From the window near my desk, I can see the steps leading to one of my Airbnbs.
After a long drive that started in North Carolina, the guests have arrived. I watch two sets of casually clad feet run up the stairs. Ten minutes later, with the swoosh of a skirt, and the clatter of dress shoes, they run back down. After traveling twelve hours to see a new grandbaby, no time was to be wasted!
I smiled as I remembered that just a few weeks ago, I made the same trip in reverse. My first grandbaby was born in North Carolina, and I wasted no time rushing to hold that precious babe in my arms.
When I first opened an AirBnB in small town, Indiana, I was repeatedly asked, “Do you really think it will be successful? Who goes to Small Town?”
I’m not located near a tourist attraction. The closest full grocery store is 15 miles away, and the nearest city is a 35 minute drive. But I’ve seen Field of Dreams. I know what can happen if you build something wonderful in the middle of cornfields!
Nearly four years later, I have two Airbnbs. The one upstairs, and another next door. Now I can answer the question, “Who comes to Small Town, Indiana?”
The adult grandchildren of a local man celebrating his 90th birthday!
The long-distance cousins who finally get to attend a family reunion.
The brother who drove 800 miles to visit his terminally-ill sibling for the last time.
The daughter who flew across the country to hold her mother’s hand during chemotherapy.
The wife who needs a safe place to stay with the kids for a few days.
The family from Haiti coming to the US for their son’s wedding.
The elderly woman who wants to attend local events, but can’t drive home after dark.
The school teacher who hasn’t found a house in the area yet, but wants to be nearby for school events.
The bride and her bridesmaids who need a place to get ready for an outdoor, country wedding.
The neighbor’s adult kids coming home for the holidays.
The travel nurse working in the ER of a small local hospital.
The family whose closing on their new home was delayed.
The students from Cambodia traveling across the US as inexpensively as possible.
The parents moving their child to Purdue University.
The couple from Canada, making their way to Florida sunshine.
The family from Florida who wanted their kids to experience a true winter.
The family members here for a celebration of life for a dear one who had passed.
The siblings coming to surprise their brother on his 70th birthday.
The young British man who had not seen his fiancé or his dog for two years due to the pandemic.
The couple returning after five decades to attend their high school reunion.
And currently…one Airbnb houses the new grandparents, while the other holds a young groom, and parents of the bride.
As I was drinking coffee on my porch this morning, I had the privilege of seeing the groom and the bride’s parents dressed in their wedding finery. They were FaceTiming with someone, laughing and talking as they made their way to the vehicles which would carry them to the venue. I felt privileged to briefly witness their excitement and beauty. I’ve been mother-of-the-bride twice now, and it is indeed a most glorious occasion!
This is a place my guests will vaguely remember, and mine is a name they will soon forget. But for a brief period of time, I had the honor of witnessing the human emotion surrounding some of the most important milestones of life. Even in Small Town, Indiana, Airbnb has given me the opportunity to show hospitality to people from around the world, because life happens everywhere. My heart is full of gratitude that I get to be an ever-so-small part of so many momentous occasions.
If you’d like to experience life in Small Town, USA, please check out my listings: