So here’s the thing about abnbs. When you’re in a ‘foreign’ country don’t you always wonder how the natives live? I mean on a daily basis, personally, in their most private of spaces and moments. Do they use duvets or sheets and blankets? What sort of knickknacks do they put on corner tables? What do they eat just before going to bed? Well, turns out that in the kind of abnb that’s attached to, right by, or even within the owners’ actual living space, you get a glimpse of all that.

Here I am in eastern South Dakota, right on the Minnesota border in what used to be called a mother-in-law house and in New Mexico we call a casita. It’s a small one-bedroom house (actually about the size of my apartment which is 800 sq. feet) tastefully and pleasantly decorated. I’ll meet the owners tonight or tomorrow and I’m anxious to see if they fit the image I’ve conjured up for them.

They are above all friendly or at least most accommodating. Every detail is just right for the comfort of their guests, whether random travelers or family at Thanksgiving. There are extra blankets, soft towels, shelves of the kind of things one forgets in the rush of home-leaving (toothpaste), TV (which my present travel ethic doesn’t permit me to turn on), and every imaginable form of almost-junk food. Even if you’re on a scrambled tofu, kale and coconut water diet, a shelf of processed seaweed and dried prunes is not a desirable greeting when you arrive at your destination all travel worn and easily annoyable. I for one am much happier seeing pop tarts, ‘froot’ loops and m&ms although they shall remain untouched.


There’s a big yard…of course there is…this is after all the upper Midwest. And I’ve been invited by the hosts to help myself to tomatoes from the garden. And I shall. Picked up some fresh farm eggs and vanilla salted caramel whole milk yogurt (so much better than unsweetened Greek) yesterday at a healthfully-stocked store called Pomegranate; it reminded me of Wild Oats before it became Whole Foods and before the reign of Jeff Bezos. Smallish and fussy about what they carry.

Now for breakfast. Scrambled eggs with cheese and fresh tomatoes, white coffee, and perhaps a pop tart for dessert. Wait a minute. Midwestern potluck lunch today. Meaning a table of ‘hot dishes’…and I do love hot dishes. In northern Minnesota there would be several with wild rice, here probably not. So saving the big breakfast for tomorrow might be a good idea. How about yogurt and banana for now?


A day ahead of familiar cousins and heretofore unknown cousins. A family reunion of my maternal grandfather’s side of the family. A small one I think because…well because how many cousins of my generation are still alive! Just like my high school reunion…

One Comment on “TO ABNB OR NOT TO ABNB

  1. What a pleasant place to “roost”. You would expect everybody in South Dakota to be this accommodating. Have a happy reunion…don’t forget to put a Delaware visit on your calendar.

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