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Glad to Know You

We need to go to the market down the street for some groceries. Because it is so close, we get food we want for the day. Or, we might just decide to eat Tapas–there are so many kinds, you would have trouble eating the same one in a month, unless you found a favorite must-have. Tapas are like big appetizers and/or hors d’oeuvres with meats or vegetables of all kinds mixed in interesting and tasty ways. You order two or three at most, and you have a big meal–most people stand at high tables to eat rather than sit–cheaper on the menu in some places, and that gives folks an opportunity to move around and visit–my kind of thing–I think I did that before tapas style became the rage.

Kathy and I made the right decision, for us anyway, to spend significant time in one place at a time, putting sight-seeing and travel secondary to experiencing life in a new place. A young woman here in Seville at the market we frequent now knows me and laughs because she has to ask for my passport when I use my credit card–policy–and we both know by now that I am who I am. It’s that knowing smile when she really doesn’t look at the passport but holds it in her hand, since it is policy, after all. I think she is a sanguine in personality like me and, for sanguines, policy really doesn’t matter that much in life. It’s more like, get the job done fast and efficiently and don’t let the rules get in the way. The chestnut-roasting guy on the corner knows I want the dos Euro amount for a snack. He is a cheerful guy, every once in a while shouting out a short sales pitch, and his roasting mechanism is cool–a home made metal cone on a small charcoal grill on which the chestnuts rest directly on the charcoal while roasting. Since chestnuts are so sweet, the smoke coming out of the cone is pleasant, like a sweet cigar. The chestnuts come out charbroiled and easy to peal. Even if you leave some shell on one, it is a pleasant added crunch. We have loved buying bread in a small, out of the way, bakery on a stroll–it’s organic and heavy and grain-filled. The owner says it’s “muy bien” and I whole-heartedly agree as I eat a piece in our apartment with European butter and blueberry spread. This will be our bakery while we are here. And all of this just steps from our apartment without ever having to get in a car. This is what I pictured this year to be. Thank you God for allowing it to be so, during this time. WEG


  1. Pam Sanchez says:

    Love tapas! There are a few good places in Houston but, I’m sure, NO comparison to what you are experiencing. Thank you so much for taking time to keep us all abreast of your experiences there – I love reading your posts and am having more than a twinge of jealousy! We are all living vicariously!

    • wgraumann says:

      That’s wonderful Pam. We are having fun writing and it is an encouragement knowing that others appreciate it. When we get back, lets get a group of folks together and go to a Tapas bar, really, I mean that. It would be fun!

  2. Nancy McCollum says:

    This is beautiful. Thanks for describing how a simple life can be so fulfilling.

    • wgraumann says:

      Thank is a great way to put it Nancy–simple life and simple pleasures. We sat in an open church, historic yes–tied to Seville and American discovery; beautiful, absolutely with painted walls and columns and golden altar, but we were absorbed into the burning candles and the priest sitting quietly in the confessional and simply let it all soak in. These things are around us everyday and we miss them. Hope you don’t mind–know you won’t–I’ll use these thoughts in a life lesson on the blog.

  3. Frankie says:

    It sounds like ya’ ll are a great time. Just don’t get to the point you want to stay. Remember we here in Tomball, Tx still love you and Kathy.. I don’t really worry about the rules either. Just get the job done. May the Lord bless and keep you.

  4. angiehsnow says:

    I LOVE this!!! It reminds me SO MUCH of my German step mother!
    When I was 12 years old, my mother died. I had a twin brothe…we were the oldest of four, and our Dad depended a lot on me. After almost two years, Dad remarried…a German lady who never had children of her own. Especially for me, she was a Godsend!!! She taught me so much!!
    Long story short…all these things you describe here, Wayne, bring back wonderful memories….especialy the homemade bread (which at 16-years old became my job..to make all the bread and rolls each Saturday morning for the whole week), the home churned butter & homemade jams & jellies! I learned to make EVERYTHING from scratch!
    Thank you so much for these wonderful posts! Love you guys!

  5. Tanya Grona says:

    Wayne, I’m waiting for you to write a book! Great post!

  6. Marilyn DeWulf says:

    Establishing these relationship will lead to long time friendships. Spaniards are long term friends and very loyal once they have come to trust you. I know that the young lady is having a blast talking with you about America as you talk to her about Spain. To top it all, laughter is a universal language all understand. Enjoy the quiet. In my noisy world I envy you the stillness of your quiet. Blessings! :o)

  7. Marilyn DeWulf says:

    By the way, could you ask these special individuals if you could take their pictures to show us here in the States? How about the picture of the stores you frequency and the ‘mall’ too. Give us a taste of a “day-in-the-life” moments. Let us walk with you through pictures. Just an idea.

    • wgraumann says:

      We have some of that in the Gallery Marilyn, however, we are having trouble posting pictures or pictures and text. I have tried to put pictures with my posts and recently it will not let me do so. We will try to get a picture with a story already written and picture taken in tomorrow, however, we will see if if lets me. Thanks so much for your interest in our blog.

      Sent from my iPad

  8. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    Wayne and Kathy. we are truly enjoying your daily trips and providing photos and video for us to see. We all are so blessed that you and Kathy are taking time each day to share with all of us. Your time reminds Eva and I of the three weeks we spend in Ireland and the week we spent in Barcelona, Spain. We are so jealous and look forward to meeting up with you guys in the fall in Germany.

  9. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    We have lost access to your gallery of photos. We agree with Tanya Grona that a book with photos about the first year of retirement would be so helpful to so many to allow them to know how God has blessed us all and how we must take in his real beauty in life as we each enter our encore life of the future.

  10. Carl says:

    Am sending blog to neice Chelsea Joslin who is in Germany long term-she spent one summer at Camp Lone Star as College counselor-(from IOWA)

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