If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing that I’d like to do,
Is to save every day,
Till Eternity passes away,
Just to spend them with you.
Reading that lyric, you might assume that Jim Croce was writing to a lover, but I think of Girona when I hear that song. And I have good news: you can save time in a bottle – sort of. We do it with champagne (or cava) corks.
When we left Portland we had four huge bottles: the tallest was almost four feet, all filled with champagne corks from bottles we’d popped open over the years. We sold the entire collection – corks, bottles, everything – to one estate-sale buyer who thought it made a decorating statement.
When we arrived in Girona, chilled cava was waiting in the fridge thanks to our landlord Jeannette. We bought a vase the next day (that’s it pictured at the top of this post) and began filling it with the cork from Jeannette’s bottle. Today, it contains twenty-five corks and appropriately (I leave Girona in two days), it’s full.
There’s three months of time in that bottle.
We won’t take it with us, but just having filled it will help us remember a magical spring in Girona: an inspirational city, a romantic coastline, cherished friends; and, well, yes, some unexpected medical perils. Aside from those, our time in Girona was so perfect we almost worry about the rest of our expat adventure. Can it get any better? Can it even be equal?
Louise is in the Canary Islands. I’m still in Girona. Our reunion will occur at the Barcelona airport Sunday night. We’ll arrive in Greece Monday morning. There may be another cork bottle (retsina?) in Greece, but the time represented by the corks in the picture above is pretty much time of wishes come true:
If I had a box just for wishes,
And dreams that had never come true,
The box would be empty,
Except for the memory,
Of how they were answered by you.
Great stuff, Tom.
Appreciate it, Wil.
Anita Blanchard said:
Now this IS a romantic gesture. Here’s to more life VERY WELL LIVED. (Hope you are leaving the vase as a decorator item for the next inhabitants.)
P.S. Used to sing this song in restaurants, playing guitar and singing harmony with my duo partner. The words bring back wonderful memories and of course a fine melody is playing in my head.
Thanks, Anita. Yes, we’re leaving it behind. Jeannette knows all about it and what it represents, although she hasn’t indicated her intentions. Makes no difference to us: all we want are the memories, and they come with us wherever we go.
Tom, What a perfect tribute to your incredibly memorable time in Girona. And I love the Jim Croce lyrics – so perfect! We’re looking forward to your adventures in Greece and can’t wait for your next update! ~Terri & James
Thanks, Terri. We *are* in Greece now (having traveled all night Sunday and slept all day Monday) and have found ourselves in one of the most gorgeous towns imaginable (Chania, Crete). Pictures are being taken. A blog update is coming soon.
Tom, champagne corks will remain in the vase !Girona loves both of you!
That’s just about the best news I can imagine. Thanks, Jeannette!
Hi Tom – I’m just so glad I stumbled on to your blog. More Power to you friend, and may you spend the next how-many-ever-years living life to its fullest and its most blessed.
My grampa turned 94 this year and I so wish he could have done what you are with your lovely missus when my grannie was around. He has lived a full life but one of his biggest regrets still remains not spending that time with his wife…
May the Force be with you.
Thank you, mpreeti. Somewhere in the blog I suggest that adventure is the best way to keep from growing old. And adventure with a loving partner more than doubles the quality of the experience. Thanks for making note of that.