Problem Solving Village Style ...

With the wife off to Chiang Mai with her sister for a couple of days, I am left with time to review recent events.  By building our house far out into the fields we have no next door neighbors to speak of, yet others do own the land on either side of us and try as we may, it has still proven impossible to avoid all disputes.

Now in any dispute there are various views and opinions as well as different styles of engagement.  Without getting into the details of who said what to whom, clearly something I find distasteful, lets just say the parties on either side of us wanted different things from us.  There were also those in the peanut gallery who suggested it was our land and we could do whatever we darn well pleased, with no regard for others.  Searching for a fourth way, we struggled to find a middle ground that all could agree to.

There is always someone who will try on an aggressive or combative approach.  Glaring looks, loud and aggressive tone, dismissive gestures and threats of going to the police.  Fortunately there are usually calmer heads in the mix and I for one was not going to let things go down that rancorous path.

I had been uncertain about my wife’s decision to order a backhoe for the day, as we had yet to come to any real agreement on what was to be done.  Turned out her move was the right one.  It got everyone off the fence and face to face, though a little excited at the beginning.  The village headman, assistant, neighbors, relatives and interested spectators gathered to help sort things out.  I usually stay out of village affairs but this time I felt it was important to show support for my wife and to clearly voice my position in a diplomatic yet firm well reasoned manner.  This was one of those situations where it was good to be me and extremely beneficial to speak Thai well.

There was quite a bit of back and forth on the day but at least something got done and it was all done village style with enough witnesses to attest to what actually went down.  No doubt some will direct an unkind remark in our direction when mother nature deals them an unwelcome hand but all agreed on what could and could not be done and we did what was requested and more.

With that behind us, it seemed like a good idea for my wife and her sister to head off to Chiang Mai for a little time away.  I of course stayed home to hold down the fort and care for our pet menagerie.  My wife and her family don’t always see eye to eye but lately the sisters have been getting along better, so I am pleased they are having a chance to spend time together to reenforce their sibling bond.  As for me going along, well no one would find much joy in that scenario.  I would be bored and they would feel overwhelmed by my presence and demeanor.

I dearly love my wife and like nothing more than to spend time with her, as attested to by our having spent very little time apart in our fifteen years together, but I do understand that it is not healthy to keep her too dependent on me, or me on her.  With that in mind I am trying to be supportive of her doing more on her own, even if it means I am lonely and miss her for brief periods.  Cookie misses her mommy, as do I, and she will not let me out of her sight as I move around this big empty house.  So in a very real sense I am not alone.  One more night of solitude and the house will once again be a home, filled with love and the swarm of activity that always surrounds my lovely wife.