How we spent Christmas

It started out with promise.  We woke up to a few presents and pancakes.  Then I rushed around packing up food, clothes, and toddler paraphenalia for a week-long holiday.   We had arranged to house and cat sit for friends in the near-by village of Jimena.

A week in a quaint and quiet place, where I could lay on the couch and read an English friend’s book collection while Daisy the cat babysat Yago…  Oh, it sounded like heaven.

After a noisy and grease-laden Christmas lunch with Rogelio’s family, I was itching to get in the car and make our get-away.

Yago had been sick, the pre-Christmas lead up is always busy, and we all needed some quiet time to recuperate.  So we hopped into the car with all our debris to make the trek to our Christmas oasis.

It is a gorgeous place, but not car-friendly, so as night fell we dragged all our stuff (and a totally overstimulated Yago) up and down the hill to the house.

Whew.   But it was worth the effort.  We got the fire lit.  We got our special Christmas dinner on the table.  Then Rogelio started wheezing.  Then he starting looking a bit purple.  Then our Christmas dinner went out the quaint village-view window.

Apparently, Rogelio is deathly allergic to Daisy the cat.

So, we abandoned dinner and traipsed off, with the sleeping, coughing kid in arms, back out through the pouring rain, walking up the hill to get the car and drive all the way back home again.  Rogelio started breathing as soon as we drove away.

I could have been sitting under this orange tree,

enjoying this view,

drinking red wine mint tea and fantasizing that I was thin, sophisticated and cultured, sharing stories about my latest nobel prize with other thin, witty people who holiday in quaint Spanish villages, my most pressing concern not tripping over a fallen orange on my way to refill my wineglass, mug.

Instead, I was humping bags through the rain with a coughing child and wheezing husband.

Did I mention the orange tree?

So, Christmas was a bit of a bust.  On the upside, Rogelio is breathing.   I suppose this is a good thing.  Can’t fault a guy for needing oxygen, even on Christmas.

We are back home in Algeciras.  The explosions seem to have tapered off, at least until New Years.  The neighbour cleaned up great mound of cigarette butts that her relatives dropped in front of our door.  And I am trying to think of another upside to being here, but nothing is coming to me at the moment.

Ya, I’ll get back to you on that.



  1. Orange trees and beautiful views are overrated with ambulance sirens wailing as they come to aid your family. (does that help?)

    Grab that glass of wine and toast the health of all in your house, starting with yourself.

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