It was a three day weekend for my husband and I. I was glad to be out of the city and back into our newly purchased get-away on the river. The house is over 70 years in age tucked against the trees, but has been well maintained. It was not large and still needed a lot of superficial work as a son of the prior owners had lived there a year and repaired nothing. The rooms with contemporary high ceilings and track lighting and the wide windows overlooking the river on the left side and overlooking the backyard with a view across the river and the softer view of the marsh on the right from our rise of land were what I looked forward to soaking in with a cup of tea each Friday. Each view was a painting. Everything at the CIA had been tense these last weeks, and even though I was in the history section of the department writing biographies, I could feel the confusion and craziness just outside our section. Warden, my husband, could shut everything out while he worked on his computer code, but I was in a room of people separated only by cubicles and could feel the distraction. I was working on a detailed biography of Sarandji of the Central African Republic which had not been all that intriguing.
Anyway, Warden had called this elderly couple for a tour of their yard on the river. They did sit on a bit of a hill, but the slope down to their tributary of the river was much softer. It was hard trying to keep up with the couple, casually dressed in jeans and hoodies, on what was our warmest day of the new year thus far. They showed us every single tree they had ever planted in their ten years of living there. They pointed out various birds in the woods, the vegetable and flower gardens, and finally we got to the side of the hill where they had placed retention walled supports that we were interested in studying and the river where they had put in rocked reefs to deflect the waves from eroding more shoreline.
The couple talked over each other and corrected each other like long term married couples do. I decided that the best method was to divide and conquer. So Warden took the husband for a while and I followed the wife. Then mid-way we switched. When we finished, we of course had to invite them back to our house to get their advice on our land challenge. They were like happy dogs, covering paths and identifying plants and suggesting reinforcements in our yard while we tried to keep up. By the time they left at 1:00 PM I was both hungry and ready for a lie down. I was also wondering with some trepidation if our paths would cross more often when we fully moved down here.
(P.S. The above is mostly true and happened last weekend. We are the elderly couple, of course, so I have no idea what was running through the younger couple's minds, although I wrote this as if I did. But I do know we (hubby) talked way too much.)