We bought the farm. Yes, I realize the connotation. No, we´re still very much alive. But while I was ill Jeff shepherded the the purchase of our new digs. A farm in Lugo! WHAT?!? You´re probably thinking it. How did that happen? But it´s perfect.
After spending a chunk of the summer on the coast of Portugal we packed up and headed for Santiago to lick our wounds and to try to regroup. And if you´ll remember, we took a day long walk on one stage of the Camino Frances. And on that walk we saw a sign on a gate to a farm. It said ´Se Vende.’ For Sale for those English Speakers in the audience. Was it on the beach? No. Was it on a lake? Nope. But something about it struck us both and Jeff took a photo of the sign.
We looked at the property over the wall from a neighbouring piece of land covered in mooing cows. It had a large barn and many outbuildings, along with a house. Hmmm. We were intrigued. But I wasn´t really ready to start again. I was ready to take a break from house hunting. Then we got home and our landlord called to say he was selling. So much for taking a break. And Covid started to rage and there was concerns of an imminent perimeter lockdown (which did happen). As a result, I hopped in the car so that I could view some properties we had seen on Idealista located up in Galicia. And one of those was the farm on the Camino.
Everyone remembers that adventure, including javalies and a weeks long stay in a hotel in Lugo. The last property I viewed was the farm. The woman who owned it is older and her adult children were helping to sell it so she could relocate to Coruña to be near them. Her daughter met me and walked me around. The barn is double height and huge. There is a chestnut grove, a pine forest, and a grape arbour. An outdoor kitchen and a classic Galician corn crib for storing root vegetables grown in the garden. There is a garden shed and a fenced garden area to keep out critters, or the errant blond cow from the neighbouring field.
I toured the house. It will need some remodelling but everything works. And it has a ton of potential. The important part was the roof and windows are water tight, and the well water is clean.
I drove home but have been ill ever since. I told Jeff all about it and how much I liked it but didn´t expect that we would get it all going so quickly. Jeff made it happen. He´s so ready for a new chapter and to turn the page. And let me tell you what a difference it is to have something to look forward to. My Pintrest boards are all new. Ideas coming out my ears. A new walled front garden with ambitious designs for herbs and fruit trees. Rows of lavender at the back of the property by a small road to a nearby village. I can see a dog like our Perkins (our beloved Golden Retriever) and a barn cat to keep the mice in check in the wood pile. I can wear all my Hunter boots and Barbour gear. I can get my hands into the dirt and feed the birds. I can go for a walk on the property without a mask and sit in the hammock on the front porch watching the rain in the midst of a storm.
Jeff is excited because it so dark at night we can see the stars and create a platform for his telescope. And he´s ready to set up the barn with all his tools and his ambitious design projects without the incumbrance of el Compartimento.
I have some other secret ambitions I´ll reveal over time, but suffice to say I think anything is possible. Exciting. I feel a bit like Za Za Gabor in the 1960´s show ´Green Acres´. A fish out of water, but I´m willing to swap my fins for legs. Do we know how to farm lavender? Nope. We´ll learn as we go. Maybe I´ll get a horse! My grandparents had a strawberry farm and a sheep farm in Oregon, so perhaps it´s in my blood.
I was telling a friend of mine in the US about it and I said `I know. I know. It´s probably crazy and everyone says it´s an over reaction to what´s happened to me in 2020. But I don´t care.´
He just laughed `Who cares? What´s the worst that can happen? You find out you want something else? What if you love it as much as you think you will and you´re happy there? What if it´s even better than you think right now? There are no mistakes in life?´
I couldn´t agree more. When we moved to Spain 3 years ago we were up for adventure. We had no idea what we were doing, but we learned. This is right up that alley. New views. New challenges. Something to wrap our brains around. Jeff thinks it´s the best thing to heal me and my broken heart. Fresh air, clean water and a shovel. Taking a deep breath. We sign next week and then notify the movers to come pack up our stuff. It seems 2021 will be a good year after all.