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.

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1.11.13 – Kim Christmas

It’s been a while, 9 days to be exact.  Like anything, when you fall out of habit, it’s hard to get back into it.  Or, I could have been really busy with lots to do and little time to write.  Or,  I could have flown out of my window to Neverland with Peter Pan and Tink.  By the way, they don’t have computers in Neverland.  Whatever has happened in my absence from the blog world it is now behind me, and I can start taking my one a day vitamins again.  Sure the past is past, but I bet you are all wondering just what the hell happened to me.  I will share some highlights:

I finally got to meet Annie, my cousin’s baby, my niece.  She is even more beautiful in my arms than she is in photos.  She is going to grow up to have her mommy’s long blonde hair, pretty eyes, and smart head.  And, just look at that little pink bow!

AnnieI also got to see my baby, TOBY!  It still amazes me that I can be away from home for four months, and as soon as Toby hears my voice he knows it’s me.  I really hate to leave the little guy for that long, but he and my dad are buddies.  Who else is going to protect the house from those vicious squirrels?  It snowed a little too :-)

Toby

Work brought me back home for a week which allowed me to surprise my friends and family.  My dad and friend Mel were the only two people who knew I was going to be in town.  My crazy family celebrates Ukrainian Christmas so I was able to see everyone on one of my favorite nights of the year.  My Grandma cried, I cried, and baby Annie may have shed a tear when she got hungry or pooped her diaper.  I got to hang out with big Annie, who is now in seventh grade! I can’t believe my favorite little cousin isn’t so little anymore.  She is more beautiful every time I see her.

I even got to have my very own Kim Christmas!  My dad set up presents under the tiniest Christmas tree.

Mini Christmas

Every day this past week had Mel in it.  She is moving to Hawaii, and we needed to spend as much time together as possible!  With Mel, I made new friends, saw old friends, stayed hydrated, ate peanut butter sandwiches, fell asleep in the library and almost missed a train, and turned my hotel room into my “apartment”.  The entire week I had friends come and go, beverages consumed, movies watched, beds jumped on, and smiles shared.

Toast

So there you have it.  I did not get abducted by aliens or eaten by dinosaurs, but I did laugh so hard my stomach and my face hurt.  What a wonderful nine days it has been.

12.6.12 – Homemade Wine at the Candlewood

Who knew that a hotel could feel like home?  I wrote about the Candlewood Suites when I stayed in one in Albuquerque, NM, but this time it’s even better.  I walked out to throw my usual cheese, onion, garlic, spinach, and broccoli pizza on the grill.  I brought out a magazine not expecting to talk to anyone, but as soon as I sat down at the table that all changed.  The only time I touched my magazine was when I picked it up on my way back to my room at 430 am.  The patio at this Candlewood is exactly like my gazebo at home, except my dad hasn’t wrapped it in plastic to keep us warm.  People sit around the table with their favorite drinks, smoke cigarettes, talk about anything and everything, and share their favorite songs with each other.  People come outside when they need fresh air and go back in when they get ignored for showing off the guns on their hips.  But, tonight there was a group of three that remained the same as the others changed.  The only time I got up out of my seat was to use the bathroom, retrieve some chips and con queso from the gas station, and attempt to drag a recliner outside because some one dared me to.  Slowly, three fell to two and two fell to one, and at 430 am the night was over.  I went to sleep happy, feeling appreciated and loved by people I just met :-)

Tell those you love that you love them.
You can never say it enough.

11.01.12 – Just a Little Bit Country

I was going to write about something really frickin’ awesome today (you will just have to wait until tomorrow), but I got back to my hotel room and realized that something way more awesome happened and is still happening right now.  My dad is texting me about the CMAs.  He sends me a text when an artist is performing a song he likes, and even though I’m not at home I feel just a little bit closer.  Once again, I have the best dad ever.

Anyone watching the CMAs?  How did you feel about Taylor Swift’s performance?  Who was your favorite act?  Who should have one?  Who is your favorite country artist of all time?  And, how hot is Luke Bryan?  T-shirt and jeans, mmm!