Operator

“I lived in the US for 20 years,” our Argentinian friend Kitty told us in perfect English, “but still, I never felt comfortable when I had to talk on the phone.” Well, I won’t make “talking on the phone” a short-term goal for my Spanish learning anytime soon, I thought. Little did I know, life…

A Evening In The Life of a Hospitalera

After twenty uninterrupted minutes reading my book, I looked around the empty room. The pilgrims who’d arrived earlier in the afternoon had finished their laundry and showers and were either resting upstairs or in town eating or grocery shopping. I peeked out the window. No backpack laden pilgrims were traipsing up the hill toward our…

Limitless Generosity (Part 2)

In 2012, over the course of my 37 days on the Camino de Santiago, generosity knew no bounds. This network of thousand-year-old pilgrimage trails is walked by hundreds of thousands of people each year and, in reality, is a moving community of people helping people. Unable to find my way out of a large city…

Limitless Generosity (Part 1)

Bob and I met in 2011 during a Scottish cooking class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I never intended to take a course in Scottish cooking–and, in fact, had no idea what kinds of things one would even make in a Scottish cooking class–but that is a story for another day. Weeks later,…

House Hunting International

Michael and I sat at an outdoor table, a large bottle of cold water shared between us, discussing our Options. Option 1: Gran Via Pros: Newly renovated apartment with open floor plan, great neighborhood, very nice landlords. Cons: Third floor walk-up (i.e. no elevator), no terrace, no air conditioning. Option 2: Arrancapins Pros: Newly renovated…

Airing the Laundry

When asked what about our upcoming move to Spain made me nervous, I couldn’t really come up with an answer. But now that I’ve been here for 24 hours, I can tell you nothing has been as scary as hanging Michael’s laundry out to dry. “There’s really no dryer in this place?” Michael asked me,…

Spanish NLV for Washington DC Consulate

“Maybe we can be in Spain by our anniversary!” Michael said. He thinks we’re going to get this whole thing done in two months?! “Ummmm. . . Maybe,” I replied. ” But someone on the Facebook group said they had to wait two months just for their appointment at the Consulate. And you can’t get…

On Excitement . . .

I burst into the home office where my parents were working and pushed my cell phone in front of my father’s face. “What’s that?” he said, squinting his eyes at the picture on my phone. “Our visas came!” I could hardly get the words out as I was trying not to cry. “I know you’re…

Never Say Never (Under The Sea–Part 3)

“I so enjoy reading your blog posts,” my Aunt Janet said. “But last night I realized you’ve been writing them long before I started reading them. So I went back to the beginning and read them all.” I was touched. And a little surprised. That someone, anyone, would want to do that. Hmph. Cool. So…

The Path to Spain (Part 2)

It was Friday, May 14. The sign on the door of the Spanish consulate said, “No visa appointments on Fridays.” “You have the email from the consulate, right?” I asked Michael. He pulled it up on his phone. “All the documents are right; we can offer you an appointment on FRIDAY, MAY 14TH 2021 at…