House Measuring: Measuring Hospitality

It has been three days since Emma and I started working on Sheila and Mike Ryan’s house, measuring their properties and trying to draw plans of their buildings as a part of our fieldwork in Witless Bay. Exactly from the first, both of us have this feeling that nobody is luckier than us spending time with so lovely Sheila and Mike in their house. On the first day, Sheila welcomed us with home-made toutons.  Sitting around the table in the kitchen and sniffing the pleasant smell of bread, we did really enjoy our hot tea with the warmth and sweetness of these people.

Sheila making toutons for us, taken by Saeede

Sheila making toutons for us in her kitchen, taken by Saeede

Emma working on our plan, taken by Saeede

Emma working hard on our plan in the Ryans’ yard , taken by Saeede 

On the third day, Sheila was not in the house but very generously, she left the key with a sweet letter for us. Thoughtfully and kindly, she also put different kinds of snack in the kitchen for us.

Sheila left a letter and key for us,taken by Emma

Sheila left a letter and key for us,taken by Emma

This three day experience reminds me of Dr. Jerry Pocius told us that “houses are the first entrance to people’s life”. While being focused on drawing plans, it provides me the opportunity to listen more carefully to the unheard voices of the place. The Ryans’ house is just honest as them; simplicity and beauty are interwoven together in every single object. The careful selection of ornaments and furniture is saying out loud of Sheila’s creativity and passion for art. The yellow walls in the kitchen bring testimony to the warm hearted nature of the owners and the blue walls of the other rooms match with their patience and kindness toward guests. Being blessed with their warm hospitality, not even for a split second in these three days, I felt like a foreigner in their cozy house. Thanks to Ryans, now I have this unforgettable experience and wonderful memory which I cannot wait to share with my friends and family in Iran that once upon a time there was a white house in Witless Bay with an amazing couple where I felt like home…

One thought on “House Measuring: Measuring Hospitality

  1. Beautifully written!!!! It makes a person reading it feel warm. Sheila and Mike sound like beautiful a couple to have as ambassadors for our GREAT province, and from what I’ve picked up from your blogs, you must be a very special person to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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