Sunday, 9 November 2008

G´bye Lola: A Failed Experiment

Fog rolled in this week, and will likely lie here, dark and Gothic, right on through January 25, when it always goes away. Such is winter on the Meseta.

So says Edu. He´s always right so far, where these things are concerned. So we have something to look forward to, aside from The Holidays, and friends´ visits, and further progress on projects in process. I am looking Forward now, after spending a harrowing week in The Present.

Here are unplanned outcomes of the week now past:

a) The Visitation of Jeanne and Nicolas ended two days earlier than planned. They took the night train back to Paris on Wednesday. In this experiment we learned that The Peaceable Kingdom -- Scripture verses notwithstanding -- is not a suitable place for very small children.
b) Lola the Donkey this morning went back to Sahagun, tied to the back of Julio´s tractor. She was an experiment too. Experiments often fail. I can´t remember too many of my failures that felt this good!
c)Tim the High-Strung Dog is off to the veterinarian next week for his chilling-out operation.
d) The cast on Paddy´s ankle comes off Monday. Apparently he broke something in there, but it´s nothing severe enough to require more than a week in plaster. Which is good, because Paddy needs to get up and move around to maintain his happy-go-lucky persona.

Everyone involved feels much better now. I can stop worrying about Nicolas being stepped-on, bitten, pecked, spattered, scalded, or otherwise traumatized or scarred. I can stop worrying about the donkey´s health and security and feeding. The house will remain cleaner and smell better without the hay and straw and mud passing through between the barn and back garden. The dogs won´t have to share their toys with a small boy, or risk a donkey kick when they run out back to hunt mice in the chicken shack. I will only have to shovel another couple of loads of manure onto the garden plot. We won´t have to undertake major renovations to make the garage into a stable, or make the barn door acceptable to a creature who refuses to go up a ramp. Lola´s lovely face is now safe from Fists of Fury. Glory be.

I spent Saturday cleaning, putting things away, making beds and folding laundry. I made a killer Thai green curry for lunch. We both took siestas in the afternoon. And so returns the sweetness of Normal. We can sit by the fire and read and listen to Chopin. We can write! We can get up and go someplace and stay there for more than a few hours, once Paddy´s foot is back to usefulness.

I can continue scheming for ways to train the South African volunteers how to be hospitaleros.

I can get the Salon ready so our friends Gary and Elyn from New Mexico have a place to stay when they make the move here within the next month or two. (Elyn lived in Sahagun back in the 1980´s. She and Gary are renting a place there, and plan to stay around for at least a year. We´re getting English-speaking neighbors! Woohoo! I may NEVER learn my Spanish verbs!)

I can read-up on labyrinths. Paddy´s keen to experiment with a labyrinth ´round here somewhere, and Gary and Elyn know how to build them. They sent us a pile of books on that this week, so we are On It... maybe a labyrinth underground, in the bodega, right up against the camino itself? Oooh.

I can plot when and how to walk the Camino Portuguese with my son Philip in December, depending on who arrives when. (We have another friend, Federico the Guitar Man, arriving here December 8.) We will have a full house at Christmas, which I very much look forward to. Maybe we can make a labyrinth for the Winter Solstice. How New Age can you be?

It´s so quiet and calm. It´s just how it should be. And out there in the mist are still a few pilgrims. I bet they´d like a hot cup of tea.


dlr477 said...

Too bad about the failed donkey experiment. I am sorry that we will probably not see the "Asses for Dumb Asses" how-to book. I loved that title. Maxine and I have been back in Canada for two weeks but we're not forgetting the Camino and Moratinos in particular.

- Derek

Timecheck said...

Small children have an amazing knack for putting themselves at risk or otherwise getting into trouble. When our grandchildren make their weekly stays with us, noise is good. Silence is the time to run quick and see what they are up to. Luckily, no large four footed mammals within their range.

We have a local labyrinth in a quarry, blessed with a frog pond, which you can see and hear if you wish:
Sibley Labyrinth

Barbara said...

well, sorry it didn't work. Dalie and Rosie send brays and donkey cuddles

Anonymous said...

I am relieved. Donks and drip irrigation systems don't mix. Good luck on the labrynth, but I think you should think more about.....

crop circles ! ! !


CarolineMathieson said...

The good thing is that you are willing to admit mistakes publicly in a blog. That says a lot about you. I remember enjoying reading Tim Moore's Spanish Steps book about his trip on the camino with a donkey but by the end of it I wanted to strangle him for the way he treated it sometimes.

Don't forget the couple ( who are on their way on the camino right now, who should be in your area in December.


Virginia said...

It's fun to hear about the donkey experience. My brother (who has lived in a remote mountain village in Malawi, Africa since the mid 80's) introduced donkeys to his area. He trucked in a pair from 500 miles away. The locals thought they were some kind of deer...he has some pretty funny stories to tell about his experience with them.

Thanks for your blog - it is a pleasure to wander through the words here and live vicariously...

Life is good...

In Sunny Santa Fe, NM

Mart said...

Sorry for Lola but happy for you. I know how the feeling of freedom comes when you rid yourself of a frankly bothersome animal. Glad to hear Guitar Man is coming to see you. Love you beck...more than you know.

Anonymous said...

hi ... here is a neat post about s labyrinth ...