For New Years this year we had planned on heading to Norway. Jeff is Norwegian on his Mom’s side. He has wanted to spend a snowy Norwegian Yuletide in an ice hotel since I have known him. But then, Fergus.
A new puppy wouldn’t do well in a boarding facility. When he entered our lives in early December, all our plans immediately changed. Plane tickets were cancelled. Ice hotel reservations refunded. After a lovely Christmas with friends, we would stay close to home to ring in the New Year.
Fergus is doing well on his training. As his proud papa announced yesterday, ‘He’s a really smart dog.’
Fergus has entered to the chewing, mouthy stage. Luckily, we have 4000 toys to give him a smorgasbord of options instead of my Micheal Kors high heel Urban Hikers. And the potty training is getting better every day. The new baby gate to block his path up the stairs will arrive tomorrow. And he now whines at the front door when he needs to go out – 50% of the time. We watch him like a hawk. Sniffing the ground a little too much? Time for a walk.
New Years Eve was nothing so special this year. I made a charcuterie with some local cheeses and chorizos. Ready for when Jeff came in from the barn. He’s slowly remodeling our kitchen. Starting with some smaller solutions for electro domésticos and our garbage and recycling. And for dog and cat food, now that we are a family of four. I’ll post pics when phase .5 is done. It will serve as a template for the rest of the kitchen.
Jeff was walking back from the barn with a cabinet when a car was at the gate. He thought it was Amazon. Our orders are delivered by taxi, Correos (the post office), other delivery services, and rando people in their personal cars. Usually, they honk if the gate is closed. But it turned out not to be Amazon. A couple got out of the car. Jeff walked them back to the house, then called for me.
I came out onto the front porch and recognized the guy. He has dreadlocks, the only person in our small town sporting those. And they are bright red. He introduced himself and ‘his woman.’ A curious turn of phrase that gave me a shiver. Jeff remembered giving him a ride from the grocery store once. I must have blocked it out.
She spoke some ingles. He did not , but we muddled through. They had heard about our food truck. And are opening a business themselves. We chatted a bit about our plans, walking around the property. Luckily, it wasn’t raining so we kept it outside. They don’t know many people in the area and said they had heard about ‘the Americans.’ All fine. They asked for our WhatsApp so we could share learnings. Again, fine. When, they asked what we were doing for New Years, I beat Jeff to the punch.
‘We are going to our neighbors.’ I said quickly.
Jeff looked at me curiously but said nothing. Marie Carmen is in a very low place this year. She is not hosting New Years Eve like last year. But if I had to sit on her front porch to avoid telling this lie I would do it. I told them we needed to be getting ready and made our excuses to move them along and out the gate. Jeff walked them to their car. Sometimes you just have a feeling about people. Something isn’t 100% clicking. You aren’t sure why but, then..
Not an hour later the first message came in. It informed me that this couple had come to our house for sex. Not business learnings. They are swingers and not very picky as to how we might line up – in the who-is-on-which-team department. And, since we are Americans, and everyone knows Americans are pretty open people, and they got ‘good vibes‘ off us, they figured we would be into getting down to it with them. To say I laughed out loud when the first text came in doesn’t cover it. Jeff paused the movie we were watching and waited for me to catch my breath.
‘That has to be a funny joke.’ He said.
‘Oh it is.’ I told him. ‘And, you’re included.’ Then, I read him the message. As I was doing so, a few more messages came in. With lots of emoji’s. I’ve never used the eggplant emoji before. And now I know why.
‘Do people in Melide think we are swingers?’ I asked. Incredulous. Thinking – is it my painting overalls?
I should have charged tickets to view the look on Jeff’s face. It was priceless. Then he laughed harder than I have seen him laugh in a very long time.
I wrote back, politely declining the offer of random sex with strangers. For both of us. I wanted to say that if I was going to take the bold step of swinging in small town Galicia – they wouldn’t be my first choice. But I refrained.
And Jeff’s take, after the laughter subsided?
‘Why does this kind of crap always happen to us?’
After decades, he thinks I can answer that?! It will be my next question for the Oracle at Delphi.
What’s That Sound?
It’s been raining here like God turned on the shower, then went on Christmas vacation. The farm is flat, so no worries of mudslides. But so much water has fallen that the ground is saturated. Our farm was a lake yesterday. And where it wasn’t, it was squishing walking out with Fergus. We have a stream at the back of the property. It was over it’s banks. You couldn’t tell where the edge was as the field was under water. And then, the problems started.
Jeff was showering when he heard the bubbling in the toilet. Not something you really want to hear. What is it with water problems? In summer we had no water. Now? Too much.
He got dressed and we went to check the septic system. The ground water won’t allow the septic tank to drain into the drain field. The ground can’t handle inches of rain day after day. He got out the auger and drilled test holes around the property. To see where the water level is. Near the house it’s two inches from the top. But, get any further out and the three foot hole immediately filled up.
So we have to be judicious with toilet flushing. Luckily we are both showered so we can last. And this week is supposed to be dry and sunny. We will watch the septic levels and see what happens. Our fontanero will be here next week putting in the water treatment plant he was supposed to install in November, and discuss the septic system for the cabins. So this new knowledge will come in handy for the design. There is always an upside.
We are not 48 hours into the new year when its already filled up with odd happenings. At this rate, one wonders what the next 364 days has in store for us. I am just praying that we are getting the shit show out of the way, early on. But who am I kidding?