…I´m only a WOMAN…

Life is so utterly different out here for a woman , when you put down your roots as opposed to just vacationing.

A woman´s role takes on many different and very sharp learning curves here in Baix Ebre. You tackle huge projects, unaccountable tasks, manage the most amazing life-changing factors and stress and dire, family health issues – all while you are trying to master (or should it be Mistress?) the two languages of Spanish and Catalan and make yourself understood on numerous hospital visits and medical appointments, across so many diversified medical departments, you wonder if you will be able to cope with it all.

But we do survive. We do multi-task. We grow stronger in health (even if one still has to continually wear a back brace due to spinal scoliosis ) and above all we become mentally stronger, even if one is – only a woman!

Across the generations of early settlers the women have always been the homesteaders, I remind myself as I´m up to the elbows in flour and baking, while I´ve home-grown fruit turning into jam on the cooker, and home-made relish standing in jars awaiting labelling

Then you need to quietly endure the roth of “him indoors” as you empty the concrete mixer as you over-full the, now battered, wheelbarrow and whoops! It crashes to the ground. yet again.

Oh yes, I have done it often!

I retaliate that you have not passed your apprenticeship in mixing concrete or cement (whatever the plan of the day is) unless you tip over the barrow at least once. To which my grandson retorts, ” Yeh, Grandma, how many times have you done this? Must be a long apprenticeship!” This is met with a smiling agreement from his grandfather, enjoying someone who shares his empathy in the finca.

Well, I am only a WOMAN!

I am sure there are many new, LADY settlers here in Catalonia and other parts of rural Spain or even Mexico, (Gardenia!) that can relate to this and have probably had worse happen to them. Yet, one drops exhausted onto one´s faded sunbed under the cool mulberry trees and feel the evening breeze off Mt. Caro or RiverEbro, to sip lemon tea (bit early for Sangria), the feeling of satisfaction, achievement and staying power is wonderful and I amaze myself at how I held my tongue.

The reality hits home. The woman´s day is not over yet! Now it has cooled off the various vegetable gardens need watering. Don´t forget the young olive and almond trees and newly planted olieanders, in the gaps along the fence where the Cyprus does not reach.

The evening meal seems in summer to be eaten later everynight. If we have it any later it would almost class as breakfast.But it is so much more enjoyable to eat on the cool terrace after the flies have gone to bed, dogs and cats are fed, and the chores are done for the day. To look up and see techno-colour sunsets draped across the mountains, promising wonderful weather for tomorrow and the weekend. If you are renovating your home and farming a finca, you don´t always have a free weekend.menatwork.jpg

Sorry, I forgot..I´m only a WOMAN..

One Comment Add yours

  1. What an interesting and heartfelt article! I don’t have the same sort of problems as we deliberately had a no-maintenance garden put around our villa. We have a pool, but apart from that, the garden is tiled or crazy-paved. with chino where the car goes!
    Please see my website for photos of same! My husband does little or no DIY projects! We have new neighbours, and Clive is a builder/handyman. If necessary, we call on him! He also calls on Phil for help with the upkeep of the pool. Phil only knows about it through trial and error, but we have lived here longer than Clive!

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