Many years ago, The Big Daddy and I traveled to my parents' house for Christmas from our apartment two hours away. When we arrived, my dad pulled me aside to tell me they invited a nice, young couple for dinner that couldn't make it home to Minnesota to spend the holidays with their family. Since they were about our age, Dad wanted me to make a special effort to make them feel welcome. Sure can do, Dad, and who is this couple you befriended?
From the kitchen Mom yelled, "It's the cable man." What??? "Well, we've had so much trouble with the gull damn cable. We kept calling and every time they'd send out some idiot that would get it working for a day and then we'd be right back where we started. This kid came the last couple of times and finally fixed it, and well, we couldn't have him and his wife celebrating Christmas by themselves."
The Big Daddy and I moved further away and haven't made it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner in many years. We fill our table with a different kind of family on the holidays, and everything I know about welcoming strangers to your home I learned from Bill and Gerry.