I am an honoured guest and I must confess that it’s a title I could get used to.

I’m visiting the family of my friend Lois, staying in the Dundas room, named for the picture on the wall and the point of my origin. The room has been lovingly prepared for my comfort, thick scented sheets on the bed, thick scented towels on the towel rack, a vase of fresh flowers on the desk. A store of diet coke has been laid in against my arrival. A Discover magazine outlines options for planning our days.

There is something about the sound of a family that is pleasing, especially when filtered through a bedroom door, especially when all the demands of the family are directed elsewhere. Between the hours of 9 and 5 it’s just Lois and me, connecting like the old friends we are, over bowls of chowder in an ancient pub, over salt scrubs at a local spa. At 5 we pick up the girls and the after school scurry of dinner, swimming, karate, homework begins. I pitch in to entertain the youngest with colouring, lego, barbies and bedtime reading.

I feel like a tourist in this home. Like it’s a foreign country and I am a visitor who understand the language but doesn’t speak it very well. Like it’s a place I spent the summer once, and remember fondly but differently than I see it now.

Here, I am surrounded by the comforts of family life. Which, as it turns out, is an interesting counterpoint to my life as I live it. And a wonderful vacation for me.

Three morals in this story,

1. There is nothing like the comfort of a well run home.
2. I am a tourist in one now.
3. Honoured guest is a title I could get used to.

Yours with creativity and imagination,

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