Saturday, 14 July 2007

Lucky Old Me



My mom, one of the world's most annoying saints, is fond of saying Truthful Things -- especially when I am caught up in feeling sorry for myself. One of her favorites is "count your blessings." Or "there, but for the grace of God, go I."
Which are nice Calvinist-hymnal ways of saying "Suck it up and get over yourself, ya whiner!"

Times are tough 'round here, so I've decided to take Mom's advice for a change. I'm going to count my blessings. You, lucky old reader, get to go along.

1. Sure, we don't have any floors in our house, and the workers may just have staged a walkout. But we have a roof now, and second-floor timbers, and all but a sliver of the excavating is done. The heaviest of the heavy work is done; the rehab job is almost 1/3 finished! Woohoo!

2. Yeah, Boss Man Mario's going into the hospital on Monday, and Fran the Friendly Assistant is gone to Asturias on vacation, and only Smokin' Jose and a couple of guys are sposed to come back Monday, and the bill at the building supply place is still unpaid. But we actually have people here, working. (so far!) The job might take a LOT longer than we planned, but it's still happening.

3. We're expecting Doug, an American pilgrim, to show up here any time -- he's walking here from Burgos, a trip that takes four days or so. We thought he'd be here today, but it's almost 5 and no one with any sense is out there now, in the heat of the day. So he'll likely arrive tomorrow. When we are also expecting Ann, an American lady who volunteers at pilgrim hostels. We have mattresses and kitchen-floor space enough for two, so long as the people like one another. (when people arrive here, they all show up at once. It's always that way.) The more the merrier. This is why we came here, after all.

4. It's nice to think that someday the people who visit will have their own room, their own bed, with clean sheets and towels and a bathroom with hot water and a TUB! (And so will I! I will never again take bathtubs for granted.) And the Anns and Dougs who visit nowadays are getting a great view of the "before" picture, the one that shows the shambles. If and when they return they'll appreciate all the more the nice, shiny "After" shot.

5. Nobody's dead or dying, we have a place to sleep at night and a kitchen to cook in, and a steady income to keep ourselves fed. It will all get done, someday. Even if we have to do it ourselves. (please, god. No.)

6. Summers here are so beautiful. Our town is full of good, friendly people, our neighborhood is full of medieval castles and Roman ruins and Romanesque churches and an amazing variety of birds and critters. We are, truly, living our dream.

7. On Monday morning I do not have to get up and go to work at an office! (I think I will go over to our bodega (wine-making cave) and start repairing the damaged front door. There's always something to do here.)

8. We have an inner patio with a table and a funky umbrella, surrounded by roses and herb plants and flowers and trees. The fridge is full of good things to eat and drink. Paddy is even now cooking us up something lovely for dinner: something with potatoes and spinach and squash and onions we bought this morning at the weekly market in Sahagun, where the veg. still have damp dirt on them. The afternoon breeze is blowing hard; the poplar-tree applause sounds like a waterfall overhead.

9. Someone was angry with me, and today I asked him to forgive me. I don't know if he will, but I feel better now, having done what I can to make peace. (I'm no good at keeping a quarrel going. Being peeved is so exhausting!)

10. There are storks here. I love storks.

11. Everything in my life has changed radically in the past 12 months: my home, job, health, interests, and even language. But I still have my Chopin Nocturnes and Elvis Costello CDs, and Una Dog "the Other Bitch from Pittsburgh." And I still have Patrick, my partner and favorite wag and most kindly critic, despite my many efforts to drive him screaming for the border.

So there are eleven. I could keep going but I might start sounding like Peter Mayle and become a best-selling author. So there, mom! I remember the hymn just fine:

"count your blessings
name them one by one
count your many blessings
see what God has done."

Now I will give the dog a good combing. The ticks are bad this year, but so far no fleas. Life is good!

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Hooray! Your pictures look great.

Yes - everyone does show up all at once, huh? No worries, if I need to sleep with the chickens I will gladly do so! I'm tough ;)