Monday, November 1, 2010

Tia's House

Tia's House

After the day camp, Scott started pouring the kid's leftovers into a big pot. And by leftovers, I mean any leftover soup, potatoes, hot dogs, bread crumbs, it all went into a giant pot. I thought it would be for pigs or something, but he said no, we were going to bring it to Tia's house. I was somewhat disturbed by that, thinking poor old lady. She is 78 and her husband is 98. No one knows his name so we started calling him Mr. Tia. Tia is the strongest, toughest lady you would ever meet! One morning we saw her hauling buckets and 90 pound bags of apples up the hill to her house and sent Chad out to help her (Chad was the muscle on our trip) and he came in sweating buckets and said Tia laughed at him for sweating! That is one tough broad.

So we carried our big pot of nasty leftover soup to Tia. She was very excited to get the soup, and grabbed two buckets that had been sitting outside and looked very dirty. As Kevin said, it looked like she washed a boot in the bucket. She asked us to pour the soup in the dirty bucket. At this point I thought for sure the food would be for the pigs. She took us out back to see her pigs (they were cute) and then we noticed a bunch of kittens climbing into the soup bucket and eating their hearts out. I tried to shoo them away but Tia told Estera to let them be, the cats need to eat too. Then she carried the bucket inside so they could eat it for dinner. I almost gagged just thinking about it, until I saw the pot of food that they had been eating. It looked like it had been made with rain water. It was a soup of apple pieces and potato peels and muddy looking water. They have no teeth so they can only eat soup made with mushy things.

Then Tia took us inside to meet her husband and see her house (which was about the size of master closet, no joke). There was a twin sized bed for Mr. Tia, and at the foot of that, in an L shape was her twin size bed, and across from that was their "kitchen" which was a heater that they cook food on. The bathroom was out back. It was so tiny and musty. Mr. Tia asked us if we would shave him, his daughter normally does it, but she hadn't been around in a while, so he had a nice little beard going.

He got up and rummaged through a drawer to find his razor which was almost as old as he was, and very dull. Kevin was nominated for the job, and he went back to camp and grabbed his electric razor that he brought with him. He was afraid he would cut him with a regular razor. So he shaved him, and you could tell Mr. Tia was enjoying it! He was smiling ear to ear, and was so sweet. He was so happy and he gave me a big hug and a kiss on each cheek. Tia had been hitting the Tuica before we got there, so she was pretty happy to see us too, and Amanda got a full on slobber kiss, twice. Lucky.

Then Tia asked us if we could pick some of her harder to reach apples, so Estera, Amanda and Kevin climbed the apple tree and picked a basket full of apples and would toss them down to Scott while Tia talked my ear off (in Romanian, she didn't seem to care that I couldn't understand a word she said!) She showed Amanda and I some of her old pictures and I thought they were OLD pictures, they were black and white with scalloped edges, looked like some my grandma has of her as a kid, but then on the back of them, they say they were taken in 1988 and 1989!

Then we headed back down to camp, and had dinner (more leftover chicken soup) and then Kevin and Scott made Tiramisu and Estera made us the best hot tea ever, from plants around the area. It was so good and I wanted so bad to bring some home, but I was afraid it wouldn't make it through customs. But, it was a great day, very interesting, but watching Kevin shave Mr. Tia and his huge smile, it was one of my favorite memories of the trip.

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