Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spain, the First Week

Madrid is Colorado blue skies in veranillo de San Martin (Indian summer). In the corridor of the apartment building, the neighbor downstairs smiles and overwhelms me with a torrent of Spanish in response to my "Buenos dias." With rusty, limited Spanish, my mind grasps only a word or two and ponders: is tiempo time or weather? And all subsequent words pass unpondered.

Bartenders and servers try their English when I stumble through Spanish or look to Rich for translation, but they remember us when we return. Dressed in loose cotton pants and T-shirt, I walk early morning streets crowded with other abuelas dressed in skirts, jackets, nice shoes and always scarves and shopping bags, purses swinging on crooked elbows. Vegetable and fruit markets teem with customers mornings and evenings and shutter their produce for afternoon siesta. 

Palacio de Comunicaciones at Plaza de la Cibeles
Plaza Santa Ana

My mind returns to DC at night, still packing boxes and shifting through lists of what's left to empty our lives of house and possessions and free ourselves for this venture in Spain. Days, Rich and I walk our neighborhood, which grows with each foray. We go in search of sites not yet visited, cigar shops, plazas, English language bookstores and explore other neighborhoods. We ride buses and Metro, sleep late, eat at odd hours, take siesta, wait to order food with a drink or coffee until we consume the free tapa MadrileƱos expect. We live without cell phones, but for now are always together, have not turned on the TV or the Celsius-only oven, and instead, play cribbage. Chess awaits. The living room is littered with guide books, dictionaries, grammar books and electronics in need of charging. Somethings don't change.

Rich and the Bear at Puerta del Sol


  1. OK, then....see if this works? (2nd attempt). Had to sign in with Google password. Sounds like you're having a great time!

  2. Looks and sounds wonderful. So happy for you and Rich. Enjoy hearing about your ventures. Keep the blog coming.

  3. The photos are great except the guy with the bear. Did you photoshop the blue sky?

  4. This is so cool. I get to post.

    Here the wind is whipping the leaves skyward, threatening winter. Two days to election day. You guys are so glad not to be her. So much sound and fury...


    1. Made a mad dash to the computer to see the comment left from anonymous afraid it might be something lewd that I would have to learn how to delete. So happy to find it's you. Rich would really like to have gotten to vote, but DC does not have it together with absentee ballots. They have to be mailed on request and go out less than 2 weeks before the election. Don't think we would have seen them. Vote early and vote often for us.

  5. I thought "Anonymous" might catch your attention. It was the only option the site offered me that worked when I went to reply to you. I'm sure you both would have liked to vote in the DC mayor's race. In Va, it's the senate races that are critical, but I have a hard time mustering enthusiasm for the fight.

  6. I bet you and Rich feel like you are living a dream. Great for you two!!!!