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Kristin and I do very little entertaining in our home. It's not that we don't love having people around and it's not as if we wouldn't enjoy having friends over more often. It's just that, well, we're not very good at it.
One might be inclined to ponder the situation in simple "chicken and egg" terms: Are the Lorsons no good at entertaining because they seldom entertain, or do they seldom entertain because they are no good at entertaining? The reality of it is actually far more complicated and, frankly, a little bit embarrassing.
First of all, you should know that we love our house. It's the only one we've ever owned, and we've occupied and adored it for very nearly one-third of its 102 years. It's safe and warm and sometimes even quiet. We keep it clean and weathertight and everything that needs to work does work. Sure, there's a list as long as my arm of things Kristin wants to do with this room or that room, but it's mostly window dressing type stuff. The place gets the job done and always has. The problem with our house isn't actually the house at all, it's the occupants -- and the way those occupants get their work done.
About 26 years ago when Kristin left her full-time job and launched her at-home art business just ahead of the arrival of our first child, the idea of using our dining room as an art studio seemed entirely logical. Mommy could draw and paint while little Charlotte could hang out in the playpen right around the corner and all would be well with the world. It was a central location with easy access to all points, and besides, it wouldn't be forever -- just until Charlotte was in school. Then Kristin could move her studio upstairs, or downstairs, or wherever and we could have our dining room back.
Then came another baby, and another, and two more reasons to stay central to the goings on of the family's everyday. In the middle of that timespan, I picked up a bit of a writing habit and I chose to carve out a place that was "central" to work my craft. This landed me in the very same dining room against the opposite wall.
Predictably, over time, each of us has become firmly entrenched in our respective rat's nest of inspiring surroundings. To actually move out of the dining room would likely cause such crushing trauma to our creative spirits it could very well kill the entire enterprise. We remain in the middle of everything to this day -- desk and drawing table bristling with pencils, pens and paintbrushes, walls covered with sketches and sticky notes, and dining room table piled high with "inspiration." It's definitely not the type of environment one would like to show off to a guest, but it is undeniably "us."
After writing that last sentence, I realized that after 20 years of offering everyone a front-row seat to our world every Sunday, we probably don't have a whole lot to hide at this point. It might be time to have some folks over!