The Power of The Village

Jeff has spent the past couple of months working like crazy. Up in the middle of the night with fingers on a keyboard. Like this morning, I rolled over at 2:30 and he was not there. I heard voices coming from his office. This, after Jeff came to bed at midnight having worked since 5am yesterday morning. He’s solving a big problem.

I worry about him sometimes. But I know he’s working on things that would surprise most people if they knew the solution came from a farmhouse in rural Galicia. And I also know how important having a supportive spouse is when your job is all consuming. I bring him food between calls. And listen when he needs a sounding board. That’s what I have on offer these days. I get it. During my career, there were those stretches, too. Most of my working life was spent hard charging through one thing or another. Pushing is the American approach to most things. Climbing over, or knocking down barriers. But nowadays, my life is very different. I am slowly learning an alternative approach. And it involves a lot of waiting. That may seem very strange, but more and more, I just wait. And it’s working.

One of the strangest things about living in a very small town is that everyone knows your business. That sounds ominous. But there are definite upsides, too. Your problems are the village’s problems. And by this I mean that because everyone is talking about each other’s problems, more people are aware that there is a problem in the first place. And eventually, the problem reaches the ears of the person who might actually help you solve it. It’s like a bee hive.

Case in point. As everyone on this blog is aware, we have an electrical problem. An internet problem, too, but that’s different. I’ve spoken with many friends and neighbors about our electrical issue. Been given advice on how it might be solved. But, I have gone ahead and pulled the trigger on none of the external voltage issues on our street. Yet.

We bought multiple UPS to help Jeff work. We had Diego and Carlos out to solve our toilet-flushing-lights-flashing-well-pump problem. We were shaving off thin slices of the issue, but we weren’t getting to root cause. Except now, I think we are making real progress. And there is a good reason. I just waited.

The engine that is the village party-line has started working in my favor. We have lived here for nearly nine months. We know people now, and they know us. We talk to them about our day to day challenges. And we have more challenges than most due to the fact that we are newcomers to Spain, we are Spanish-ly challenged, and we are new to living a rural life in Galicia. Our life is like the show Green Acres from the 1960’s in America. A true fish out of water tale 😉. Excuse the pun. And after this short time, we have finally hit critical mass.

When we arrived here last year, we were Those Americans. A curiosity. ‘Why would you move here?’ We heard it every day. Then we started needing things. Goods and services to set up our life here. People were mostly helpful, if curious. And they watched us. ‘What are they up to? I heard they bought a tractor from xxx.’ But now, we are past being a curiosity and we are becoming members of the community. I realized this shift had occurred yesterday.

We went to the bank to get a paper so we could sign more documents at the notaria for our business. There was a problem. I was frustrated. We left empty handed and went to a cafe for a coffee and a verbal eye roll. Apparently, the grapevine started the moment we got up from the banker’s chair and our local accountant and insurance agent became involved. All this was unbeknownst to us while we were having coffee. While stepping into our Fiat Panda loaner car (that’s another story), I got a message from our local insurance agent imploring me back to the bank. She said our paperwork problem was sorted out. No kidding. Interesting.

We were personally escorted to, and signed our documents at the notaría. They are also preparing our wills and we will sign those in the same office next week. So we have a notaria. Whew. I mean this in all sincerity. You need a personal notaría in Spain. Upon arriving at home, Jeff went right back to work. I was making him lunch when I received a message from the head of our electric company, whom I have never met. He is friends with some friends of ours in town and he heard about our problem with the voltage lines on our street. He wants to help us and he will be filing claims to The Concello and the larger Spanish utility on our behalf. He told me what he needed from me to push it through much quicker. I reached out to our electrician, who is getting me his assessment.

Afterward, I sat here dumbfounded. After my last conversation with our friends, I have gone back and forth in my own head on the best way to approach getting our electrical lines fixed. But suddenly, the solution found me. Huh 🤔

So I have decided that I am going to adopt a new, more Zen life philosophy. One that is less bulldog and more dove-like. I have heard people say that if you look closely, you will see that the universe is constantly conspiring to help you. I’m not sure I really understood that before. But now I do. Because I live near a small Spanish village. And I’m the beneficiary of it, more and more every day.

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