Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Five-Day Houseguest

The club chairman asked for a volunteer to host a distinguished astrologer in May and nobody raised a hand so I said, "I will, but it'll be the weirdest experience of his life. My house is Green Acres. And it's 35 miles from the city." The club didn't listen, was merely relieved that somebody would put up this stranger, a Minneapolis man of 67 with a national reputation, while he gave talks in the area and read horoscopes for clients.

I prepped my place with 2 spring cleanings and stocked the fridge with man food: beef and beer. After the cold wet spring, Missouri was suddenly blessed with perfect weather full of lilacs and irises. He said that in Minnesota trees don't have leaves yet. Cardinal birds, bluebirds and hummingbirds amazed him. My woodpeckers drummed on the old TV aerial (sending metallic ringing throughout the house) early each day to wake me up to feed them. Fortunately he had a sense of humor.

Unfortunately he was tall and my guest room, a former garage, is low-ceilinged, but he was extremely gracious -- after all, he'd elected to stay in a stranger's home, not knowing whether I was a nut or neat freak or nympho or what. Fortunately I am none of those and enjoyed his companionship and cooking for him and he gave me a free three-hour horoscope reading. He said he liked horses so we walked to the horse farm (in the photo). He said, "You live in paradise." I said, "Yes, I know."

A city friend asked, "A strange man in your house? What if he tries to hurt you?" I said I'd shoot him. But he was a perfect gentleman and a mensch, into ice cream and fine bakery, and we indulged in these as well as dark beer and spiked lemonade.

He was one of the rare guests that after he had showered and shaved you could not even tell he had been in the bathroom (a very obvious sign that he is married). The old saying is "houseguests, like fish, stink after three days," but he spent five days here and I actually wished he would have stayed longer.