When the Cat’s Away—the Weeds Grow

Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography

Our moving to the Mayan Riviera for a portion of last winter was an experiment, one that included many questions: What would it cost? how long could we comfortably stay away from home? how badly would we miss all our friends and close relatives back home? where were the best tacos in town? were there decent wines available in the markets? and—just as importantly—how much work would we have when we returned home in the spring?

Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography

Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography

All our questions were pretty much answered. I’m purposefully equivocating here. Let me explain: We enjoyed our rented condo in Playa del Carmen (see A Fine Umbrella), the great food, little adventures (see Another Passport Stamp), exploring old ruins and cenotes (tunnels and sinkholes of the Yucatan) (see Let’s Keep This Quiet), and the many friends and family members that visited us in Playa (see Grandkids Too).

However, we had a set, known amount of time in our plans and, towards the end of our allotted time, we became antsy, ready to be home—not disliking where we were and what we were doing but knowing our time was nearly up.

So, it begs the question, could we have stayed longer? Could we have stayed somewhere (I always use Malta as a less expensive example) longer than our several weeks in Playa if we had a longer allotted amount of time? Were we ready to leave the Yucatan because of a mental fixation on our airline itinerary, or was six weeks simply our limit? Guess we’ll have to do some more experimenting. Oh, darn.

We have a friend who is a great dog watcher and house sitter, who feeds and entertains Kathey’s Jack Russell terrier while we’re gone. No easy task there. And she occupies the house while we’re away. Sure, we have an alarm system, but having someone there makes us all the more comfortable when leaving.

The weeds will grow

The weeds will grow

There are limits to what you can ask a house sitter to do (especially a friend) while you’re gone. Let’s just say that the weed trimmer was right where I had left it at the end of last summer. And the weeds, holy cow, were waist high (and I’m tall). The milkweeds were the size of small trees with trunks an inch and a half (38 millimeters) in diameter!

Needless to say, when we returned home, weed cutting and house dusting were at the top of our list of chores. And, on a warm day, we would take out the carpets and steam clean them, open the windows and recycle the air. Out with the old winter dankness and in with the new spring air, bird chirps floating in with a freshness only spring can deliver.

The windows (so many damn windows) can wait until the threat of rain has passed. For those not familiar with California, it seldom rains during summer here. We’ve about a month’s reprieve from the eventual window washing. Cool.

Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography

Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography

So down with the weeds, clean up storm debris, do some pruning, get out the patio furniture, and plan a party.

And, begin making more travel plans: a Mexico trip with our oldest grandson following the completion of his school year and a European sojourn with friends in the fall. Maybe even another Camino de Santiago—since I’ll be in Europe anyway (fingers crossed).

It is always good to be home! Weeds, dusty carpets, and all.

 

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