I’m Glad You’re Here
I love grand welcomes. I learned from the master of them, my grandmother Mimi. By the time I was three years old, I knew a grand reception awaited me at her home in Laurel, Mississippi. For the last mile of the six-hour car trip from Nashville, I would beg to get out of the backseat so I could get the first peek as we pulled into Mimi’s driveway.
Most times, the large, intricately carved front doors were flung open wide and the porch set as if someone had made a day of anticipating my arrival. Playing to my childlike wonder and love of dolls, Mimi often placed a life-sized Cindy Doll on the porch with one arm positioned in a wave. The doll would be dressed for the season and usually held a basket filled with items for a project Mimi and I would do together later that day. I would jump out of the car and run straight to Mimi for a warm hug and velvety kiss.
My grandmother almost always wore a pretty apron, and the aroma of freshly baked biscuits wafted all around her. After tea and biscuits, Mimi would wrap me in my tiny apron, and we would get straight to task on a creative activity. I always felt loved and welcomed at Mimi’s house.
The emotional value of a warm welcome is priceless and long-lasting. It doesn’t have to be grand; a wholehearted hug and a tender smile speak volumes. But in this era of impersonal text messages and Twitter rants, it’s important to wrap the people in our lives with warm personal touches that communicate how glad we are to be with them.
One simple way I welcome an overnight visitor to our home is by placing a handwritten note in the guestroom. It only takes a few moments, but the words live long in someone’s heart.
Another way to put guests at ease is to make yourself aware of their preferences ahead of time. For example most (southern) ladies and gentlemen have a preferred drink. Its nice when you are shopping anyway to make sure and have those covered. My husband, who likes to play it safe, keeps a full bar stocked at all times!
Make your guests feel that you are ready for them! I try to keep the entry and main living areas of my home in a state in which they can be made ready with a quick five minute clean-up! This routine alleviates last minute stress and anxiety in anticipation of any poppers by. This is not as hard as one might think. It can be done!
I inherited my Mimi’s bright eyes, rich laugh, and love of music, along with her beautiful aprons, her slick cast-iron skillet, and the biscuit recipe her mother passed on to her. Mimi gave me her life story, and I cherish it as I blend it into my own. Because I am forever Mimi’s girl, what was hers is mine for safekeeping in this life. And that includes the art of a warm welcome for guests. Mimi taught me that welcoming others into my home first begins by opening the door to my heart.
Thank you, Mimi.
And in my heart, I can hear Mimi’s sweet voice say, “You are welcome, Mary Morgan. Always.”