By Peter Lederman
It’s positively stuff of rural legend…a motif so often repeated by that sanctimonious repository of all things yuppie, The New York Times, in their Escapes and Travel sections, that I had become a believer. It was only going to be a matter of time before we became victims of “THE WEEKEND GUESTS FROM HELL”. No need to describe what that means: it’s all in the title.
Well sure, we have had plenty of weekend guests over the 6 years we have owned our beautiful little piece of Andes; 95 year old mom and her boyfriend, brothers and sisters-in-law and their children, spouses and babies, our kids and their friends in astounding quantities, our old friends, lost friends, cats and dogs and, yes, even someone we still have been unable to identify though I swear he’s from Linda’s side of the family tree. And even more, yes, we have dealt with fear of this and fear of that, of heat too high and heat too low, of “do you have snakes in your pond” and “why the flies”, and “where do you shop” and “what do you do up here???????” We can shrug all that off with a round of drinks as our guests slip out of their big city manias and actually enjoy themselves. And once again, yes, we have dealt with the Atkinsites and the gluten-frees and the vegans and “Dan doesn’t like onions in his salad” (as whispered to Linda by Dan’s 4th girlfriend), and our favorite, our daughter’s friend who only eats meat and can do 2 pounds of bacon by himself at breakfast. So, yes, there have been inconveniences, some soul selling and adapting to make others comfortable, but all in all we have enjoyed it.
Well dig this, cause it just happened recently and Linda and I are still reeling from it. Stu and Jane (yeah I wish his name was Dick too) were coming up for the weekend….great people with a strong bent for Long Island and Florida who have only visited us twice in the past 6 years. Stu owns a woodworking/metal shop on Long Island and was kind enough to fill my request for two custom stainless steel pans 17 /1’2″ x 12 ½” with 5/8″ lips to replace some broken ones on my ancient charcoal grill/rotisserie. They came right on time and presented Linda with a beautiful picture frame. I barbecued that night and they ate everything and we sat around schmoozing and drinking under a beautiful night sky for hours. The next day we toured Andes and they helped the local economy quite a bit and that night they took us out for dinner at the Black Bear seafood restaurant in Arkville and paid the bill.
On Sunday morning Jane seemed a bit anxious as she waited for Linda to appear and as soon as Linda came out of the bedroom Jane popped the question. ” I hope this doesn’t insult you, but I am a great organizer and would love to sort out all the cleaning stuff you have under your sink, again I know its none of my business but I would love to do it, would you mind?” And Linda, being the smartest, most non-defensive person on the planet passed it once around her mind and said “Sure, knock your socks off”. Here’s the picture:
Jane did an incredible job that we are still benefiting from and if anyone is interested in stoking Jane’s passion, here’s their phone number 516-569-3622. So eat your heart out New York Times.