"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

carmona, home of el vaco del torro

I sent the boys down to the corner grocery for a few supplies in the early morning.

Passing through the parking lot to the store, a small, stooped, grey haired gentleman impeccably dressed, stopped them by opening the back of his car to present a gorgeous selection of fruits and vegetables.

They eagerly bought his oranges and plums as he beamed from ear to ear.

There wasn't a word of common language between them but he was appreciative of the business and they were suckers for private industry.

He motioned for them to hold one second, walked to the driver side of his car, rummaged briefly and produced an audio tape with a much younger version of himself on the cover.

He pointed and held it up next to his careworn face while pointing right at his own chest exclaiming ... "El Vaco del Toro!"

"You?!?" they said, "You are El Vaco del Toro??? The El Vaco del Toro???"

"Si, Si!" he nodded profusely, thrilled and assuming their recognition.

They applauded and cheered as he nodded and grinned, shook hands proudly, parted and returned home with a story to tell.

The day they met El Vaco del Toro.

Our house in Spain sat in the sleepy town of Carmona.

Spain took some getting used to. The morning hummed with a bit of activity but the world went silent from noon until dark.

But when the sun set, everything came alive.

We walked around the quiet cobble stoned streets.

Slipped into the town's tiny museum. It's history was rich with Jewish ancestry before the Romans came. These oil lamp artifacts were pretty neat.

We explored some little garden courtyards.

Climbed to the top of the city wall for a bird's eye view.

Enjoyed a rest in the piazza.

Fell in love with the mosaic detail everywhere.

Watched the city stir as the sun set.

Grant jumped in to play a little soccer and make some friends.

The piazza filled with the setting sun and the whole town began to gather for dinner in the outdoor cafes.

We jumped right in.

Little girls wanted to join in with the other children. Celia helped interpret.

She said she could have sat there all night. Children were much less stressful to practice speaking her Spanish to ... so she said ... but I couldn't tell because she seemed to have a handle on it everywhere we went.

That sunset washed the buildings in color.

And just got prettier and prettier.

I decided I could definitely call Carmona home. It's my kind of town.

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