20 July 2015

When Did Noah Build The Ark, Gladys? Before The Rain

Rainy season has arrived . . . though not only here on the montaƱa.

The Open Championship. The best golf event of the golf year. Links golf . . . always my favorite. And this year’s Open Championship has seen multiple rain delays and high winds . . . the kind of links golf for which I took up this crazy drinking-game. Not since Jean Van de Velde crashed at Carnoustie has The Open held such suspense . . . except for any Open played at Troon (Frank knows!). My excitement is in no small part due to Dallas' own Jordan Speith's placement going into the final round.

Anyway, here I am at Mil Colinas with no television to watch those little white balls . . . monkey watching (seeing their little white balls), not golf watching. Once upon a time I would not work on the two opening days of the British . . . it was that important; and the U.S. tournaments rarely display the equivalent of those British links courses. Did I mention that I’m here with no television? Did I mention the sketchy Internet service that's closing my browser everytime the leader board updates? Bottom line: I wonder whether it was a mistake to have left Dallas before The Open Championship.

Speaking of mistakes . . . everyone makes mistakes. Despite the diverse cultures on this planet, one common thread of our humanity is mistakes . . . though I often feel that I cornered the market at an early age. Rookie mistakes are expected. Veteran mistakes? Less so.

When we first arrived at Mil Colinas we found, on average, one scorpion a day. Daily: diarias (great word, no?). We attributed the number of scorpion encounters to the fact that the home had been closed since we went under contract last October. The scorpion sightings diminished in frequency; but not our vigilance. Right. When burning our trash (moving boxes), we were ever cautious, if not gloved, in reaching for each piece of cardboard.

Took me four stings over a period of two years in West Africa to grasp this axiom: when reaching under stones, driftwood, palm fronds . . . better move slowly or don some gloves. Prepare before the scorpion sighting . . . you'd think I'd have learned. Leaving a damp towel on the tile, especially a pool/beach towel, is asking for trouble. Gonna toss your clothes on the floor before bed? Better be especially careful in the morning. We know all of this.

 Nevertheless, what one doesn’t expect is an encounter while simply making the bed. While merely grabbing a king-size pillow by its case. . . bam! Stung by the tiniest scorpion I’ve ever seen. If you’ve ever been stung, you know immediately that it’s a scorpion. No bee/wasp/yellow-jacket. The neuro-toxin of even a relatively harmless scorpion races through your bloodstream. It’s not wildly painful . . . in fact, it’s a rather curious sensation. Nevertheless, I don’t recommend it for you curious readers. Bottom line: I’ve clearly not learned my lesson in the seven-Ps.

We don't have a garbage disposal . . . but we do have a mountain (more on garbage at another time). I love our version of the trash for organic matter. I feel that my pitching arm is ready for the big league. Over the side of our mountain, surely something will eat it . . . and I try to carefully aim my disposal tosses based on what animal I'd like to lure near the home. Bananas, it should go without saying, stay close to the base of the retaining wall. But I digress.

I broke the coffee maker. Well, perhaps I didn’t break it, but I did lose its mesh coffee filter while flinging the wet coffee mush over the hillside. Without a safety net, so to speak, for the net filter, it was bound to happen. Slid from my hand; and while I briefly believed it might stick at the bottom of the rock wall, no, in fact, it tumbled toward the river, completely out of sight. Moments later indoors the illuminated clock of the actual coffee maker went dark. Coincidence? Bottom line: Rusty spent all day Saturday disassembling the coffee maker to identify the source of its electrical issues. All that work for a $20 coffee maker. He can thank me later.

Sunday I grabbed my ol’ pal, the weed-eater, to mow the grass. Rusty offered me an extra-long extension cord. My man is so thoughtful. As I neared the end of the job, the end of the cord, and the end of the yard, for some reason I couldn’t remove the extension cord from the weed-eater. Well sure enough, bare wires were showing where the weed-eater accepts an extension cord. My fault? My mistake? Rusty says No, but we all know what Rusty was really thinking. Bottom line: I afforded Rusty the opportunity to use those 80,000 pounds of tools to repair a $40 weed whacker. He lives for these little challenges.

Lubos and Cynthia have returned from Europe . . . just in time to see my yard work and our orchid tree, which is different than the Pizza Tree, which lives somewhere south of here. Anyway,  I really surprised myself: I missed Cynthia every single day. Rusty may have tired of my whining. Saturday morning I spied workers up at Lot 7 (Kathleen, it’s ready!) and then I spied Lubos’ pony tail.

Praise God! Lubos and Cynthia are home. Not only home . . . home with photos, new Czech words for me to learn, and with plans and pricing for our new carport/garage/tool-storage/Rusty's-playhouse. Now believe me when I tell you that everybody and their cousin have advice on the construction of our garage/carport. Literally, everybody and their cousin (many family members live down the mountain on the finca with the corn, the cows, and the horseys). Anyway, Lubos and Cynthia will build our garage, which means the much anticipated return of our crew, Javier, Tonio, and Melvie, whom we love. With rainy season here in earnest, we've picked the wrong twelve weeks to build a garage. 

Yes, we really have an entire tree covered in orchids -- all my work to make orchids bloom in Dallas, and they're right over our mountainside railing covering the closest tree. I declare, they were not present until the rains began.

I really wonder how Melvie spells his name. Why am I learning Czech when I can’t even speak Spanish? As for next summer's Open Champtionship at Royal Troon (Dear God, I'm already excited) . . . will we have television or Internet by then? Lo que hay.