This episode is brought to you in collaboration with blogger and calligrapher Jessica Chung from Pretty Prints and Paper, who will be providing hand lettered feminist bookmarks to members of the Feminist Book Club subscription box.
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The featured essay today was inspired by a recent realization. My house has become Grand Central Station and I don’t hate it. In fact, it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.
Then I literally sit down, in my kitchen, to chat with my friend and neighbor Jessie Basil. She had a rocky road to motherhood, from unexplained infertility to two birth mothers changing their minds. We discuss all the lengths she went through to try to get pregnant (vaginal steaming is just one of many things she tried!) and the grueling, expensive, heartbreaking, and completely wonderful adoption experience.
Say hi to Jessie (and Sonny!) on Instagram: @baysale1
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Welcome to Grand Central Station
I took a phone call in my home office one evening, fully expecting to hang up, take a quick shower, and head to bed early. My husband and I had already discussed how tired and cranky we both were feeling, so we were looking forward to introvert time and a good night’s sleep.
Imagine my surprise when I open my office door and hear my in-laws’ voices. And I remember, Oh yeah, my house has become Grand Central Station.
This experience is not unusual around here. It’s not as though anyone, even family, comes over unannounced. I’m sure my in-laws called first that night. But the whole thing is new for me — people dropping by, picking things up, borrowing tools, chatting for a bit… truthfully, it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.
I’d been living insularly the last ten years, hardly knowing my neighbors, rarely making friends in the same zip code, hours away from any family. I didn’t realize how isolating it felt. Fast forward to my life now, full of monthly brunches at my dining room table, drinks with neighbors on the deck, kids playing in my sprinkler, people dropping in for a night or two, visiting us or just in transition — I’m laying down roots and creating a safe haven for people in my life.
I’d been doing it by accident but in this political climate, I’m getting intentional and making it explicit: this old house is more than just a roof over your head, it’s a place to be nourished. Walk through my door, let me feed you, take a nap, nourish your soul, show up exactly as you are. Stay for an hour, stay for a week. We’ve got the space. You are safe here.
Welcome to Grand Central Station. It may not always be clean, but you are always welcome.