Toy stories 7 to the last #SOL Tuesday

While on the plane to Frankfurt I am tweaking my last Instagram toy stories. Hopefully I can publish this slice during SOL Tuesday before I board my plane to Oregon. This is it. Today I am starting a new chapter of my life. Excited to see how it will evolve.



Even though technically this is not a toy but a wedding present given to us almost 26 years ago by our dear family friend, Omar , this fish mobile is the winner of the wedding present—toy combo survivor category.

While I was cleaning all the big and little fish, I remembered all the stories behind the hanging, unhanging, packings and unpackings of this mobile. When we got it my husband looked at it and said: “I love these fish. There are so colorful. I can picture them in our future home. This mobile will follow us wherever we go.” Little he knew that literally these fish have crossed two big oceans and a sea a couple of times. Little Omar knew his present was going to be part of the fabric of our family. At each house we had the ceremony of unpacking the mobile, untangle and balance the pieces together. Then it was followed by a brief discussion lead by Steve with his hammer on hand of where we were going to hang it. Finally the place was sealed until the next move.
Our kids as babies enjoyed the movement of the mobile. When they were unsettled we walked next to the mobile and observed it together for a while. When the fish touched each other, the wood made a crisp sound. Almost always it did the trick of distracting the baby in our hands and switched their pain on an awe. Later, the discussion of where to hang the fish were made together as a family. Here in Spain, it took us a while to decide the perfect place, since the house was a little bit darker and with no open spaces like in the other houses. But the mobile found its place in a corner of the living room. It gathered for ten years a bunch of dust and spider webs for being up high and never touched but by the morning wind. Eventually I took it down this week, cleaned it real good, and placed carefully all its pieces wrapped on paper inside box number 78.
I wonder if this mobile made an impact on my children as it did, does on me. I wonder what part of it they remember or if they even know what I’m talking about.


There are some things that you have to let go but take a photo of them to remind you of some moments of your children’s life. When Matilde was probably 14 or 15 she asked us to get her a mirror for her room. We told her she didn’t need one. She had the mirror of the bathroom next door. She insisted and we fought back. It was out of the question. One day Matilde arrived home with a beaten up mirror she found who knows where. She cleaned it and painted it, and asked her dad to secure it on one wall in her room. And Steve did. There, our daughter got her mirror.

The other day we were showing one of our handlebar bike basket that we used in the Camino de Santiago to one of Vincent’s friend. He said “look, there is something inside” I said “I bet this was Vincent’s basket.” When we saw what was inside I said: “THIS was Vincent’s basket for sure” while holding in my hands the almost fossilized piece of cow’s set of teeth.


It seems that handarbeiten are not my forte. I started this embroidery when Matilde was born more than 23 years ago. I think I got into dinosaur one and left it probably because I couldn’t stay still. I continued with Vincent, 21 one years ago and got into dinosaur number two. Probably I didn’t finish the design because I was packing.
Anyway, another survivor. I feel very proud of it. It maintains its colors and the white hasn’t turned yellow. Needless to say that it was shipped to Oregon.


This is it. Today I left behind the biggest toys of all, our home in la Matilla. Yesterday, I spent 12 hours cleaning its walls, doors, closets and floors. I enjoyed it. It was as if I was cleansing all the mistakes I committed here. It was also soothing. I could say goodbye to every single corner of it while I was caressing them with water, detergent and chlorine. While listening to the Beatles and the sound of the cloth splashing, I remember moments of happiness, of sadness, of amazement and sometimes of despair and frustration. We had a great time in this house with its ups and downs as life itself. We owned every moment and that’s what’s I call happiness.
This drawing was made by my dear cousin Maria Isidora who came with her husband Keno a couple of years ago and enjoyed the charm of our home and the great cooking of Steve. I don’t know what has the house but every person that stopped by got trapped by its enchantments. To me, my kids, the doggies, the cats, and Steve were the pillars of this charm. Without them, this house is just a dilapidated place.
Time to start finding the enchantments of another home. I’m getting ready my broom for the long ride.



I found this little figure of St. James in Vincent’s room. It made sense. Vincent’s middle name is James, in honor and memory of grandpa McCann. I didn’t have the fortune of meeting Jim but I have known him vicariously through the stories of his children, especially Steve and Laura, one of my sisters-in-law. Jim was a great man and I’m glad my son has his name.
Today Buck and I are embarking in our plane to Oregon. Last Thursday we sent all our belongings on a truck. Steve will join me later with Clyde and hopefully the cats, Lola and Ralph. We will definitely need the protection of St. James who protected us in El Camino de Santiago. Now he will be taking care of us in our new Camino. And the spirit of grandpa Jim will prevail in our home.


Day 10. In need of a juicy sandwich! #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individualMarch 10th:

Never thought that it was going to be a real challenge to prove or justify my abilities to write. It’s a challenge not only because it´s not in Spanish but also because I need to face my own monsters, insecurities and guilt ingrained in my Catholic upbringing.









Only one third of the challenge and I´m already exhausted. My brain might explode soon but I have to continue

Since I don´t have anything rounded so far, here are some slices that, like any great sandwich, they are still in need of a middle and an end.

Possessed. I’m possessed by Neruda. I can only write sad things because my soul is withered. At what moment of my life did darkness come to the obscured hidden places of my spirit? I would like to say that I am happy, but a stone lurks in the distance and is tied to my neck with a rotten anchor rope. How to get out of the deep well of my loneliness? Sleeping, crying maybe? I am very coward, even to suppress my own grudges. Duérmete mi niña, duérmete mi sol.

The Japanses soprano. Elisa woke up late on Saturday. The day before had been very agitated. She picked her phone with reluctance. She had 15 missed calls from her boyfriend and 119 unopened whatsapp messages. All of them were saying basically the same thing. They had arrested the janitor of the community center. Charges? Having slaughtered the Japanese soprano the previous day.

What happen to you at twenty-seven? Still wrestling in my bed last night, I began to think that something must have been about that age that gives the beat of the following years, because definitely I had not died at 27.

Suspended. She picked up the pill her mother handed her. In the toilet she spat it out while sipping a mixture of withered tears and snot. Pedaling inside her, grew new and deep roots that gave her an unimaginable energy. She arrived at school where she saw the list. “Suspended.” She felt the electric shocks in her fingertips. She looked at the teacher and knew that he couldn´t suppress her spring. This one would come some day.

My mother always…My mother always wanted me not to leave her side and today I was holding her hand after 22 years of not being with her. This time, I was the one who did not want her to leave my side.

Finally, just little bits of mustard or ketchup that I don´t know how to put on my slice…

When I look back I see my childhood as a happy space but empty of many details.

I hate to dress for others.

I have always believed that becoming a nun was impossible. I used to say that I would not be one even if God´s call was a scream.

I have never known if the madness of my family is a created lie or it is true

It horrifies me to stay paralyzed, or blind, not to hear your voice, your laughter or your hugs in the distance.

I’m surprised that not even a grateful smile came from me.

I remember that the bitter smell of semolina cookies baking slowly in the oven were just one of the few bad memories I have of that house.

Have a colorful week!

sandwich (Small)