Having company come can be a lot of fun and a much needed break from regular life. We all have those friends and some family members that we beg to come stay with us, enjoy their company and hate when they have to leave! Invited short term company is one thing, but what do you do about the relatives and friends that have decided you have opened a FREE resort/bed and breakfast a great place for them to spend their vacations?
I was on an elist, a horse list, that this topic came up on and I will share some of the amazing things that actually happened to folks that bought a place in the country....
So not to sound negative or selfish, but for you to be ready for those unwanted, unexpected and unbelievable requests, here is so food for thought.
The topic all started by someone saying she was dumbfounded when a not so close by neighbor stopped at her home one day and said, not asked, said, that he and his wife had come by to ride this woman's horses. They would only be riding for about an hour or so. What do you do?????? She asked on the list and one thing led to another. Not only did we talk about what to say when people want to come and "use" your horses, tractors, and other items but also what to do about those folks that want to come and stay a week at your place and think you will host them.
The woman that had the not so close neighbors stop by and tell her they would be riding her horses for an hour or so of course told the folks that her horses were not used to being ridden by strangers and she would have to talk to her husband, who was not home, before letting them ride them.
Many of the folks on the list gave her much advise....like, "Great, and I will use your 1966 Ford Mustang while you are out on the horses. How fast can that thing go??" "Sorry, we are not a riding stable, but I am sure if you look in the phone book you can find one near." "That will of course be $250 for that hour and if you are gone longer I will have to prorate the next hour.". "I am sorry, who did you say you were again?" The cute come backs went on and on.
The point is, you really must be prepared for stupid people when they do show up and ask stupid things and or questions. You of course want to be nice (or do you?) so think of your replies in advance.
As we chatted on line about this horse riding incident, something else came up....the friends and relatives that want to come and spend their vacations at your place. Some you will be thrilled to have! Some you will beg to come and stay with you.....then there are the others. The cousin that you have not heard from since you were a kid who's mother just told him you have moved out the the country and have horses and milk goats....who thinks that his FIVE not well behaved children would just love to have this experience...for free of course, I mean you are related!
Several of the folks had friends and family come and stay for a week and vacation, no lifting a finger to help, did not bring food with them, wanted to be entertained all week.....worse, then those folks would tell the rest of the family what a lovely time they had and the country folks phone would ring off the wall with other's wanted to book their FREE vacations there.
One gal even told her family member that called to ask if she and her family of five could come and spend a week with them, that she was not going to even be home for three of those days....believe it or not, the person that called to ask for the free vacation told her "it was no problem, they would not mind the time alone in the quiet of the country."
I am not making this up, from the conversation we had on the horse list, this coming to visit and be entertained, happens all the time. One of the best lines that came up as an answer for the cousin is "OH YES! That would be an answer to prayer! We are building a (fill in the black with) barn/addition/chicken coupe/kennel and really need the help. We get up about 5 am and work til around 7 pm. Can you bring your tools? How old are the children now? Old enough to use power tools?"
Other lines you can use or even better "YES! I really need the help cleaning out the barn, I have been so behind and the horse poop is about knee deep." or "How well does you child ride a horse? I have a colt I just started and I am a bit afraid to get on this ones back, bucky you know." Somehow, if the folks think there is farm work to be done, some other form of vacation might be a better choice.
One lady on the list where we were talking about all this told the story that a family came and stayed with them and vacationed the entire visit, meaning they did not lift a finger to help out around the farm for a week. They did not bring food, would wait for the "host" to cook and set the table and did not even help with dishes. The following year this "host" was going to be in their town for a few days to attend a funeral...would you even believe...this family told her no they were too busy to host overnight company!!
So if you live out, if you have horses, if you own tractors and other items your neighbors might not. You better be ready with answers to there questions and times of their vacations.......