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Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-9-2005

Despite the fact that I just spent seven days at a seaside resort which caters to bored and spoiled housewives, surrounded by luscious gardens and fountains everywhere I returned, by a staff foaming at the mouth to coddle me, I am beat.

It was a quiet vacation, hours spent on pampered lawns under tropical pines, popping brewskies by the pool as we watched the children, frying my face off ( I kid you not : it is still falling, in flakes, onto my lap) by the sea, once again watching the children. Eating meal after meal at a small place we found, so close to the resort that we initially thought that it would be a dud, but ended up snarfing down one tasty dish after another, while the chatter around us most likely was the only ( well, almost only) Portuguese that we heard during the trip.

It was lovely and sumptuous but I don’t feel that we went to Portugal. Not in particular. It could have been anywhere, really, on this good earth. Some beautiful, ubiquitous place. Even The Father said, as we drove yet again one evening on the N125, that this was the only place that we had ever gone to that he wasn’t tempted to start day dreaming about, you know, looking into the price of homes.

We both missed the he- was- born- here stuff, the crumbling buildings ( which we did find, after much searching), the sense of age. The snarky Mummy Dearest, whom I try to hide from you all- at least here ( by the way, nothing welcomed me home more than those bits of gossip sent along…yum !)- would love to peek out and say, well, shit, the oldest thing that we saw in Portugal was an English couple at the airport, three canes between them, when we were leaving. But I couldn’t possibly say anything so…so…tasteless here, now could I ?

Here and there, I think we caught a glimpse of Portugal : the woman painting that pottery and her proud husband, the waiter’s surprised reaction when we answered his polite and what did you do today question with, well, we went to Lagos and Monchique.

There was an odd tree there, with tiny, pale purple flowers and clusters of hanging fruits- looked like yellow cherries, I tell you- and it smelled intensely like lilac, probably is some version of lilac.

I brought a handful of the yellow berries home, seeds, wouldn’t that be a fine memento of the trip, a tropical lilac ?

I sit with my father and try to give him a reason to put his life on hold, to take care of himself. Well, maybe you won’t get hit by a bus next year. Maybe you will live to be one hundred years old, and find yourself shaking your head and saying that you should have listened to all of us, taken care of your leg, back then.

In the end, I cannot change his behavior. I can only cover him with an umbrella of my love and fill his head with dreams of future journeys.

In fact, I actually agreed to run the bulls in Pampalona with The Boy some day in the distant future.

And I shall leave the details of that conversation up to your imaginations.

For, after all is said and done, while I prefer doers, I spend a lot of time around people who live to dream.

  1. jo Said,

    We’re terribly happy to see you home, and I beleive that a vacation or, as husband would call it, a holiday anywehre is exhausting. Trying to fill your days is so much more work than just letting them happen at home.
    I’m with you though, old and crumbly and his horse once peed here are the things I want over pampering and resorts any day.
    I do of course hope you had some of those pots shipped home.

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