Things delight, if you let them.
Here are several things that delight me lately.
My grandad Albert Scott celebrated his 94th birthday Saturday. He is sharp and smart and funny, and now he has a girlfriend! Her name is Betty. She is a sweet young thing of 80-something.
This morning I picked a bucketful of sweet yellow apples from the trees in our back yard. I thought to make pies with them, but realized I still have sliced-up apples from last year in the freezer. I pulled those out to use them up, and discovered frozen sliced-up cherries, too. And cascabellas, the little cherry-ball fruit thingies that grow on the tree out front. So in the oven now is an apple pie and a cherry-cascabella pie.
I don´t know who will help us eat them, or even if they will be very good after all this time in the freezer. But we´ve seen a spate of very fine pilgrims lately. Hungry ones. And I bet these pies are going to be fabulous.
Lately the fruit and veg are beyond compare. In the past two weeks I have made the finest Red Gazpacho Andaluz AND the finest Sopa Ajo Blanco of my entire life. And some killer zuchinni bread and veggie quiche as well. It´s the vegetables, people. September is the moment for fresh vegetables and fruit, and I love to eat!
I delight in Literacy. Over the last couple of weeks I re-wrote Zaida, a novel I wrote last year about a Moorish princess who lived nine kilometers away and a thousand years ago in Sahagun. The book is now being read critically by three trusted people. And of course I now am discovering a great trove of historic information on that time and place that will have to be rubbed into the story somehow! I am delighted to say I feel no fear or resistence to re-writing the whole thing again if I have to -- I may need to make Zaida into a tough cookie instead of the innocent hard-done-by. This is a wonderful and simple story, but I am not so attached to my work that I cannot chop out chunks of it to make it even better.
Reading deeply of historic texts has always been a favorite pastime. Now I can do it with an end in sight. It makes me want to go and visit Córdoba and Sevilla (where Zaida grew up). Just about every tourist who comes to Spain goes to see Sevilla and Córdoba, but until now I have managed to miss them both. (FYI: Leprosy did not exist in western Europe until the 12th century, when the crusaders brought it home with them from the Middle East.)
I am delighted that Leena, a friend from England, may be coming in a few weeks to stay with the dogs, so Paddy and I can go together to see the splendid Moorish cities down south. We almost never travel anywhere together, so it is a treat when it happens.
Meantime, the camino has offered up some wonderful characters. We hosted a kilt-wearing Shaman massage therapist, a high-church Episcopal priest from Fort Worth (he updated me on goings-on in my beloved US denomination and did a bit of healing as well); Another night brought a chipper Dutch-English couple who run hotels in Costa Rica. (The man is a jolly prophet of our oncoming collective economic doom). We also had a beautiful Irish girl who explained how hashish is made, using freezer bags and tea strainers and a rolling-pin.
We bought three new tires for the car in a week´s time, and now the front end is making a not-encouraging sound when I turn the wheel hard. So far we´ve been able to address the problems as they rise... including the fused light-switch in the salon. When things go, they all go at once.
The English lessons are swimming along. It delights me to hear Flor and Estevinas saying aloud, “The doves are timid,” “I have no money,” and “José is drunk.” Some of them are doing very well indeed, even though I still do not know what I am doing. The hours of 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturdays goes by faster than any other hour-and-a-half of the whole week.
Our critters are healthy, we are getting over colds, and we put the last couple of pilgs on a train for Oviedo just before lunchtime. Now I will have a nap.
We are doing delightfully.