This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend in the US. Jeff and I pretended like we were there and relished the extra day off.
To celebrate, we took an excursion up to our local Castelo de Pambre with our friends, Mar and Carlos and their mastiff, Bella. They run a local Albergue, and their village is full of lovely, friendly people who stopped to say hello as we set out. Pointing out the pride of their community, the 500 year old tree that still stands guard over the inhabitants.
The hike up through the old oak forest was lovely as the sun began to dip. Castelo de Pambre dates back to the 6th century. Of course, it was seized, sacked, then rebuilt many times over the centuries. We crossed a 6th century Roman bridge over a stream on our way up to the castle itself.
Stunning views from above. The geographical center of Galicia lies just below the castle at the convergence of two rivers. A local goat herd was very interested in our sudden appearance.
In one photo you can see how the stones are etched with the mark if the stone mason who shaped it. They were mostly illiterate back then. That’s how they got paid for their work. Stone by stone.
We spent most of Monday – true American Memorial Day – in Santiago picking up supplies and enjoying a heavenly lunch of sushi and steak at one of Santiago’s finer restaurants. Then it was time to make our way home to prepare for a very busy week ahead.
I sat out on one of our patio chairs watching Jeff give our new tractor a workout cutting the grass. It was hard graft but someone had to do it.
Suddenly, I heard a shout from the front gate. A man had parked his car across our driveway and was waving to get my attention.
I donned a mask and went out to see what the fuss was about. The man was waving his arms and pointing furiously at Jeff, as he made perfect lines back and forth with the wide blades.
The guy told me he owns some of the businesses in the local village.
‘There is a lot of grass to cut. Can I ask if this man would be willing to cut my grass?’
I laughed behind my mask.
‘You mean my husband?’ I asked.
I told him I would ask Jeff when he was done cutting our grass. We would get back to him.
Jeff finished up and I met him with an ice cold beer for his efforts.
‘What was all that about?’ He asked me.
‘That’s the guy Mar was telling us about. He owns almost all the businesses in the village. He was admiring your grass-cutting prowess. And the size of your tractor. He wondered if you could come cut his grass in his very manicured garden.’
‘What did you tell him?’
‘I said I would have to consult with my highly qualified client. I would be happy to negotiate a grass cutting contract on your behalf. There would be serious red lines, and I’d only take 30%. Family discount.’
Jeff rolled his eyes, sat down and drank his beer.
‘I’d do it. But then it would be just like my paper route when I was a freshman in high school. When we’d go on vacation I’d have to get someone else to do the job. It would become a hassle.’
Yeah, that’s why he wasn’t going to do it. No second side hustle for el Jefe. And just like that, all my fantasy pin money dried up. So close, and yet so far away.