One Thing at a Time

Lists. My bane and my savior. These days, it seems the list never gets shorter. Even as I check things off, new items are added to the bottom.

I have found a local architect to work with on this project that is our business. ✅ She is young, grew up in Palas, and is eager. Her website touts her Green Eco bonafides. And her commitment to unconventional, but cutting edge practices to protect the environment. I love it! A Green Camino is our goal. And I like giving our business to a young woman just starting out. We all need a leg up at the beginning. And lets face it, showers/bathrooms and cabins are not skyscrapers in Manhattan. But that means I need to put together a deck before our meeting on Wednesday morning – complete with photos, a mission statement, project goals, and overall plan by phase. I’ll resist animation. I just added ‘build deck for the architect’ to the list.

There are other things on there, too. My firewood guy, the one from the summer, is busy with his more established customers. I get it. We are not yet established in the neighborhood. He doesn’t know us well. We could be those fly-by-night Americans. Here today, gone back to NYC tomorrow. But I need more wood to last the winter.

And we are desperate for the services of a couple of barn cats. After having the Concello guys take all that stuff out of the barn, we discovered we have a mice problem. Luckily, Mr Sir was visiting at that moment. Attracted by all the goings on over here. He quickly pounced and made quick work of one of them. But where there is one mouse, there are 100. And Mr Sir is not around enough to do the job alone.

We also need a dog. Well, a puppy, really. We have larger animals camping out near my lavender crop. A pack or a herd, who are sleeping in the tall grass in the meadow where the summer butterflies used flutter. I don’t know if it’s javalies or wolves, but they are big. It’s hunting season here. Shotguns are a common sound. Yesterday, we saw a guy walking through the field with two hunting dogs, noses to the ground. He was carrying a shotgun. I think a large mastiff or Great Pyrenees puppy should do it. Not to maim, just to keep the pack at bay. I want a puppy so we can socialize it with Pilgrims walking by. It will be a cafe/Albergue dog, after all.

Getting kittens and dogs is more difficult here than in the US. Wallapop does allow them to be listed. The shelters have big, fully grown dogs and cats. So I did what I always do with unsolvable problems. I walked over to Marie Carmen’s house with a large bag of chestnuts. And I told her my tale of woe.

That was Friday afternoon. On Saturday she was in the driveway with her firewood guy, Carlos, and a full trailer of firewood pulled by his tractor. He now owns our woodshed after inspecting it. Marie Carmen spotted a dead rabbit in there and quickly dispatched it, This after I squealed at the sight of a headless Easter Bunny. The woman is my hero. She just shook her head. In my next life I want to come back as tough and no nonsense as Marie Carmen.

She’s also working on getting me two kittens. I think she is happy to facilitate us getting our own cats. Relinquishing Mr Sir back to her. But he will always be our first pet in Galicia. MC also says she may have a line on a puppy. ‘Tranquila, Kelli.’ Ugh. It’s like she knows everyone else I’ve ever met in Spain. I ask you, when am I not patient? 😉

Finally, yesterday we met up with some Americans who have taken over an existing Albergue in the village of Vilacha. About two kilometers on the other side of the bridge from Portomarin. The Powells gave us a tour. It had been unoccupied for a few years before they bought it. Its a cool, very old stone building, that used to house animals on the ground floor and the family above. They have done a huge amount of work on it during Covid, and just opened to Pilgrims on September 1st. An American Pilgrim from Texas we met recently had stopped in to their place for a drink while passing through Vilacha, and she heard their story. She made the introduction for us. Ray and Dominique have learned a ton, and we will benefit from their experience. Rules, regulations, vendors, and workmen (I say men because they’re all men). It was nice to chat over coffee on a Sunday morning. They close up for the season at the end of this month and head back to the US until spring. Just as our real work begins.

I know we are making progress. All items on the list are not the same. Build showers and buy toilet paper are not equally weighted. And yet, I know we will get there on checking them both off. Building forward momentum, one thing at a time.

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