A trip to Barcelona, good friends who volunteered to watch the Peaceable so we could get away, some more good friends who stepped in when the first ones were suddenly called away.
Sunflowers coming on. Watermelon for dessert, watermelon that does not raise hives on the inside of my mouth! Thunderheads building up all day on the horizon, and lightning at night -- but no lightning bugs here, alas!
But here are birds that sing their hearts out, at 3 a.m.
Dogs. Affectionate dogs, smiling dogs, disobedient rotten ill-mannered dogs that run away and do not come back when called. One of them (his name is Harry) ran off today and came home with his toes and ankles in tatters. Three stitches and a splint, 40 Euros later, his foot is taped to a ballerina en pointe. He will do it again if he gets a chance.
Paddy's hearing is not good. Paddy's had a cough for months now, and yesterday had a chest X-ray done to rule out really bad things. Paddy is 73 years old now, and getting older. It is hard to get my mind around that.
We talked today about things he did when we first moved here, things he cannot do now. No more ladder-climbing, no more scrambling down into the passages under the floors, no more wrangling roof beams and tiles. He gets breathless just lifting Harry into the car.
There is no shame in that, not when you are 73. I need to stop thinking of him as the same guy who walked 20 miles with me along the Maumee River on Sunday afternoons, back in Ohio when he was but a lad of 60 summers.
Paddy is still very much alive, still full of vinegar and toadspittle. But I mourn what is gone, what the years have taken away. I think he does, too.
I am depressed, I will not lie about that. I've dealt with depressions before, so I know the signs and symptoms. I am letting this one just do its thing. I am not fighting it. I try to stay busy, keep reading books, keep getting up and exercising each day.
But I am not out in the village so much, I am not engaged with the neighbourhood, and I am missing things. Someone is angry with us, apparently -- someone was very rude to Malin and David last week when they were walking our dogs out in the fields. I cannot figure out who it was. It makes me sad. I want to keep amistad with everyone, but I am not out there doing the maintenance work.
The head of the Diputacion was here in Moratinos this week, paying a sort of State Visit. I would love to ask him to have the Tourist Office erect a big sign near the bodegas, explaining to visitors what bodegas are and why they are special. I am not sure my Spanish would be equal to the job. I am not sure the head of the Diputacion would be interested in talking to a foreigner. But it is all academic. I did not even know he was coming until after he was gone.
My Spanish is slipping. It is always slipping.
There are so many things I would love to do here, but I do not have Spanish enough to do them.
Pilgrims come, sporadically. Antonio the homeless guy came this week, and a houseful of Germans and Americans. They overwhelm us. We cannot really handle more than three of them at a time any more.
There is a perfectly good albergue in town, and a hostel, too. Pilgrims do not need us to take them in nowadays. I wonder why we keep it up.
I trained a couple of hospitaleros this week, but I feel a bit hypocritcal doing that. I have not served in a Federation Albergue for months, and I have no plans to do so anytime soon.
And as you can see, I am not writing so much, nor so well.
I live in a gentle fog. I do not feel like doing much. Leaving the house is an expedition. Using the computer is an ongoing ordeal. Feeling excited about life, or pilgrims, or wedding anniversaries, or... whatever? Seems like a lot of trouble.
It is sad, but it is the truth.
And it will pass.