Close Encounters of the Rural Kind: A Story of Missing Teeth, Pigs and Big Hearts. Oh, and Weed, oddly.

I’ve been up at our lakeside cabin. Oh, I know that sounds fancy, all HGTV-like where the house hunters are debating guest suite accommodations and the value of living near the nightlife. Our little oasis up10-warning-signs-that-are-extremely-obvious-4 north requires more debate as to how many guests can sleep on the floor and the value of living near the wildlife.

A cabin at a rural California lake is an adventure. Oh, it’s beautiful alright with the water and the hills and the creatures and the wind in the trees and the twittering birds and the abundant sunshine. It’s awesome and amazing and inspiring and whatnot. And I LOVE it.

But the folks, and I use the term colloquially, that live up in those parts, again colloquially, are something, and I use the term with wide eyes and reckless abandon.

Note: I am just saying that they are really something.

I had a couple of close encounters up at the cabin this week. Close encounters of the  rural kind. Let me tell you about Larry, Marty and Buzz.

Note: I’m not even kidding about the names.

These 50ish fellows with unkempt facial hair and big toothless smiles are the dock guys. Please don’t confuse them with pool boys. Dock guys drive their glorified scooters filled with yapping dogs and fishing poles down the hill and hang out around the dock. They fish. They smoke. The shoot the breeze with whoever. And they monkey around with the dock to, well, keep it afloat, I guess.

Buzz tells me that you can’t make a living just helping Marty tend the dock. No. Buzz will be gone most of the summer tending to his weed farm, but not the medicinal type because “he don’t need that kind of government headache” with all the rules and whatnot. I am welcome to stop by his place anytime to try some, if I’d like. 

“And don’t never go near any of them weed farms that got them wild hogs. You know what them hogs is focartoon-pig-eating-74141635816184726092435r, dontcha? Yup, if you mess with their weed they’ll shoot you clean through your head and throw you to the hogs. Them hogs’ll tear you limb from limb in a New York minute.”  He nods at me knowingly. “I wouldn’t go messing with them guys, little lady like you.”

Note: I have no intention of messing with them guys.

Additional Note: For awhile, I thought Larry and Buzz were the same fellow but I learned to tell them apart by which teeth are missing. 

But here’s the thing: These guys are gems. They have hearts of gold. Buzz came by to lend us some tools to work on our slip in the dock. Marty assured us that in the event of electrical problems on the dock, he’ll use his generator to lift our boat and keep it safe. He rescues stray dogs around the lake. And Larry. He is like the Welcome Wagon committee all rolled into one happy, grinning guy.

The moral of my close encounters of the rural kind this week?

You can’t judge a man by the number of his teeth, but instead, by the breadth of his smile!

Note: Sometimes I am just so darned deep.

Okay Oleander: Any preteen in the 90s had her favorite Backstreet Boy, right? Tell us about your favorite and what did that say about your personality?