Our Open Door Policy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

When RJ and I were first married he introduced me to what he calls "the open door policy." Basically he loves to keep our front door open (literally) to welcome in whoever may drop by. 

This type of living was difficult for me at first. I love my privacy and can be fairly anti-social sometimes (I can honestly go day son end with nothing but myself and a good book for company). But when you have an open door policy you have to be ready to entertain anytime for anyone. I've had to chuck my pride at the door and get used to the fact that people see my house unclean, my bathroom unkept, and my hair unbrushed. 

Over the years RJ has ushered in friends while I'm still in my pajama's. He's given neighbors house tours the day we've returned home from vacation (and you know what a house looks like during the unpacking stage!). He's welcomed strangers in for coffee while I'm breastfeeding on the couch. We've had colleagues live in our storage shed and homeless people spend the night in our tent trailer. And if you're invited to dinner at our home I must warn you - there is a really good chance I'll end up setting the table for a few more. Unexpected arrivals aren't really unexpected in our home.

While there are moments this open door policy has been tough I must admit that I really do love it. RJ and I love people. We love meeting new people, investing in the people around us, and sharing life with those we love. I really can't image living any other way. 

So late week RJ brought home a new fun visitor. Chiharu is 29 years old, from Japan, and an absolute delight. Last Thursday Chiharu landed in LAX airport and kicked off the start of a year long travel adventure. She's on a solo mission to see the world and surf as many amazing waves along the way as she can. (Jealous much?!) 

Her first stop was Ventura. She worked for Patagonia back in Japan and wanted a tour of the corporate headquarters. After showing her around the offices, taking her to all the best surf spots, and sharing lunch RJ couldn't bear to just leave her in a hotel. Naturally, he brought her back to us. 

Ours isn't the best city to navigate without a car so we were stoked to lend her a bike, share our surfboards, and start off her big trip with an authentic taste of California living. I was in LA most of the day Saturday for a bachelorette party so I missed much of the touring but I am so glad we were able to begin her journey with some TLC.  When we were in Japan five years ago the people were so very kind and generous. It felt right to only do the same. 

Chiharu has a blog to document her travels. It's in Japanese so you can't understand a word of it BUT you can see her post about her stay with us here. It's fun to see the things she decided to document and photograph. I loved seeing our life through her lens and perspective. 

1 comment:

Jessica G. said...

Thanks for sharing the blog link. I loved looking at the pictures.

As for the open door policy, I am proud of you guys! I want to be more open with my home, but it really is something I struggle with. I struggle with feeling that people I don't know well will judge my home and I don't want to let that hold me back.

Two Cent Sparrow.
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