HOSPITALITY ON DINGLE HILL – April 2012

By Bev Travis and Bob Lidsky

Our life in Andes began twenty-three years ago when we purchased the former Grant Brisbane farm on Dingle Hill. Some years later we divided the property, sold the old farmhouse and built our present home across the road down by the pond.  Our old home is now owned by the Castellanos.

One weekend about seven years ago, our daughter Kristina, her husband and their children made arrangements to meet friends at our place. The couple, Kirsten and Dan, was from Washington, D.C. Kirsten had stayed with us at the Brisbane house many years before we built our new home, but Dan was new to us and to Andes.

It was almost 10 pm; Kristina and family had arrived much earlier, and we were all getting sleepy. The telephone rang, Bob answered and said aloud “Where are you… still in Washington?”

We knew that none of us wanted to or would be able to wait up for their very late arrival, so Bob gave them detailed arrangements. We would leave the lights on. They should enter by the back door, turn to the right, go to the top of the staircase, turn right and their bed would be waiting in the first room on the right. Bob also mentioned that our five dogs and our daughter’s two dogs would be roaming freely in the house.

Although Bev was sure the seven dogs would not harm anyone, she did not think that Kirsten and Dan would appreciate being greeted by so many dogs at once, so she spent a rather fitful night listening for their arrival. In the morning, she thought she heard voices in the kitchen and there was a strange car in our driveway. She guessed they had arrived as planned. Little did she know just when, where and how they arrived.

When Bev came downstairs, to her surprise, our Kristina was roaring with laughter. Kirsten and Dan were nowhere to be seen. When Bev asked what happened, Kristina said they had just called to say that they spent most of the night at the Castellano home across the road. Bev asked, “What do you mean?”

Our daughter explained: The Castellanos’ son was also expecting friends arriving late. Their lights were on, and their door was unlocked. Apparently Kirsten, remembering her previous visits, went to the back door of the “old house”. Kirsten and Dan took off their shoes. It seemed strange that there was only one dog bowl for seven dogs and no dog greeted them, but they were quite tired and let it go. They went to the right, up the stairs, turned to the right and found their bedroom. Since Kirsten had been to the house before, she knew where the bathroom was so she and Dan went past the other bedrooms, down the hall to the bathroom, brushed their teeth, jiggled the handle on the running toilet, and, exhausted from their long drive, at last went to bed and fell sound asleep.

In the morning, our neighbor Mike Castellano awakened, saw the strange car in his driveway and asked his son if it was his friends’ car. His son replied,  “No way! They never came!” Wondering whose car was in his driveway and whose shoes were on his kitchen floor, Mike went upstairs to investigate.

Now, keep in mind that Dan had never met Bev or Bob. Our neighbor Mike, without fanfare, upon opening the bedroom door was greeted by a quick thinking, and quite surprised, Dan from the bed. He said, “Good Morning Bob, nice to meet you”. Mike with amazing calmness, considering the situation, replied, “I’m not Bob and I don’t know who you are or what you are doing in my house!”

In utter panic, Dan woke Kirsten who, quickly realizing that something was gravely wrong, looked at Mike and exclaimed “Oh! No!” Mike replied, “Why don’t you both get dressed, gather your belongings and meet me downstairs?”

After realizing the comedy in the mistake, extremely hospitable Mike, his wife Cathy and their family graciously offered coffee to their “guests” who after calling Kristina, were seen walking backward as fast as possible out the back door. Kirsten and Dan drove down to our home.  After a brief greeting, they went to “their other” bedroom at the right at the top of the stairs and went to sleep!

Later in the day Cathy and Mike graciously entertained all of us to review the events of the night. All and all, an amazing and wonderful experience! What fine neighbors we have here in Andes!  ~