When my wife’s friends got bored with us with their constant visits to free barbecues, I decided on a plan and never saw them again.

When my wife’s friends got bored with us with their constant visits to free barbecues, I decided on a plan and never saw them again.

My wife and I cherish our small, snug dacha. As spring unfurls its warmth, we eagerly retreat there, reveling in the embrace of nature until the chill of autumn beckons us back. Breathing in the crisp, fresh air, we find solace in the tranquility of our surroundings, where simplicity reigns supreme. With our hands in the soil, we cultivate a modest farm, nurturing a bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, cherries, currants, raspberries, onions, zucchinis, herbs, carrots, beets, and gooseberries. While my wife tends to the flourishing garden and household chores, I undertake the gradual restoration of our dacha, with her unwavering support.

Three years ago, we debated the addition of a bathhouse, envisioning delightful gatherings with family and friends. Yet, the reality proved more intricate than our aspirations. Despite my wife’s tireless efforts and the occasional assistance from friends, the laborious task of construction fell largely on our shoulders. Although our friends were willing, their commitments thwarted their availability. Undeterred, we pressed on, completing the project with determination and resolve. As we basked in the warmth of the finished bathhouse, hosting our friends in celebration, we relished in the joy of camaraderie and shared moments.

However, what began as cherished visits soon devolved into uninvited intrusions, with our friends frequenting our dacha without consideration or contribution. The once-cherished gatherings became burdensome obligations, overshadowing the serenity of our sanctuary. Recognizing the need for a decisive resolution, I took matters into my own hands. With tact and foresight, I proposed the ambitious endeavor of building a swimming pool on our property, inviting our friends to partake in the labor and festivities. The mere mention of communal labor and shared leisure seemed to quell their unannounced visits, restoring the tranquility of our cherished retreat.

Though the situation initially weighed heavily on my wife’s spirits, I found solace in reclaiming our sanctuary from the encroaching demands of unwelcome guests. While the experience left us with a tinge of disappointment, it also reaffirmed the importance of setting boundaries and preserving the sanctity of our haven.

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