Dear Readers, we are finally really here. We´ve arrived. The house is FINISHED.
The melted-down light switch is now grounded. (Grounding power switches is, evidently, an "opcion" around here, and Paddy told the electrician we opt for YES.) I got the internet to work, even though the wifi looks like it will require a professional. The toilets flush. The oven and the stovetop get hot when we turn the knobs the right way. We have chairs and sofas and beds of various types and comfort levels to sit or lie down upon. And we have a good, steady stream of pilgrim traffic washing up here and there, and some of them are great cooks!
They are washing away, too. After keeping very good company and helping the Peaceable progress in leaps and bounds, Patricia the lame pilgrim limped on westward yesterday, Thomas pedaled his way east, and two fresh-faced young couch-surfers slipped away by Dawn´s Early Light. We are now alone... alone as we can be with three dogs, a canary, and three hens.
Alone is good. Don´t get me wrong: I love my pilgs! But we have never ever inhabited this house together before. It´s like having a new baby... you work hard and wait long for it to arrive, and when it finally emerges you are glad to have smiling faces around you. But you also want to keep the little treasure to yourself for a few hours, to really let it soak in that it is really here, it´s yours, it´s what you´ve been dreaming of and planning for all these months.
...And to try not to let the enormity overwhelm you!
It´s a big transition for the dogs, who have lived cheek-by-jowel with us in the litte kitchen for what seems like forever. Now Mimi and Tim, who don´t seem to understand that the inside of the house is no longer a part of the Great Outdoors, must stay on the Out side of the main house. Una gets to come inside, but only to the kitchen and living room. (she very much wants to sleep on the beds, but no.)
Una loves to swan around in the kitchen, begging for scratches and scraps, casting a pitying gaze at the Outer Darkness where Tim and Mimi cower. They understand exactly where the threshold is, and they press themselves right up to it...and sometimes accidentally slip a paw or a a muzzle over the door sill...hoping, hoping we will soon come to our senses. (they still have free rein in the barn and little kitchen, so don´t believe any of the sob stories they´re telling.)
Today the sun came out. I went to my Drivers Ed school and had a total-immersion combination Castellano-Normas de Trafico session of about two hours. After that I went down the street to the Church of San Juan de Sahagun, where the local confraternity is having a Novena prayer session to warm up for the big Saints Day Fiesta this week. What perfect preparation for a Driving Test in a Second Language, than a long session of study, song and prayer? I bet you didn´t know there´s a particular psalm written just for San Juan de Sahagun, our local saint. (Bonus Points in Heaven for anyone who can sing all the words.) I got the chainsaw sharpened and the daily bread bought.
This evening we´re loading the dogs in the car and heading out for a long walk. It seems like ages since we did that, and every time I open the car door the dogs remind me how badly they want an Expedition. And so it is time to get back to Life As Usual around here, but with a generous addition of pilgrims and other visitors to the mix!