The Art of Visiting

My Grandma Fitzpatrick, visiting with relatives in the family homestead (circa 1970).
When I was growing up, there was something called visiting.

Visiting was when you walked down the road, or jumped in your car for a drive to nowhere in particular, and you ended up at someone's home. You didn't call ahead - you didn't have to.  No one cared if you did, and most likely they were home and excited to see you.  You were welcomed into the home, and before you knew it, you were sharing the latest news, telling clean, corny jokes laughing like a fool, and loving every minute of it.

And you never left without being fed. Sometimes an entire meal, but most definitely at least bars or cake, and the ever present coffee. The pace of life was different then. People weren't so much in a hurry, and they took the time to ask after you. How's your family? How's your garden coming along? I can't believe how big your boy is now; seems like yesterday he was just a baby. Did you hear...?

Life was not as regimented as now.  There was regularity, a rhythm, to be sure.  But it felt more organic.  I suppose it could just be that I was a child, and I'm now romanticizing it through the nostalgic lens of memory.  But I don't think so.  I think it was a better time.