Home. Ahhh. It’s so good to sleep in my own bed. To look out the windows at the trees. Many were green when I left 10 days ago. Now they are all yellow and orange. The emerald green grass is covered with fallen leaves.
It was an interesting weather journey to Galicia from Salamanca. From blue skies to rain. Then snow as we approached Ponferrada. It was coming in sideways. The bus driver didn’t appear to mind and he plowed on down the AutoVia as though it was a sunny day in June.
Jeff met me at the bus station and collected my bag from the belly of the bus.
‘I was going to suggest we grab lunch here, but its snowing so hard over the mountains that we need to get going before it gets dark and we get stuck.’
He said there were a dozen plows on his way over from Lugo and they were also spreading de-ice liquid on the road. He had followed one or another the entire way.
As we made our way out of the valley the temperature continued to drop. But we have four wheel drive and Jeff had all-weather tires put on the car the week before we left Valencia. The guy at the shop on the Mediterranean thought he was a little nuts. But who is laughing now?
It is interesting driving through mountains here in winter. Lots and lots of loooong frozen bridges on the AutoVia (freeways). And a detour after they closed the road at one point. We made it home as it was getting dark. It seems Jeff has been very busy while I was away. He had American Thanksgiving off work and used the time to string Christmas lights in the trees out front. And on the new rain gutters. It was a nice greeting after being away.
Jeff bought the light fixtures I wanted, and a gorgeous ceiling fan for the living room. It distributes the heat throughout the house so efficiently that we can use less energy overall. Americans don’t love ceiling fans, but here you can get nearly any type of design. We put one in our bedroom this summer and it’s as effective as A/C for sleeping.
Jeff had other surprises for me. Small things he had taken care of. Stuff that is usually lower on the priority list but makes a difference in livability.
And he strung bumble bee 🐝 lights on our gate, as a surprise for Emilie’s imminent arrival from the US. It was their thing when Emilie first entered our lives. Before she came to live with us she had been placed in a temporary Foster home in Seattle. During the transition to our home as a permanent placement, Jeff would pick her up each day and he would drop her off to sleep at the temporary home. Just until she became used to us. And every day, at four years old, she would tease Jeff in her halting speech.
‘You betta watch out. Der is bees on dat gate. Dey gonna git you.’ She would laugh, wrinkling her nose. This each day, as he pushed open the temporary foster family’s front gate and walked her to the door in the afternoon for two weeks.
We just have a few more things to do before Emilie’s arrival. She sprained her ankle last week playing basketball at the gym and she will be landing here in a boot with crutches. So we will be staying close to home with her. But that suits us just fine. Because Jeff made sure we are ready. When Emilie arrives at home in Palas de Rei this week she will be greeted with strings of bee lights sparkling on our front gate. Courtesy of her Dad, who has never forgotten.