Ted and Dorothy have finally found their ranch and purchased it.  Now to deal with bits of reality…

“Central California is basically a desert land that is brought into life with irrigation.  The roof of our dream house did not receive any consideration from us, until the first rain hit us the following winter.  A “sieve” would have been a more appropriate word to use rather than “roof”.  Anyway, we had no funds to patch, mend, or fix it.  Instead we had to put all of our pots, pans, bowls, etc., on the floor in strategic locations to catch the most rain possible.  How often our pots were changed depended on the amount of rainfall out side.  We, of course were still using the old mahogany furniture and we had placed it around the small house at various locations to keep from bumping into it.  The rainy season changed even those plans.  We found ourselves putting furniture on top of furniture, with the most needed pieces on the bottom, it turns out.  Our bedroom was a total disaster area.  There would not have been any way of catching all, or nearly all of the rainwater, even with wall-to-wall pots.  The best I could do was to open the outside door from the bedroom and sweep the water out of the door with my broom, prior to using a mop.

Under these circumstances, we went late one afternoon to visit our new friends, the Sniders, who were real farm people.  They were great neighbors and we enjoyed their homespun hospitality.  While we were there, two other farm couples arrived to visit and we were introduced to them.  We enjoyed the visit very much and somehow the party ended up at our house where we all ate take-out Chinese food for dinner.

Let’s see if I can conjure up the picture.  Thirteen people sitting around a dripping living room with furniture stacked up high all around them and strategically placed pots to catch the rainfall.  The biggest problem at hand was to place our large table for everyone to sit and eat without anyone getting rain soaked. Remember I said these were great people?  We made quite a joke out of this process.  Someone cracked up the whole group by sitting at the table with marked concentration and holding an umbrella in one hand and eating with the other in an extremely debonair attitude.  After dinner we all sat around in cozy conversation.  Someone would ask, in normal conversation lag, “Do you think it is still raining?  The usual response to this would be a deadpan-look into the nearest pot to check on the latest weather conditions.  This would always bring on an attack of hysteria.”