One year ago this weekend we first visited what is now our home. We had not been looking for a house in Spain, but a lunch invitation got it all started. I have been re-reading my journal from a year ago and when I read the words, "we may have found a house to buy," even I don't believe it.
A year ago yesterday we came here for lunch. The drive up the mountain was truly the most stressful driving experience I had ever had; and I've had a few (including learning to drive on Long Island, New York, and inching along the Amalfi Coast with the Gas-Empty light flashing!) I had no intention of ever making that drive again.
But that day, after a long, leisurely meal and a lovely visit with the previous owners, Sam asked, "Could you live there?" I immediately responded, "Well, yeah!"
What I was really thinking was, "There?! Up that road? In the middle of nowhere?!"
But I had wanted to move to Europe for years and I was not going to pass up this opening.
The next day we drove to Bubion - the town just across the Poqueira gorge from our house. We spotted the property and then decided to walk to it. We took the path to the river and then made our way up the other side until we were just below the property. We kept calling it "our place," but I don't think either of us believed we would actually purchase it.
Well, as they say...the rest is history. We have now lived here for nearly eight months.
|Crazy? Perhaps, but this is the daily view.|
When we decided to make the move we agreed to wait five years before giving up. I thought it would take a long time to settle in, make friends, learn the rhythms of life in a different culture, etc., and I didn't want us to spook and run "back home" before we gave it a chance. So we agreed on five years.
What actually happened was that in fewer than five days, we knew that we were never going back! We have not had any regrets. Of course we miss our family and friends, and we haven't found band-aids or plastic wrap that work as well as what they have in the States, but this is home now and we have no plan to ever leave.
So, one year later....Yesterday we walked to the fuente, the spring that is the source of our drinking water. We go regularly to clean the screen that covers the barrel where the water collects. The screen had gotten torn and so yesterday we went to replace it. Once Sam removed the old screen he realized that the barrel also needs replacing, so he patched together a temporary cover, with the plan to do some major replacing of pipe and barrel in the weeks ahead.
|This leaky barrel needs to be replaced! (Don't worry, we use multiple water filters for the drinking water.)|
|New screen for a temporary fix.|
|My view as Sam tried to increase the water flow and I reported on the level of success.|
The birds are returning from Africa and each morning we wake to the chorus of song birds that rest in our trees. Various types of bees create a constant humming as they busy themselves in the blossoms of our apple, peach, pear, and apricot trees.
|A happy bee in a peach blossom.|
|Apple blossoms with a view|
|I think these will be apricots|
Today I did some spring cleaning in preparation for our next visitor who arrives tomorrow. The summer-like weather is still with us and so the laundry dried easily on the line and when I mopped the floors they were soon dry as well.
These are the simple routines of our new life. We work for awhile and when we want to, we sit down and enjoy a snack.
Throughout each day we stop and marvel at our views. When we hear the sheep and goat bells, we step outside and wave to the shepherd.
We are fortunate to have the best-possible neighbors, who have become treasured friends. On Wednesday I hiked with my friend Kiersten, who played a large part in our ending up living here, and just last night we enjoyed a raucous gathering in Lanjarón, celebrating the 50th birthday of another one of our friends.
|Happy 50th Suz!|
And we are so pleased to share our life with those who are making the effort to come visit. Tomorrow we welcome my high-school roommate. When we met in 1976 neither of us would have ever imagined that she would be flying from Michigan to Southern Spain for a visit in my Cortijo on the side of a mountain.