Dorothy Haycraft

NanaDorothy Haycraft was never one to complain. My mother might tell a different story, but in all my life I don’t recall hearing my grandmother express dissatisfaction. She was always a model of good old-fashioned Southern hospitality — always at home in the kitchen, never sitting down or relaxing while there was work to be done, she was one of those grandmothers who would cook a different meal for every guest if they wanted it. My mother had a hard time keeping us in check, discouraging us from taking undue advantage of our Nana’s generous-to-a-fault nature.

My wife’s family has an old Polish saying they like to repeat, which translates to “A guest in the house is God in the house.” It brings home the basic notion that every person we encounter should represent another face of God, inviting us to an opportunity for service and hospitality. Though I never heard the Polish saying until after my Nana had died, I think she would have appreciated the sentiment.