It is always an exciting time when our back woods home is, once again, blessed with the gnomes and their friends. We aren't sure when they will make their yearly appearance but it is usually mid spring. The senior gnomes Norbert and his wife, Nelda, claim their usual spot by an old stump. They stand close to an opening in its base and I notice that Nelda likes to stand a little further back into the opening. I don't think it is because she is shy. Or at least she doesn't appear to be. Perhaps she is just embarrassed because her husband, unlike the other gnomes who are busy working, just leans against the stump gripping his coffee mug (he says it's coffee), long white beard resting against his comfortable belly.
I think Norbert has earned his rest. It was he who accompanied my husband on his trip across the country to check out the property and then again when we moved. He supervised the removing of trees, preparing of the foundation, installation of sewer, well digging and placed numerous calls to the hydro and phone companies so we could get service. I don't know how my husband would have managed without him.