Last night a storm blew in to Palas de Rei. A storm of storms. It shook the house and windows rattled. I was up all night listening to it howl as rain came down in buckets. And speaking of buckets, I got up and made sure nothing required a bucket. It was coming down that hard. The knee did not appreciate the violent change in the barometric pressure. It gave me fits as the storm raged on.
Looking outside today, there is no more fruit in the trees. No more chestnut tribbles to fall. The 100 km per hour sustained winds made light work of it over the course of the night. Now the real nut gathering can begin.
Our storms here on the farm come up through a valley to the south. Off the Atlantic Ocean not far away. You can see them coming out the kitchen windows. This is the first of many big storms, I am very sure. Between today and next May we will have to batten down the hatches.
Now I understand why houses here are made of stone and brick. Finding lumber is not easy. If houses were made of wood, like they are in the US, we wouldn’t survive. The weather here requires something forged in the fires of the earth to withstand the constant onslaught of the forces Mother Nature throws at this region. And houses here are hundreds of years old. So far, they’re winning the battle, if not the war.
Luckily, our new fireplace kept me warm. It is fully functional just in time. Even in the bedroom upstairs. Fireplaces are built differently here than they are in the US. Unlike in America, here the chimney is on the inside of the house. Ours runs up into our bedroom and then out the roof. This type of construction means that the heat from the fire below heats the bricks in the chimney running through our bedroom. And it heats the upstairs. Like a radiator. If you have a fire in the fireplace, you can place your hand on the chimney and it will be warm and toasty.
My only complaint is that the firewood doesn’t bring itself into the house. I had to go out in that deluge, fighting the wind and rain to get more wood from the shed. A better solution of proactive-stacking in a hopper on the front porch is going to rapidly come to fruition. This was our method in Snoqualmie. It saved us in a snowstorm when we were housebound for a week in three feet of snow. We live and learn. And then we remember.
Today, I will enjoy the popping and crackling of wood. My summer bundles of dried rosemary and dried lavender are proving to be excellent fire starters. And they smell great too. The house is scented like a high end spa today. Just the thing to sooth the nerves after being awake all night in the storm. The sun is peeking out between dark ominous clouds. I may just let Mr. Sir (the cat who isn’t our cat) into the house for the first time. I don’t imagine his night was much better than mine.
Jeff said the wind kept him up last night in the Albergue where he was staying. He’s already at the top of O Cebreiro, making good time walking towards home. Hopefully the rest of his walk today to Triacastela will be dry.
But storms don’t last forever. Today, my forecast calls for a 100% chance of a nap, with periods of light reading in front of a fire, covered with my favorite throw. Now all I need is a dog, a wee bit of Scottish whiskey, and a perfect fall Sunday will be complete.