Thursday, November 24, 2005

Six degrees

One thing of which I was reminded on this last trip to the molino was that everyone in Oviñana has a stake in it. We first encountered the phenomenon on our second night there, when, in a fit of naive confidence that we could somehow get the electrical system to work if only we understood it better, we called up the electrician that the previous owners recommended, and invited him over. Manolito was a very chatty guy, who, in between discourses on amps and watts, mentioned that he had help raise the millstone that functions (or used to function. An errant bottle of sidra broke the glass top, but that's another story) as a kitchen table. Later we found out from our albañil, José María, that the millstone was right where it had always been and Manolito had nothing to do with raising it or anything else. But the pattern was set.

Now, everytime I'm up there I seem to run in to someone who has some connection to the place. There was the town drunk who showed up with our furniture delivery, saying that he was "strong as a toro bravo" and that he helped lay out the stone patio. There are random guys in the café, who periodically remember that they helped re-do the walls or put on the roof. There is Alberto the Carpenter's wife (Alberto being the one who built all the cabinetry we'd like to tear out), who told me that before David and Mari Paz owned the place, a homeless man and his burro lived there. And before that, it belonged to her mother, who was born in the molino.

Then, last week, in the process of collecting permissions, we met Nelli, who turns out to be the mother of Eduardo, who runs the construction supply store where we got the tiles for our new bathrooms. Nelli says HER mother was born in the molino. Which either makes Nelli and Alberto's wife sisters, or makes for a very strange coincidence.

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