Couch Surfing and My Hip Dad

My dad got home from a fishing trip today and saw that there was a random car with an out of state license plate in the driveway.  After putting his gear down and giving me a hug he says, “Are those couch surfers or do you know those people?”  I love that this is my dad’s response, and he couldn’t have said it any more nonchalantly, like it didn’t matter that there could be two strangers sleeping in the extra bedroom in his house.

I introduced my dad to Couch Surfing after living a very active CS life in San Diego.  My apartment was always filled with strangers from other parts of the world.  These strangers, or instant friends, became more than just weekend guests.  They became a part of my world, some staying for extra days, weeks, months, and it was beautiful.  I made some very good friends at the time, by hosting and meeting other local hosts, friends that I still talk to and friends that I will stay connected with for the rest of my life.

This is the part of Couch Surfing that I wanted my dad to see.  I wanted him to see that CS is not a community full of freeloaders and people that want to steal your precious stuff.  It’s about being comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, and letting other people into your life.  It’s about opening yourself up to others which is something all of us should practice.

So, after hosting a frisbee world champion, a couple of dudes passing through trying to avoid the busy city, a couple of girls that just wanted to go on a bike ride in the forest, and many friends of friends of friends my dad has become part of the Couch Surfing community without even realizing it.  He is now used to and comfortable with meeting new people, and his generous hospitality has extended beyond the realm of family members.  He has grown to trust his daughter and her judgements (I hope!).  Above all, he has learned the importance of hydration and making new friends.  Much of my happiness and knowledge of the world comes from meeting new people, sharing lives, and sharing homes.

That is the type of thing a person carries with them forever, whether they are on the Couch Surfing website or not.  We learn to share from the moment we come into contact with other human beings.  Remember what they taught us in school, “sharing is caring”.  Thank you dad for being so open, accepting, caring, and way hip.

11.11.12 – Ducks and Delis

I have two things to smile about today.  I walked across the street to Driftwood Deli to get a delicious sandwich on my break.  This place smells like Thanksgiving and tastes like Grandma’s homemade cooking. The subs are huge just like something my grandma would try to feed me saying, “My Kimmy, you’re too skinny!”  (I’m really not.)  The people that work in Driftwood, as well as all the other restaurants on the same stretch of road, are so nice and incredibly kind.  They gave me a sandwich on the house today since I have been helping with hurricane relief all week even though my job is easy compared to others! We have built a little community on Fischer Blvd this past week.  There’s Steve and family at the Dairy Queen, the ladies at the bank that always let me use their bathroom, the ladies in Driftwood, the Italian speaking guys in Linda’s Pizza that give me discounted slices, the wonderful man – who I LOVE – who works with CERT but can’t remember his name for the life of me, and Tom’s River Police.  I’m pretty sure if I ever got in trouble in Tom’s River, NJ everything would turn out just fine.  I never expected the people in New Jersey to be this nice – I didn’t know what to expect – but I find myself overwhelmed by the hospitality and kindness of people here.

I said there were two positive things today and the second comes in a bundle: it’s my grandparents.  I am the luckiest person in the world to have all four of them.  That’s four times the amount of love you get from a normal person.  Grandparents are like a super person that love you regardless of what you do with your life, how much money you make, who you marry – or don’t marry – how many kids you have, or how much eggnog you drink on Christmas.  Your Grandparents are going to love you and try to feed you no matter what!  They are your biggest fans and will read every single blog you have ever posted.  My grandparents have just subscribed to my blog – heads up to my other readers, you have some competition.  They have loved me and supported me throughout my entire life, and for that my family has named ducks after them.  Any time you see a male and female duck together feel free to call them Alice and Jerry :-)