Friday, October 24, 2014

Finally, the Family; Finally

Pampa and the Pampettes, together again.
Maddie in her evening mode.
It's nearly 9 a.m. in Cordoba, Spain, and the Smith household is going full throttle. We got in, after yet another nearly full day of travel, yesterday evening and I can tell you that there is nothing superior in the human experience--mine anyway--than the sound, the look and the feel of a child running across a train station lobby, arms spread wide, yelling, "Pampa!" My heart melts.

That's what greeted me. Twice. Once from Madeline, once from Oz, her little brother.

Just an hour earlier, I was steaming at the ears because we had yet again had a train mishap. Our train was to leave at 5:35 and we simply missed it. By a minute. Even though we had been waiting for it for nearly three hours. Sonya managed to get another train to Cordoba 10 minutes later, arriving nearly an hour earlier than the one we had originally scheduled, but we had to pay twice.

The trip down from the South of France wasn't especially eventful, but it was beautiful. This part of the world is hotter than Florida, but its short trees almond and olive trees, high vistas, beautiful white or beige homes with terra-cotta roofs combine to keep it old looking and interesting. Saville was gorgeous, but Marseilles, an old Sailor's town with a rough reputation, was swirling with chilly wind when we got there. The ocean was rough.

Oz, the couch potato.
My cold is still hanging on (takes two weeks no matter what you do, a doc once told me) and the bronchitis is scary. There are periods when it feels like I'm not going to be able to breathe, but I suspect I'll muddle through. As you can tell from this first post in a couple of days, it's all left me drained and not especially good at writing, but I'm hoping that will come back soon.

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