Friday is my Saturday, so today we spent the day playing in our backyard, and I still can't quite believe we're really here.
There are amazing little cacti only a few inches high ... poking up through rocks on the floodplain that look for all the world like they belong on the moon ... the intricate warp and weft of spines a net of protection over the tender innards that the deer would certainly eat if they could.
And not 100 yards away are the dinner-plate-sized cacti next to our outdoor shower, perfectly happy to pick up the overflow from Don's water play ... though with the weather dipping down into the thirties tonight, he may opt for the indoor shower tomorrow.
Even when the news is bad, it's good. Just after we closed on the house there was a terrible blow (Tropical Storm Hermine ... you might have heard of her), that brought down a red oak in the front yard. Don had good intentions of going at it with a chain saw, but ended up getting a hand from a guy he ran into at Ace Hardware. Ever obliging, his new friend cut the trunk into sections that could be made into stools to put around our fire-pit to be. Then Don sanded and sealed them, and they've been waiting in the side yard ever since ... until today.
Today we built our fire pit ... hauling limestone from the back of the property, digging out the rich soil around the bedrock in a corner of the yard ... rolling the tree trunks stools over on the hand truck ... then gathering dead branches from the live oaks to use in our inaugural fire.
We even found a large flat stone to place on top of the tallest chunk of trunk, making a perfect platform for late-night noshing.
After a dinner of "what's in the fridge" pasta and artichokes, with a hearty Malbec and homemade focaccia (light as a feather with a crust that crackled with olive oil and salt), we poured hot cups of coffee, put our flashlights in our pockets and headed out to the fire-pit. The hose was at the ready, just in case, but the night was calm so the smoke and sparks flew straight up to the stars. And as the fire dwindled down to embers, we toasted marshmallows, our backs gently chiding us about the day's labors, creaking in the cool night air. No doubt about it ... bliss.