The Countdown

Our daughter, Emilie, will be here in two days. And things are shaping up. I won’t say we didn’t have a bit of a heart attack over this new Omicron variant. Yes, it is not good health news for the world. But I was also worried that it might, at the last possible moment after two years, make it impossible for Emilie to come from the US to Spain. But that is not the case. Less than 24 hours until she steps on the plane.

And actual water pressure will greet her. The new water tank and well pump have been completed. We used to flush the toilet and the porch light would flash. I wish I was kidding. Jeff had to purchase a UPS so he could work. It would switch over to battery back up over 200 times a day. Our contractor said he thought it was a bad electrical and plumbing install when the house was built. Jeff disagreed.

We asked that the well apparatus be moved from a metal box inconveniently located in front of the old shed aka new laundry room, to inside the new laundry room.

They set the date for the work but insisted we didn’t need a new pump. I insisted right back. And, surprise! We were right. Sort of.

It turns out the actual pump wasn’t bad. But when they pulled the old pump out and looked at it (which they wouldn’t have done without us insisting on a new one) they found out that all the wires were messed up and that some were not even attached. The pump was shorting out hundreds of times a day inside the well. Which Jeff could attest to, as the UPS connected to his computer recorded each and every failure. El Fontanero (the plumber) and La Electricista (the electrician) were both shocked. Not literally. Jeff and I were not. When you stand in the bathroom washing your hands and the bathroom lights dim, you kind of figure you have a little problem. And whenever Jeff had an important call where he had to present something to his team in the US, he would warn me to use the bathroom before the call, to go to the Café in the village during the call, or to hold it until he was done. No joke – it was that bad.

And Ta-Da! Here is the new accumulator and all the new plumbing in the laundry room. We have water pressure in the house! The electrical is to code. Imagine. That big metal lump right outside the door is gone, and we have a new spigot for the hose on the outside. Like humans. They did a great job. But then they always do.

Our daughter will never understand why we are so excited when we crowd together with her to demonstrate the water pressure and hot water in the bathroom upstairs. The Emilie of two years ago would responded with a ‘Duh’ and an eye roll. And now? She will likely think Covid has melted our brains and perhaps she should stay in Spain so she can keep an eye on her ailing parents.

But in advance of her arrival, our Christmas decorations are up. Decorating the tree is always a journey down memory lane. Ornaments that mark the moments in our family. Family adventures and school creations are all there.

Emilie’s Christmas present for us made in kindergarten

And we are hanging family pictures up the freshly painted stairway today. Almost ready. A journey into Lugo yesterday had me buying a large poster board. Emilie will be greeted by a very big embarrassing sign at arrivals at the airport in Santiago. I’m the same crazy Mom she remembers. That will never change. But something tells me, after 707 days, this time she won’t mind at all.

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