Back in December, we put down a deposit on a one-week beach vacation for the end of August.
This will mark the ninth consecutive year that we’ve rented the same house and, every year, friends and family join us for what is always a lovely and memorable time. The house itself is big enough to comfortably accommodate 10-12 folks.
There will be 17 of us there this year.
This may be pushing it, but this is probably our last time there and, well, we like to push it.
Going on any vacation necessarily means leaving behind our responsibilities for a time. This is, more or less, the point of going in the first place. Europeans seem to understand this concept far better than we Americans, but many Americans seem to understand it far better than I.
I have such a hard time leaving.
And it’s not because I don’t want to leave (because I really, really want to leave), but this year is proving even harder that those previous. While our Brooklyn restaurant is in uber-competent hands, we are only two weeks away from the opening of our newest venture, a cheese and specialty foods shop in Chatham, New York.
Opening a new business of any kind at any time is daunting and exhausting and stressful. Leaving for a week on the beach immediately prior to opening is straight-up Crazytown.
But the money was spent and the plans were made and the friends are coming and we’re doing it and it’s going to be relaxing if it kills me.
Oh, and did I mention that Bubble the Pig is still pregnant?
Obviously, we were mistaken when we thought that she had conceived back in March, which would have had her pigging out on July 17th.
If you know the exact date of conception, then you know the exact date of birth. Pig gestation is always three months, three weeks, and three days.
They are like the pound cake of the animal world. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_cake)
But, apparently we were VERY wrong about the date of conception. As it turns out, pigs don’t get pregnant just because they’ve been porked, as it were. As with humans, it takes as many tries as it takes. In Bubble’s case, it took at least a month; perhaps longer.
So, as we start to think about packing our bags, we have to wonder whether there will be piglets born while we’re away and, if so, how our house guests/farm sitters will be able to handle that situation. We’ve set them up with as much information on the bees, chickens, goats, and gardens as we could, but the enormous x-factor is Bubble and her piglets.
We were encouraged by Bernie the Pig Farmer to separate the two pigs as Bubble gets closer and closer to pigging out. The possibility of Squeak trying to mount her and causing a miscarriage of sorts should be avoided. Also, rumor has it that once the final piglet is born, Squeak will climb mountains to start trying mate with Bubble again (which, in and of itself is like climbing a mountain) and could inadvertently hurt or kill a piglet in the process.
We separated them with a length of electric wire and another length of hog fencing.
While this successfully kept them separated, it also kept them both utterly despondent. Our usually smiling and friendly pigs became sullen and brooding.
It was totally depressing.
After four days, we couldn’t take it anymore and we took the fence away.
Now, we just have to hope for the best for the piglets, Bubble, and our house guests that everything works out in a lovely, death-free way.
If you need me, I’ll be on the beach.