I went out for a cafe with a Spanish friend. We talked about the new pope, the upcoming Carnival, parenting, and work. And I realized, that between the words, so hard-won and tenacious, there’s so much she doesn’t know about me. How I love Ben Folds and will.i.am. She doesn’t know that my first kiss … More Hard-won and Tenacious
Almost every afternoon, the boys and I go to the beach to hunt for sea glass. We stroll along the shoreline, our eyes fixed upon the sand, searching for that telltale glint of light. A smooth, green-gilled creation, tempered over time. Garbage made beautiful. We place the glass in a large vase, right by our … More Sea Glass
On the day of the Three Kings Day parade, I trudged up the street, still littered with the caramelos tossed on the parade route. My boots, covered in a thick crust of crushed candies, clung to the ground with each step. I watched my oldest ahead of me, walking with my husband and our landlord. … More A Tender Land
Time: 1994. I’m taking my oral exams in Spanish, and I complete a conversation with my teacher. I don’t recall what we discussed, except that she brought up the movie Total Recall more than one would expect. This was the last hurdle before I would be done with my required Spanish classes to get my … More Like Chocolate
I’m not Catholic, and consequently didn’t grow up venerating much of anything. Mary was just Jesus’s mom, and the only saint I knew much about was ol’ Pinching Patrick. And now, I live in a nation which in which 70% of the people identify as Catholic. Whether it be the name of a street, or … More There’s Something About Mary
My husband ran his first road race on Friday. He’s an avid runner back home, having completed numerous marathons and other races of varying distances. And here, of course, it was a bit different. The race was supposed to start at five. Paul finally started running at six. At the end of the race, the … More Unpacking Gender in Spain
My dad often says that he’s grateful that he wasn’t born in the middle ages. He has terrible eyesight, and would surely be labeled the village idiot for all his running into poles. When I talk to him next, I will mention that there’s another way to be a village idiot: 1. Move to a foreign … More Village Idiot
Due to a delicious combination of negative self-talk, a tight budget, and laziness, I have been a slob my entire life. Let’s just take a look through the iPhoto archieves: Yes. That happened. And then– I moved here and saw six year old girls wearing knee-high leather boots and perfectly knotted scarves. I watched women … More Spanish Fashion. And Me.
People ask, “Are things as good for you in Spain as they appear on the computer?” Meaning: Are you really that happy? Well, yes. And no. I am, by nature, a person who seeks connection. I like to chit-chat with the people that flit in and outof my day. But here’s my reality: I spend … More Just How it Is.
There is currently a 23% unemployment rate in Spain. A 21% tax is added to everything. You don’t even want to know the price of gas. Times are tough for the Spanish. And I am acutely aware of my privilege. I can buy gas, products, and food at a discounted rate at the base. I … More Rooted