Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Letter from America 3. - 'Home' and good neighbours

Saturday 5th and we checked out a day early from the resort and drove our usual cross-country route to Naples.  Ken actually declined a stop at Smokey Joe's for ice cream (unheard of).  We had a late lunch at a Cracker Barrel about half an hour from home, did some grocery shopping and got into the condo by late afternoon. After a flurry of unpacking a ton of cases we were ready to fall down in a heap and decided to tackle the rest the following day.

Our lovely neighbour G brought us freshly made-from-scratch corn muffins around 8.30 pm to welcome us home.  How kind is that.  Plus they were just perfection.

I wanted to record this day because I need to make sure I get in all the positives among the moaning.  We have the nicest of neighbours in this building.  G and his wife had already done me a huge favour by taking in a stack of parcels for me in our absence.

seven boxes - a bit of a huge favour
These were delivered early on Sunday by J so I could have fun unwrapping them.  

We had taken them some 'tablet' from Aberfeldy as a token thank you.  This commodity took a little explanation but was extra appreciated as J's ancestors hailed from Edinburgh.

OK, now I am about to list the niggles because I want to record how I have this cumulative effect of tiny things which make me not want to do this any more.

Sunday lunch of roast chicken - bought everything except the cornflour - Ken out to Publix for that.  Didn't take stock cubes from home - never have found any I like here so we spent six bucks on something organic that sounded good - it seemed to consist of onions and huge amount of salt..... weird chicken gravy.  

Also I spend days wondering where this or that is - not only because kitchens can't be the same, of course, but also I can't always remember what I own on one side of the pond or the other.  Spent ages today looking for a small enamel casserole only to finally remember I don't have one here.

The oddest thing was I drove myself potty because we don't seem to have a trivet for hot dishes to go on when they come out of the oven!!!!  How have I lived ten years here without?  Total mystery.  

Every time we return to each place (especially this one) there are things which don't work, aren't reconnected, need fixing.  So far Ken has bought and replaced a toilet valve flap.  He is currently out sorting out sim cards so we have phones we can use here. I can't use the washing machine as the cold water valve is leaking.

Also each time we arrive we have to clean the whole of the outside area.  This means sweeping thoroughly and then washing every inch.  Unlike the UK, during the warm, humid and stormy summer here the place is hanging in webs and bugs and most of all various bugs poo!!  Not to mention the resident frog who makes a real mess. Over and under all that is just plain dirt being blown in with the rain and winds of the storms, plus plant debris.

we have to start at the ceiling and 

work our way down

To be really honest it just gets harder as we get older.  I was so happy this might be our last time doing it.

So, all in all, settling in runs over a few days before we have it cracked.

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