So true. As Summer 2011 approaches, I’m always on the prowl for ways to to ease the “end of the year” sting of leaving friends, having a little less constant company, and being scattered across the country again. One of my favorites: making plans to have friends visit.

I don’t think I loved hosting people at my house until I reached college. I certainly didn’t appreciate Rhode Island enough until I went to high school in MA. There’s something excellent though about having a house full of the people you love, coming back from a day at the beach to break out the hummus, salsa, and early evening drinks. You all pile into the bathrooms which fill with perfumed steam and the sounds of running water and hairdryers. The day’s tan becomes evident, and the need for makeup is minimal because your skin is glowing with summer sunshine-induced health. From there, you squish into the cars to drive down to Newport for dinner. When summer’s length can feel lonely, the best fix is always calling a few friends to stay for a while.

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