The Volkswagon Truck

I am sitting in a Volkswagon truck, the ubiquitous European version of a SUV, wearing my brown-and-white polka dot feria dress. My youngest son rests on my lap. Next to me, is a teenage girl in a feria dress—tall, beautiful, and unaware of her power. Her mother pours a rubujito into a plastic glass. In … More The Volkswagon Truck

Blue Period

When the sun shines, and my patio blooms with red roses, I am embarrassed to admit that I have the blues. But then, I think, Picasso was Spanish and had a Blue Period, so I am also inclined to have mopey days. Even in Spain. My mopey days feel a bit like one of those … More Blue Period

The Grace of Cafe

In a country which is 99% Catholic, it’s not surprising that there is a reverence for ritual. This is one of my favorites: You walk into a bar, past the plastic-sheeted patio, towards the counter. “Buenos,” you say. “Cafe con leche, por favor.” “Cafe con leche, vale,” replies the man behind the counter, pounding fresh … More The Grace of Cafe

Six Months

Six months. That’s the magic window, people say, when you start to feel at home in a new place. And….they seem to be correct. I do. It helps that the sun is finally out, and hopefully out to stay. We wear short sleeves and sandals. A gritty line of sand remains in the shower, after … More Six Months


Corporate Spain shuts down on Sunday. The grocery stores, big box emporiums, local tiendas, and shopping malls close their doors. Restaurants, bars, and cafes, however, remain open. Families and friends gather, drink, laugh, and linger. A holy day. It’s not uncommon, even in February, to see families walk along the paseo, by the beachfront. Children … More Sunday