learned that she wants to keep chickens someday. I told her it is one of my very favorite parts of the farm, which is a fact.
As the time to part ways eventaully crept up on us, I did my best to not be annoying by begging everyone to stay a little longer. Handsome shook hands, hugged, and warmly invited them to return soon, then he drove off to the coal mines.
He doesn't really work in the coal mines, but sometimes that how it feels.
Josh and Megan found their shoes, packed up their car, cleaned their room, and accepted some bags of food for the road. Maps in hand, they drove down the gravel driveway and out through the open gate.
As per his norm, Pacino sang, "Buh-byyye!!!" for three or four minutes.
After the house was empty and quiet again, I walked around absorbing all of the amazing vibrations. I found our guest room book where lots of fine people have written a speck of Lazy W history. Inside was Megan's handwriting. If I could find that book right now, I would share a photo with you of what she wrote. Alas...
A few months later, they visited us again. This time they were on the brink of parting ways themselves, though just circumstantially. They have both found good jobs, Josh in New Mexico and Megan in Ohio.
They now share a puppy, Ben. He. Is. Cute. And Megan's Canadian-Floridian-southern drawl voice kicks into high gear when she says, "Guuud boooiii Baaiin..." It is the sweetest thing you ever heard.
We urged them to consider using the farm as a meeting spot as they navigate a long-distance relationship. We've kept in touch a little via email since then, delighting in stories about romantic sky diving trips, for example, and gaining the blogging identity green light. But tonight will be the first time we've seen hide or hair of our new friends since that second visit. We'll really miss Megan but can't wait to see Josh!
I feel so fortunate to have met Romeo and Juliet and to have shared life stories with each other. It's fun to find common ground with people who are following such a different life path. I wish them well in my heart. What a great couple!