But the receiving we have gotten here makes my heart smile. We feel so at home and genuinely welcomed here. Yes, I have a habit of making small talk in an elevator, the airport, the playground, the bus stop with strangers, and here is no different. We enjoy being friendly, and the girlies are no different. They are not generally shy or be seen not heard children. We have learned to make the most of a place and make friends fast, as soon we'll be POOF again.
This morning, we met and chatted with the neighbors' contractor, who has one of his men knock on our car nearly every morning between 6AM and 8AM to move on of our car parked where a crane or a cement truck or a stone mason or someone would like to park. He went on about loving Americans and dreaming to go to America one day. After Ceiba got on the bus, Avocet and I walked some banana bread over to the crew for a morning snack. We had overmade for a funeral this week and thought they'd enjoy the bread (more than my butt needed it). Smiles all around and just happy conversation. Now the 0600 moving of our car might be a little more cheery all around.
Then no sooner did we turn to meet our water truck delivery man, when another little man neighbor starting talking flowers with me and invited us to view his garden. I LOVE TO SEE GARDENS and traditional Maltese homes. So after the water man was finished, Ceti and I teetered over to his man getaway (he actually lives with his wife a town over, but keeps this as a daily retreat as he is retired).
My mouth may have hung open as my eyes feasted on the old stone, flowers everywhere and feeling like we walked into a 1920s war movie. Time stopped here in his garden. Just a celler, the center garden and 3 little rooms existed, but they were perfect, just as I envisioned as I occasionally peeked through cracks in the doors on walks around town. Avocet dove into beds and couches, asked for the tv to come on, bounced down stairs, marveled at his pair of singing canaries and flirted with Mr. Alfred all morning. Bliss.
He insisted we take some potatoes from his farm, just down the road, inviting us to come with the girls soon to see and play. Invite me to any local home, and I am there with bells on!! He said when the peaches come in season, we'll go with the girls to pick fruit. He carried the potatoes in for us, very grandfatherly and toured our garden as well. Pumpkins muffins were forced upon him, as I'd just given our banana bread to the construction men. He...was...wonderful! So warm, like we'd known him for years. Laughing with Ceti and offering multiple times to call him "for anything you need, ta?". We talked of families and offered to please have his granddaughter come swim with the girls this summer. Hugging goodbye, and kisses blown from Ceti, we bid him thanks and a good day. These moments are the best part of living here... feeling so welcomed and seeing the beautiful Maltese as friends.