A blog about one woman's journey to Merida

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Few Good Men

I have theory.   There are a few things in life you can't do without. A good carpenter, a good plumber and a man with a pickup truck.  With all due respect to electricians, it's not that difficult to find someone who can install an outlet, but if your boiler isn't working when it's 2 degrees outside or your porch is collapsing, eventually you're going to need the assistance of a good man.

Now I do know a few women in the trades but they're few and far between.  I'm not being sexist here, I'm just calling it the way I see it.

I don't know of anyone who hasn't needed the help of a friend with a truck to either lug in or lug out some monstrous piece of furniture from time to time. 

I'm great friends with an old beau and both he and his truck have come to the rescue many times.  He's responsible for repairing my well pump three times.  He took me and the dogs in when I had to evacuate during Hurricane Sandy and had blankets and towels waiting for us.  He's a good man.

We live in a fairly isolated area and on the river. The weather can beat us up sometimes and all of us try to take care of each other as best we can.  We help each other clean up after a storm, we shower at a neighbor's house (the guy with the generator), and haul water from the river to older neighbors so they can flush the toilet until power is restored.  It's usually the "men folk" who are there to lend a helping hand. 

I've had the same plumber for 20 years who sends someone whenever I need help.  It usually late at night when I have no heat or no water and I love him for it.

My tenant is a great outdoors man and has relocated the occasional woodchuck or copperhead when they've become a nuisance.  I'm not good at capture and release.

Then there's the friend who works for the town.  He's an expert welder and was responsible for constructing the supports for my dock.

My tenant's brother is a master carpenter who miraculously showed up one day, along with the above mentioned men and built an amazing deck/dock. It was a place where we all gathered after a hard day at work.  We lost it during Sandy but already I'm finding reclaimed lumber mysteriously appearing in the driveway.  AND, he takes care of my dogs when I travel.  He's a saint.

The local volunteer fire department is so accustomed to pumping out my cellar that they sometimes show up with a spare pump "just in case".  They've stood in the dark pumping out 30,000 gallons an hour and waded through a freezing cellar when it's 15 degrees.  I think I've got a crush on all of them...

My brother has always been the "go to" guy when I have computer related questions.  He's been a great friend and confidant over the years and I trust his opinion.  I know he won't blow smoke up my skirt when I need to hear the truth.

Recently I found out he has something I can really use...a United Mileage Plus account that's going to make it possible to bring extra luggage on my next trip to Merida without having to pay.  This is a beautiful thing.

I can handle black rat snakes, mice, spiders, painting, gardening, mowing, shoveling, hauling, and bees.  I know how to use manual tools and a few motorized ones.  I can whittle, cook, sew and build a fire.  It's all well and good to be an "independent" woman, but it's very nice to know that a good man's got your back when you need it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nido de Aguilas

It seems almost impossible to believe.  I now own a home in Merida.  not a grand home, mind you...but one that I hope will be perfect for me.

It started out as a dream and as the years went by, that dream faded a bit.  Now after so many years it's become a reality.

When I started looking for homes on the Internet as so many people do, I was afraid that I had waited too long.   Every house seemed out of reach.   I eventually put together a list along with some suggestions from my realtor and hit the pavement last September.   I was shown some that were well beyond my budget and had to make it clear that I had to stay under $55,000. I saw 14 houses during that trip and none seemed to speak to me.

In January I returned and saw over twenty homes...all within budget.  I found a nice property with the courtyard I'd hoped for, high walls, two bedrooms and two baths.  There are things that need to be done and I'm in the process of getting quotes to see where I go next.  There isn't a stash of money hidden anywhere and changes will have to be made in order of priority.  Roof repaired and sealed, facade attended to, plumbing and electric upgraded.

I'm heading back in May and am so happy that my brother and sister-in-law will be joining me.  I can't wait to explore more of Merida with them.

Of course I have my wish list.  A pool, and functional but pretty changes will come in time.

The only thing that is certain is what I will call my new home.  I'm looking forward to the day when i can welcome friends to Nido de Aguilas where a cool drink and a hug will always be waiting.