The Fine Art of Visiting

I have been in a small town in Saskatchewan for the past 5 days.

I was speaking to some people in town and they were talking about having coffee with “so and so”. As they spoke about the visitee, the visitor had the biggest smile on their faces. Stopping in for coffee or tea at any given point of the week was such a delight for them.

I grew up in a small town in Manitoba where coffee time was almost a sacred event. All the older men would meet at the only coffee shop in town and talk about the local events and crops. The ladies use to take turn having tea at their homes. It was a time to get together to talk about the local gossip, discuss housekeeping hacks and exchange recipes.

Now that I live in a much larger city I have noticed that “visiting” has almost become a thing of the past.

What has happened to that very important tradition?

I guess our lives have become so extremely busy that something had to give.

Between running our children to odd and sundry events, keeping up with our household chores and work it is easy to run out of time for the more “simple things in life”.

And that makes me sad!

Back in my day we still had a ton of things to do but, especially in a small town, we had much smaller distances to travel…most of the time we walked everywhere. The children were heavily involved in sports, school activities and church but we still always had time or made time for visiting.

Visiting was a relaxed affair as well. There were no timelines, no agenda…only a lot of coffee and tea. Because of this many trips to the bathroom were not only anticipated but expected.

Oh and the “dainties”that were consumed. Every household always had an assortment of cookies, cakes, tarts, pies for your snacking enjoyment. If a bite to eat was not offered or eaten then surely a plague of some sort would consume the home and persons involved. Sometimes a visit turned into staying for supper followed by a game of cards.

I miss the days of that kind of relaxed atmosphere. I am trying to instill that into my children’s lives and get back to a simpler and more relaxing life for myself. Stop, take a breath, relax and enjoy.

It’s time to slow down and enjoy life, friends and family rather than racing through everything like we are trying to get to the finish line.

The finish line will come fast enough.

Gayle Impey

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