To Read on the Journey

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Azores- Part 3

I have been away and unable to blog, email, or function because our computer crashed! Thankfully all was saved, and Mac Daddy was able to fix and improve our computer.

Now where was I...

Day 3, in Faja Grande Flores- We woke to sweet bread, cha (tea) and eggs (fresh from the chicken). We then took a walk with our grandmother around Faja Grande. We saw the 2 houses she and my grandfather lived in, and the homes where my dad and aunts were born. We saw the terras (lands) my grandparents owned and worked. We saw the creek where my grandmother would do laundry. I have to say I had always felt a bit sorry for her having to do laundry for a large family in a creek, but this creek was surrounded by hydrangeas, with a waterfall in front of it, and the Atlantic Ocean at it's left. I wish my laundry room was that kind of escape, my Kenmore from Sears could never compare.
The highlight of our walk was getting a tour of my grandfather's childhood home. I am so thankful to my cousin Leonardo for taking me into each room, telling me of it's history, naming relatives in photographs, telling me more about my Teodosio family. I would have loved to have seen the little boy my grandfather was living, laughing, and playing in his home.

We had lunch at the restaurant at the point (where we met another cousin). Here you can see the rock that is the most western most point of Europe.

After lunch, Toni, Steve, Emilie and I went down to the ocean for a swim. Now I have to tell you I do not like water, I especially do not like water where there are fish and other fishy things. I am often a person who will not do something because of fear (silly fear), and I will later kick myself for not doing it. So here I am standing at the edge of this beautiful, clear, fishy (they were medium sized- aahhhh) Atlantic Ocean. The same ocean my grandfather so often told me he use to dive into and swim. And I did it, I dove in! It was wonderful. I bravely ventured out a little further, and enjoyed being in the waters that once held my grandfather. I wonder if from heaven's window he saw and delighted in me.

In the evening we took a walk up to the Poco de Bacalau (The Pond of Bacalau- a type of fish). A hydrangea path ushered us up a shallow river, past an old mill, and to a pond that was being fed by a beautiful waterfall, with hydrangea walls along side it all. All you can do is sit and take it in. It was breathtaking. Emilie really enjoyed her new friend Marcia (pronounced mar see uh) who joined us for the walk. Emilie does not speak Portuguese and Marcia does not speak English, but the two of them played as if they were old friends.

What a wonder filled day. What a blessing to walk in the steps of my grandfather, to swim in his pool, to absorb the beauty of his home Faja Grande. To better understand the man who is my first love here on earth, and the only man worthy to be my father, the man who walked me to and from school when I was little, the man to pray at my bed side, the man who's face always lit up when I walked in the door, the man who delighted in me, the man to walk me down the isle on my wedding day, the man who was so pleased with my husband when he visited our home and saw how I was treasured, the man who looked at his great grandchildren with joy and tears, who made me stand a little taller because I knew he was proud. Alzheimers and age slowly took him away until God took him home. I miss him everyday, but I rejoice because he is now made new- walking, swimming, absorbing the beauty of God, and His "better than life love."


Basha said...

Thank you for your beautiful post. I have been getting email alerts from Google for over a year now, as I am determined to go to the Azores (where my great-grandparents came from, but I know not from exactly where).I feel such a draw there, and everything I read confirms that I need to find a way to get there. Thank you for your beautiful descriptions, and your moving thoughts on your grandfather.

nicole said...

remind me to tell you a deep water story that i am still kicking my self for that happend at lake tahoe on the 8th grade\freshmen retreat :) ( better in person )

Sarah Markley said...

What a sweet and beautiful post. You have a way with words.

lindsey said...

tears are welled up in my eyes.

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