Barcelona and Covid

I borrowed a friend’s super duper HEPA filter. I have three fans in position, ready to circulate the air. My husband’ll take our bedroom and bath and I’ll take one of the boys’ bedrooms and their bath. We’ll wear masks.

Because? You guessed it. He caught COVID. K spent the week in Barcelona duking it out with Tylenol and room service. He didn’t make his presentation. “It’s like a bad cold,” he said, as many do. He stayed longer than his coworkers but is traveling home now after a positive test.

I know. I know.

I stopped to buy ham so I can make one of his favorite meals this weekend: ham, au gratin potatoes, and something green. I also bought a generous pack of chicken wings to add to the chicken carcass that’s in the fridge. This batch of chicken soup has to be good, silky-good. His senses of taste and smell do not seem to have been affected.

Today is cool. A beautiful first day of fall. Finn sniffed things on our walk this morning per usual and tried to roll in some very stinky soil amendment near The Terraces which was not usual.

I listened to This American Life — about a couple that travels to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. The husband had Alzheimer’s.

Did I already post this? (speaking of dementia!)

No one understood why I didn’t want to go to Spain with K. I kept saying, “It’s because I don’t want to get Covid.”

When K gave me the news earlier this week, I laughed and said, “You didn’t have to get sick to prove me right!” (Not immediately, of course. That wasn’t the first thing I said …)

I’ll be back to answer comments from last post. I seem to be missing some of my usual mojo lately.

PCC image this week: B&W photos of men

14 thoughts on “Barcelona and Covid

  1. Marti

    May K arrive safely home and into the joy of ham and au gratin potatoes. For the some thing green, how about a simple saute of zucchini in olive oil with garlic, some thinly sliced red pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. I am a huge believer in the medicinal powers of garlic and also of the blessing of Chicken soup. When ever we had colds, I made batches of chicken soup, loaded with garlic and many splashes of Tabasco…

    Now sit back, perhaps with a cup of tea, while you wait for K to come home and let me tell you a story of Barcelona:

    My mother grew up in a mountain area of Spain, a little town called Oto in the province of Huesca, Aragon. Her family had a few sheep and lived pretty close to the land, She grew up in poverty and as with most poor families, daughters were often sent off to work as maids at a young age. At the age of 11, my Mom was working as a kitchen maid for a middle class family in a nearby town. At the age of 15, friends of that family recommended her to a rich family in Barcelona so off she went, all on her own. Working in Barcelona was a dream for many a poor young woman. I recall a photo of her at that time, looking so much older than 15, dressed smartly in a frock with stockings and shoes that had a little heel. He hair was bobbed and wavy and she was lovely. She is sitting by a fountain on the famous tree lined pedestrian street that runs through Barcelona, La Rambla. In the photos, she is surrounded by girl friends, maids like herself and they are all smiling. (I think of my twin girls and wonder if I had been a mother under those circumstances, would I have had the courage to let my girls go so far from home or if I would have been able to keep one and send the other at age 15…)

    My Mom started in the kitchen, working her way up like Daisy in Downton Abbey but she also had a gift for table setting so she was taken from the kitchen and “promoted” to setting the tables for the may special dinners and parties that occurred with this family. She had a knack for flower arranging and her embroidery on cloth napkins was exquisite and her napkins were used on many of these occasions. I cannot even begin to imagine the laborious stitching and thimble use!

    By the time she was 19, the family wanted her to train as a governess but her sister had moved to America, married and wanting to sponser her and she wanted to come to America. She came in 1932, thankfully before the dreaded Spanish Civil War that tore about so many families. She lost two brothers, one on the side of Franco, one on the side of the Republic.

    Years late she would meet a dashing Spanish man, who had come to America in 1923 as a contract sheep herder. They fell in love, married and the rest, as they say, is my history!!

    My one regret having to do with my Mom is that I was never able to take her back to Spain, link arms with her and stroll La Rambla with her. She died when I was 33 and my twin girls were 10.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. I’m reading Elizabeth Strout right now, one of the Lucy Barton novels, and this reminded me of her writing a lot, partly because so many of her characters’ backstories involve poverty and hard work. What a wonderful lineage you are part of! And your daughters too, of course. I thought of Dana and her table setting and imagined what strains of artistic talent came down through her line.

      I don’t have zukes in the house but could add red pepper flakes and maybe lemon zest to a side of asparagus.

  2. Tina

    I’m sorry 😢 … I can’t even imagine trying to stay separated in the same house. It’s getting harder and harder to imagine Covid ever going away. Thanks for mentioning This American Life .. I am going to try and listen to it as well sounds interesting.
    Stay well Dee .. get well K

    1. deemallon Post author

      Thanks Tina. I wonder how the winter will be when there is usually an uptick in cases. It’s astonishing to me that 2,000 deaths a week is a shruggable fact these days.

  3. Ginny

    Oh no! Add pineapple juice to the menu. Warm pineapple juice. It helped us lots. And keep ol’finn by you.

    Poor K. That’s sucks to be so far from home and sick. I hope he’s tucked happily into his own room soon! Stay safe. XO

  4. Nancy

    Oh drat! I hope his symptoms stay mild and his recovery is quick. My throat hurt, so Throat Coat tea helped. The other thing I’ve heard is to open windows, circulate air.

    Marti…what a great story!!

  5. Liz A

    fingers crossed that K is no longer contagious … and feeling better by the day

    autumn food sounds so appealing, but too heavy for our ongoing summer heat … true comfort food … which is love made real

  6. Tina

    Just listened to This American Life .. such a heartwarming story. Thank you for mentioning it here .. I just so appreciate when you open new doors for me to walk through.


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