Alan & Cynthia have been like family to us the past year or so. (You might remember them from our Christmas.) We came into their lives right as their kids (and grandkids) were moving out of the house and across the country. Matt and I are living away from our families too, so we all shrugged and started spending holidays together. Even though we all met in California, they are actually from Portland and I went to high school with their daughter! It's all very endearing.
When Cynthia's not running her household, she can be found in the backyard throwing clay in her studio and listening to Beyonce. (And I can be found watching her with glee and wonder as she turns dirt into beautiful bowls!)
Their house is over a hundred years old, big and beautiful. The back door slams loudly when you walk through it, the bathrooms have claw foot tubs, the stairs creak and the rooms have beautifully restored chandeliers. I start my day off in the sunroom with Cynthia, drinking coffee and watching the neighborhood come alive.
Although the house is wonderful, it's not as wonderful as the Clother's hospitality. They are so gifted at hosting and are such generous people. Their front porch is home to a few straggly, stray cats and a haggard raccoon. There's always extra food at dinner and a constant, unspoken open-invitation for guests. We don't feel like we're renting a room from them. It's more like we're joining their family and living life alongside them. It is such a gift to be able to live here!
Our friend Sascha has been living with them for the past year and stays in the room down the hall from us. After staying in a house with seven people, it is actually a great transition to come back to a full house. Matt and I have always talked about living with other people and these happen to be a few of our favorites! I'm pretty out-numbered by introverts around here, but it's nice to at least have people around. Extra people to play cards with. Someone to keep Matt company when I fall asleep during a movie. It's great.
We don't know how long we'll be living here, or even how long we'll be in California (more on that later), but for now it is the biggest gift ever. Financially, emotionally and spiritually. We love you Clothers!