Making Space for the Future

The weather in Galicia has been absolutely gorgeous since the start of 2022. For the most part. Days are bright and sunny. Sunset are breathtaking. Sure, it’s chilly. But not too bad.

It’s starting to feel like Spring is just around the corner. Each day I walk the property in the afternoon in rubber boots, as the back part can be wet, soft and loamy ground. Often, I just need to wear a sweatshirt, it’s that warm. On my daily walks I am beginning to notice a change. The grass is starting to grow again. Trees are showing signs of budding. The Northwestern part of Spain is waking up early from her slumber.

We’ve been watching farmers begin to prepare their fields for tilling. Jeff is getting itchy. Lola, yes, this is what we have named our new bright red tractor and Jeff actually sang the song when he dubbed her that, has not yet arrived. I questioned his logic. ‘Why isn’t it named after a dude? Hercamer or Brad?’ But he just frowned. ‘Everyone knows tractors are like ships. <No one in the history of the world has ever believed this> And ships are named after women.’ <eye-roll> Moving on, they said it would take a week to arrive. Its been weeks since that week. But this is how time works here. ‘One week’ = 5. That’s the conversion chart. Our Lola will get here when she gets here. It’s simple math.

I’m going to say it’s a bit overgrown

Since sap is starting to run, (that’s farm talk, for the laymen in the audience) I decided to begin pruning the grape vines. After living in Northern California wine country for several years, and watching them prune grape vines in January and February, I figured I should do the same. Knowing nothing of how to do this myself, I consulted the experts and watched some YouTube videos, ordered some pruners, and Jeff and I got to work. It’s no small task. And after several days, while Jeff has been working, I am still not done. But today I should wrap it up.

This weather has given me the Spring cleaning bug. The house is undergoing a thorough scrub-down. Washing away the winter grit that settles from the fireplace. Shining windows. Clearing out the cobwebs. I completely reorganized the kitchen and took inventory for the items I already have for the food truck. Making notes on what I will need to buy. Dishes will not be a problem. The previous owners left me with service for 50 of simple white plates. They had a big family and a lot of friends. Clearly. Or they had hosted a wedding reception. Either way, they left it all in the kitchen. And enough glassware to get started.

After clearing the cupboards and reorganizing, I am laying out how I want the new kitchen designed – and how I do not. We will undertake a remodel likely next winter. It can only be done as part of the underfloor heating install. Which requires us to move out. Perhaps next November when I close the food truck for the season. We can hand the keys over to Diego and crew, then take off to warmer climes for a few months. We shall see.

In the meantime, I have discovered a new love of mopping. After taking all the rugs outside and pressure washing them, I mopped everything. It turns out, mopping is a zen-like activity when its a big space. In the US, we had more carpeted areas. Especially in Seattle. Well, and a housekeeping service. But our house here has no carpet. If you take all the big rugs out of the house simultaneously you can mop yourself into a sort of trance. It’s actually quite pleasant. And the house is clean all at once. Not so piece meal. Yup. It sounds odd but it’s true.

Moving on, in preparation for Lola’s somewhat imminent arrival, we’ve been organizing the barn. My grandfather used to leave his tractor outside. But this is expensive machinery and that doesn’t seem wise. We need to make room for her in a protected space. I have other projects I require a dedicated place for, as well. We are at a critical point in our little farm house. And no amount of Spring cleaning will solve it. Without a painting studio built, my little painting nook has become overrun with canvasses. Even Jeff, who hates hanging things on the walls, says we need to hang these paintings on the walls. But they must be framed, and that required tools, wood, and a space to build them. A trip to the Leroy Merlin in Lugo later, and we are ready. So organizing the barn was as important to me as to Jeff.

As I mentioned before, lately, books are my favorite subjects. And I am looking forward to framing them. Here’s my latest one. Perhaps I will term this my Book Period. This canvas used to be something else I had painted in my espacio creativo in Valencia. The old painting is under there somewhere. This current one is the result of taking a break this week from cleaning and pruning. I quite like it. Now I just need to figure out where I want all these newly framed paintings to hang.

We have a busy week ahead. An early morning flight from Santiago to Barcelona on Thursday to meet with the food truck manufacturer at 10:30 am. Heading to the airport at 4:30. Eek. Two years. Our first flight since the pandemic began. In my entire adult life I have never gone this long without flying somewhere. I wonder how we will feel getting on a plane. But it’s one step closer to realizing my vision. I’m well aware that this is what all the scrubbing and organizing has been about. Quite literally, I am letting go of the past, sweeping out the old and making way for a bright future. Deep breath. That’s right where I belong.

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