Hospitality, Redux

There was this writing prompt: “Imagine a historical figure is brought back to life. Who is it? What’s their favorite mobile app?” (max 250 words)

Then this came about:

As the saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman. Abraham and his wife Sarah need no introduction. Although they hail from thousands of years ago, from a land far, far away, don’t worry; they are in great shape, and ready to make a difference once again, just as they did generations ago. But they come as a team!

You may know that Abraham is not only the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but that he’s also considered the archetype of hospitality. He and Sarah opened their home to anyone that came along needing shelter, regardless of who they were, where they came from, and what they believed. In this they are true role models of co-existence.

This is why their favorite app is AirBnB, the ultimate hospitality service app. You’d think they created the company’s mission statement—that you can “belong anywhere” when you stay in AirBnB places around the world. It’s all about making travellers feel at home, even if just temporarily, by graciously opening our dwellings to them.

I happen to be an AirBnB Superhost host in Maine, and this cool couple will be staying in my renovated barn for a few days. I can’t wait to cook up and serve them some great meals, and brainstorm about how to make the world a better place through hospitality and kindheartedness.

Naturally, they have a few things to teach us about welcoming the stranger with compassion and generosity. I’ll make sure to take copious notes and share on social media.

Welcome Mat



Do Not Resuscitate: An Obituary

My dear Lexus RX300 left me today. She was 18.

Probably born in Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan in either late 2000 or early 2001, it is believed she made the arduous journey across oceans on M/S Andromeda Leader, arriving in Newark, NJ later that year. She spent the first four years of her life with a young couple from Washington DC, who treated her well and made sure she had all her regular check-ups. In addition to valuing her stellar genetic makeup, they also gave her the opportunity for personal growth through a few upgrades that made her even more sought after later in life. These included a high-end sound system and a rubber encased rear bumper to allow her to better handle the bumps and scratches a full life will bring. The couple eventually brought her to West Hartford, CT, where she joined my family in 2005, or thereabouts.

There, she travelled many miles as my steadfast companion in a suburban life filled with dogs, kids, carpools, and trips to Home Depot (home improvements), BJ’s (bulk toilet paper) and endless after school sports. Later, we embarked on more adventurous trips together, like when we branched out toward independence and took up residence in our own smaller but easier to manage space, the benefit of which meant more freedom to pursue new dreams and push the boundaries of the suburban comfort zone to which we had grown accustomed.

As my interest in spending more time in Maine grew, my sweet Lexus RX300 gladly came along for ride. Together we’d zip up 84 east, across 90 west, along the seemingly never-ending 495, to the promising, northbound I-95. We eventually settled in Maine, where we were able to slow down a little—me to pursue my vocation, she to take fewer long distance trips.

She was there when we needed her until the end, despite peeling paint on the hood, a few well-hidden rust spots here and there, and occasional coughs and hiccups. It was when, after a good run of more than 209,000 miles, she began to show some undeniable signs of rapid decline, that we made the decision together. Do not resuscitate.

And even this she did with poise.

When, during the last couple of years, I’d take her to the shop for a mechanical tweak or a replacement part, she took it in stride as if telling me “Onward!” while knowing her end was nearing. She never lacked a sense of optimism and her positive attitude will always inspire me to keep moving forward.

She will be deeply missed not just by me, but also by my children, partner, friends and neighbors, who all benefitted from and enjoyed her gracious style and dependability.

As was her wish, her organs will be donated to helping other Lexuses live longer and healthier lives.

In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to your favorite charity.

Lexus Obit