This is the ultimate in gracious hospitality. I wonder what we would do if someone came walking in and sat down at the table, exuding bonhomie, and joined in as if he belonged there. I feel sure we wouldn't have handled it with the aplomb of that family.
A salesman who travels southern Georgia and Alabama was told of a boarding house in a small town in his territory that had great food. One day he saw some cars parked outside of a house that looked right and went in. There were about ten people sitting at a big dining table heaped with food. He took an empty chair. He was a chatty type, and so were they. They passed the platters, and he ate his fill. When he stood up and asked the lady at the head of the table how much he owed her, she said, "Oh, you don't owe anything. This is a private home. We hope you enjoyed your dinner.Gail Greenblatt, quoted in A Gracious Plenty