Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Deck is Always Cleaner on the Other Side

We all know the saying, "the grass is always greener on the other side," but when we moved to the Canary Islands, we traded in our lawn mower for a mop and bucket. Almost everyone lives in an apartment, and most have terraces, balconies, or patios in exchange for a yard. There really isn't a lot of grass over here--big yards like we have in the states are luxuries that only the super rich have, given the price of real estate here. Not to mention everything here is built on a slope. There isn't much flat land--and what usable farmland they have is used to cultivate bananas, grapes, and tomatoes.

This may sound like a man's dream, no more lawn to mow, but cleaning terraces on a second story apartment has its challenges which I learned early on. We have a great amount of dust and dirt, which accumulates rapidly on the tile surface of our balconies, and it creates a mess when tracked into the apartment. I learned quickly that you can't just go out and hose them down--that is what I did at first, then I realized I was spraying dirty water down on my neighbor's clean laundry below. Oops!!! Needless to say, my neighbor probably didn't appreciate that very much.

We recently looked at a house that was for rent that caught our attention because it had 2000 sq. meters of yard, which is practically unheard of in the islands (if you have a garden the size of a living room, you are lucky). We went to look at it, and it was so nice to see pine trees, lemon and orange trees trees, and lots of grass! No neighbors below--we wouldn't have to worry about making too much noise anymore, the girls could practice piano without the neighbors traffic.....We were so tempted...the girls could have a dog, a swing set, and a place to run and play outdoors. It was the same price as what we pay for our apartment, but the house was kind of dark, the bathrooms very old and drab, and not as modern as our apartment, so we would be making trade offs. I worried about plumbing that wouldn't work properly, old electrical wiring, etc. We told the man we would think about it and call him. Doug was so excited about it--even though I wasn't totally convinced about moving again.

By that evening the house was already rented to someone else, so the Lord must have closed the door. But for a few hours we were dreaming....the grass is always greener somewhere else, you know!

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