Thursday, 18 December 2008

Standing Back Up

I have to admit it. I spent the last few days feeling mighty down.

I thought an awful lot had happened: sudden tons of company, Paddy´s continuing problems with his ankle, family conflicts, the nightmare trip to Madrid, snow, mud, a broken washer/dryer, a leak in the upstairs shower, economic uncertainty, falling behind on a couple of editing projects, and finally the death of Alan, a camino friend who visited us this spring. Don´t even talk to me about Christmas!

But yesterday I decided it´s time to stop feeling bad. Rotten things are going to happen. Circumstances are going to pile up. But I still get to decide how I feel about it all, at least most of the time. I´m tired of feeling bad, so I will stop.

One factor in my mind-change was a trip to Leon to play tourist. There we wandered the narrow streets and enjoyed the shop windows, all of them very old-fashioned lineups of all the wonders available within. (they were better than the cathedral, even, at least now that so much of the stained glass is under scaffolding). Here are some pictures.

Another great thing is, I have Philip here with me. I have to enjoy him while I got him. I haven´t spent much time with my son for a good three years, and here he is, a virtual prisoner, for almost a month!

Once it dawned on me that he IS family, after all, and I don´t have to take him to see all the sights and entertainments, the pressure kinda came off me. (we DID go look at a castle on Monday). He´s already walked the Camino (he did it when he was 17!), and I have a perfect right to have him help out around here. Matter of fact, he really WANTS to help out. He came here expecting Forced Labor. And finally, at long last, we are enjoying sunshine and blue skies. So today we girded our loins and waded into the back yard.

I chopped a ton of firewood with my trusty little Stihl electric chainsaw. Philip and Paddy dug earth and pried up rocks and rubble and poured concrete and stretched fence wire in the continuing saga that is our chicken coop. We all got good and dirty and hungry. And me, being the WunderMum, already had a quiche in the oven!

The menfolk now are napping. The dogs are passed out in front of the fire. The chickens may safely scratch, secure in their fine chicken yard. Only me and Bob Canary are up, and he is singing along to Sidney Bechet.

I will tell you more about Federico the Guitar Guy´s visit once I know more. He is now back in Wisconsin building guitars. He is full of surprises and ideas, and I don´t want to tip his hand before he´s ready.


Anonymous said...

How well I remember those sudden urges to go to Leon--Jesse and I (and later, Gary and I) would hop on the train and in less than an hour we would be transported to an endless fascinating visual feast. Or so it seemed at the time. Interesting how it's all relative! Compared to the shop windows in Sahagun, Leon was like Michigan Avenue at Christmas time!
Hoping to be there soon---Elyn

PL said...

Higher highs and lower lows. There is what life does to you and there's what you do back. The former you often don't have any choice in, the latter is entirely yours.

Such is life.

- Nev

M.A. said...

No sabía que tenías este blogo tan bonito.
Love and... well yes: nice Xmas.
Pheliz Nabidaz :P
(En casa no suelen ser alegres estas fiestas, pero yo eto la nariz en el trabajo y...)

Mart - Your Baby Sis said...

My dear sister, oh how well I know those days of despair when all seems to be just not enough to equal happiness but alas, I see you are my sister after all - able to rise above all of it and realize that life is exactly what you make of it. I am so glad that you have Philip there with you. A true blessing from God who loves you so much. And of course He's not the only one. You have family and friends all over this world who love you and miss you and wish they could spend just a day or two with you. Oh, how I'd love to walk your streets and visit your shops and see the sights you have before you. You are truly blessed and I know deep down you are totally aware of this. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers every single day. I love you and miss you so much. Merry Christmas and remember those Christmas's of old when we blew eggs and painted them and hung them on the family tree and listened to those old Christmas records while we decorated our tree. Think back to those days when you are feeling low and remember just how wonderful it really was. I know this helps me have a Merrier Christmas when I'm missing my family so much.