There’s an old card trick I remember as a child, called something like The Royal Hotel. There’s a hotel with only four rooms. Each room has four beds. One day, four Jacks walk into the lobby and each ask the Innkeeper for a room for the night. The Innkeeper gladly obliges by giving each of the Jacks a room of his own. “Of course, you know,” he said, “I’m obliged to offer the other beds if any other travelers come through for the night.” The Jacks agreed to oblige, never thinking anyone else would be traveling on such a dark night. Lo and behold, the Innkeeper hears 4 knocks on the door. In walk 4 lovely queens. Now queens are of such royalty, he could not turn them away, especially on such a dark dark night. So he put one Queen in each of the four rooms. After they were all settled and had gotten over the surprise of sharing a room with a Jack, there were four more knocks at the Innkeeper’s door. In walked four stately Kings! The Innkeeper shrugged his shoulders, bowed to the Kings and gave them each a bed in each of the four rooms. The Innkeeper was beginning to be quite worried, for these members of royalty were not even of the same kingdoms! And what would he do if the highest of the land were to discover what he had done? As do such things happen…there again are four knocks to the Innkeeper’s door. And in walk the Highest in the Land, Four Aces! The Innkeeper becomes faced with quite a dilemma. If he were to put the Aces in the last bed in each room, Bedlam itself would occur. Shrewd and wise as the Innkeeper was, he came up with a plan. He said to the Aces, “I’m so relieved you have come to set straight a terrible problem that has occurred in my Inn. For some reason, in the dark of the night, the royal families have all become quite scrambled! I must assign each of you to one of my four rooms and get you to call them all into the Central Lobby for an important meeting. Perhaps then, by candlelight we can help them find their right rooms! So each Ace went to each room. Then they gathered each group and met in the Central Lobby. While the lights were off, the Innkeeper mysteriously solved the Royal Mixup simply by dividing and conquering 3 times!
This cardtrick was always a mystery to me as a child! I LOVED it, and just now I’m beginning to remember why. I grew up in a family where people were always visiting and staying the night. My mother loved that sort of bedlam. We’d juggle rooms around to fit the crew, to accomodate babies or a toddler or two.I loved waking up and running down the hall to greet our visitors. It added new experiences and adventures to our lives. The larger the mix, the more the merriment! And having any people sleep over for the night was as magical as my favorite lithograph done by my wonderful cousin, Dillard!
Seems like I’m forever tweaking rooms in this house to create sleeping spaces! Interesting concept since there are only two humans here, me and Alex, and two dogs. Yet as everyone knows, there’s nothing like having family come ‘to live’ even if it’s only for one night and even if everyone comes at once! Well, this weekend for one night our Motley Motel will be full almost to the brim! I remember for my Mom, such bedlam was bliss to her! Likewise, it is for me!
So tweaking away, here’s the set up for this weekend’s marvelous crew:
My brother and his wife in the Bird Nest Room, Hannah/Landon/Baby Oliver in the LadyBug Room. Oliver gets the cozy closet. Alex and I, and Lovely Little Lucy Dog have the BunkBeds in the Laundry Sunflower Suite (it’s in high demand, must make reservations early!), Jay and April luck out and get the Aciu Studio Apartment, and Daniel gets a choice between an antique bed in the front Music Room or our Circus Sofa in the Sunny Room with a View! He will be lulled to sleep by snores of Lacy, Francklin and Iris, the three biggest dogs!
We still have one more sleeping option if only I felt well enough to fix it up. I call it The Sleeping House. It’s ‘the little house’ and is only big enough for one double bed. Guess I’ll get that one ready for the next time ‘the relatives come’! Just needs a little heat and insulation and it’s ready to go!
The only hard part for me to adjust to is not having the energy I used to have for such gatherings. Seems I give out easier and need more recuperation time. Yet to be together with people I love, to sit up at night chatting and laughing, to play games, to wake up and share ‘morning faces’ over a cup of coffee or whatever is someone’s ‘wake up’ routine are gifted moments I wouldn’t want to miss!
So bring it on! and y’all come!