It’s Thanksgiving in Galicia and we are the only first ones who know it. The storms of the past few days have passed and its a calm morning. But storms are visibly brewing on the horizon.
We’ve met so many people since arriving here over the weekend. People who have been generous with their time and patience. So if Im grateful for anything this American 🙏 Day its for this. And for the education in the home searching, buying, permitting and building process.
When viewing a home here the owners will invariably be there to give you the tour – unless they don’t live within an hours drive.
We’ve had to climb over high walls and fences to view some homes and properties. So I learned to be grateful for locks and gates that function properly on a stormy day. We have met the aged and seriously ill – so I learned to be grateful I’m still in my 50’s and nimble. And I’ve been reminded that a kind word and a smile goes a very long way to brightening someone’s day, as one homeowner proudly pointed out the heavy matching woodwork and her decoupage artwork that ‘stays with the house’.
We are all the same. We take pride in our homes and want others to see value in what we value. Perhaps validating for a moment that where we’ve arrived has all been worth the effort. The houses we have seen are, after all, the culmination of many of these owners life’s work and they deserve the acknowledgement. So we refrained from asking, in front of them, if walls could be taken out or kitchens gutted. Especially after one elderly owner talked at length of designing the tiles herself, so many years ago.
We’ve been assisted by one translator, brought along by an agent, who became so enthusiastic about helping us she called snd arranged for a family member to pick up her kids from school to feed them lunch. And an engineer who told me ‘No’ a lot and didn’t sugar coat the limits of either permitting nor structural integrity. I like people who tell me ‘No’ when I have gone beyond the edge of sanity.
Jeff’s assessment? ‘People are so nice here!’ After we bought some groceries at a Hipercor and the bag broke on the street going back to our car, spilling the contents on the sidewalk, a woman reached into her purse and got out a folded plastic bag and started scooping up our things, handing it to Jeff.
I left my phone at a coffee shop and they had it for me two hours later when I went back, sweating and a little frantic.
So to our American family and friends, no matter where in the world you are celebrating. Alone or in a crowded kitchen with a turkey in the oven. Happy Gratitude Day 🙏
I think our new friend, Angela said it best. ‘People must help each other. We are all human, after all.’ It seems to encompass the spirit of Galicia. And today, thats what we are grateful for, most of all.