“Meet us under the big clock at the railroad station.”
When our friend Simone suggested that meeting place, we knew exactly where that clock was. We knew how long it would take to walk there. We even knew that at that time of day, the clock would be in the shade. We have lived here three months, and three months is long enough to know things like this.
And now we’re about to leave.
How long is three months?
- It’s long enough to learn nearly all of the geographic landmarks in town – how much of a walk is required to get to each one, and even minutiae like their orientation to the sun – like the big clock.
- It’s long enough to lose stuff in the apartment: under the bed, in corners blocked off by furniture, in the cupboards under the kitchen counters.
- It’s long enough to learn how to successfully operate the remotes for the TV and the satellite receiver.
- It’s long enough to require cleaning of the microwave and refrigerator.
- It’s long enough to experience an occasional day with no particular desire to get out and see or do anything.
- It’s long enough to see the trees in the park fully leaf out.
- It’s long enough for a light bulb in the living room to burn out.
- It’s long enough to make good friends – and to know we’ll regretfully miss them when we leave.
We’re packing up. We’re searching under the bed, under the counters, and in the corners for those lost socks. We’re walking the streets of Girona and seeing familiar sights for what may be the last time. We’re sad. We’re excited. We’re anxious.
Such is the plight of the serial expat: stay long enough to live (and if you’re lucky, love) the life, then run off to discover another. During moments like this, pulling up stakes can seem mistaken, when friendships have been made and the dust bunnies have taken up residence.
Perhaps adventure is just that way.
Don’t worry , you’ll be back . You’ll want to see your friends again
(speaking from experience!!)
Mapi, we talk often about returning to Girona. It’s one of the few places that appeals for long-term residence. If only they spoke Spanish!
Anita Blanchard said:
I picked a good day to catch-up on the blog. We have played host to family for two weekends and the harvest is upon us. We have processed strawberries, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. We are knee deep in raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries and tiny native blackberries. We freeze the new ones on cookie sheets, vacuum seal into usable portions for smoothies and then take the year old berries to turn into jam. We have found that berry jams are so much nicer with the seeds removed, so there is that step, as well. As you can imagine, this is time consuming, but oh boy do we eat fine and very inexpensive food as the year progresses. I especially enjoyed the video of Girona and the revisit to your town in France. We have found that revisiting places that are part of magical memories is always a dilemma. It took us 25 years to revisit the place that captured our hearts in Costa Rica. By then, there was nothing to recreate, just a new adventure.
Thanks for catching up, Anita. How about I come to your house with a fresh loaf of European bread and we’ll sample all those jams?
Anita Blanchard said:
Perfect, looking forward to it….
Did you find the other pant leg is the question? xoxo dot
Sybil knows that one pant leg of a pair of convertible pants/shorts has gone missing. It’s still missing, Dear Dotter, but we’re packing up today and I still hope that it shows up as we’re really looking in every corner and cupboard.
Ah well, keep us posted on your next step along the journey. Hope you find all your stuff, though I must say I find it amusing to find something hidden when I am traveling. Kashi is in Paris this week. Ah, youth!
Amusing to find something hidden? Something of yours, or something from a previous resident? I sure would be amused to find that pant leg…
Marcia Boyd said:
and you prepare for the next stage of your expat adventure ? already ??? so soon ??? look forward to reading more and enjoy your sharing the transitions and changes as you move across Europe – on to Greece ?
Yes, Marcia: Greece is next, then Italy. To us, it seems as if we’ve just arrived in Girona. We will certainly miss this place and the people here.
Louise and Tom, It hardly seems possible that three months have passed – and look at all you’ve experienced in that time – even surgery! Thanks so much for letting us visit Girona vicariously through you both. You’ve been excellent guides and I can’t wait for your next port of call. Are you heading to Greece next? Oh, and I think that one-pants-leg-look may be your new fashion statement! 🙂 ~Terri
kathy casey said:
Louise and Tom
I’m going to miss Girona too. I feel as though I have been there with you. Thank you
for providing me with the opportunity to share a bit in your adventure. I also will miss Girona and the friends you are leaving behind. By the way, I think it would take you two about 24 hours to make good friends wherever you are.
Safe travels. Stay well.
Thanks for that compliment, Kathy. Three months in Girona was plenty of time to make friends; one month in Greece, not so much. We’ll put your 24-hour theory to a test there. As far as missing Girona goes, that’s one of the drawbacks of this lifestyle: saying goodbye. Every new home implies a departure from a place we’ve come to know and love.
It’s Sunday morning as I write this and the church bells are ringing. Tomorrow: Greece! There’s always a new adventure…
I just stumbled across this post… well said, it almost gave me little sniffle!