First visitors of the season
Next week is a big week in our house. Our first out-of-town guests of the year will arrive. The timing works out so that we will have multiple visitors at once. My in-laws will be flying in from Tennessee. They are coming to watch my kids while I take a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. They will arrive about a week before I leave so that I can spend some time with them, too. Plus a college friend who is currently stationed at Ft. Wainwright will be driving down for his extended weekend.
So I will have a housefull — but I’m looking forward to it. I love showing off the amazing place where I live. I love catching up with family and friends. In general, I love having people stay with us. But first, I need to get ready.
I need to get my house in order. While spring cleaning, I have found plenty that needs to go into storage or be donated. Instead of taking care of all that stuff, I have been dumping it in our guest room — the same guest room I plan to have my in-laws sleep in while they are here.
All of our guests will be sharing a bathroom with my children. I need to do some major cleaning in there, and I need to make room for our guests’ toiletries. Then, I should probably clean out my fridge and make sure there are no potential science experiments for a guest to happen upon while looking for a snack. Then, I need to look at our sheet inventory to ensure that we have enough sheets that are clean and without holes to accommodate all our visitors.
Next, I need to plan meals. I have some moose and some halibut in the freezer. Those tend to be hits with visitors from the mainland, so I just need to plan when and how to use them. We will also take our guests out to dinner to at least one of the local restaurants. I’m hoping everyone likes Mexican so that I can go to Chëpo’s. Not only does Chëpo’s have great food, but I feel like I’m visiting a friend whenever I dine there.
Finally, I need good ideas to entertain everyone. I know just getting to see their grandchildren, my husband, and me would satisfy my in-laws for entertainment. However, I look at having visitors as a good excuse to go out and work on my Alaska bucket list. I would like to get out and go hiking, weather permitting. It’s too bad it will be too early for the farmer’s markets in Eagle River and Chugiak. Last year, I became a regular at the Tuesday market at the VFW here in Eagle River. I know everyone would have great fun browsing the booths of locally grown and made food items, and the handmade crafts. However, we will have to be content with what we can do during this visit. No matter what that is, we will have lots of fun just spending time with each other.
This column is the opinion of Lori Spears. Spears is married to an Army captain and lives in Eagle River.