In Portugal, when they say “lock down” they mean it.  Until last week, we were forbidden to leave the village–even take a drive from one village to the next. Doing so meant risking a $600 fine.  And, of course, no one could visit anyone–even double-masked and socially-distanced– until it warmed up enough to sit outdoors.  I’ve been a bit discouraged about the slow roll out of the covid vaccine here in Portugal.  But last week, my husband Terry and I both got our first jab . . . and we are thrilled.

In answer to a question from a friend recently: No, these months in lock down haven’t soured me on Portugal at all. They’ve just made me a bit homesick for my dogs, my friends, and personal (non-Zoom) connections. Luckily, after twenty years together, Terry and I still love each other’s company.  Also, our house is up on a hill, and the views from the study, bedroom, living room, kitchen and the terrace bring me joy day after day..

The sky is a brilliant blue and there is enough breeze to dry the laundry I hang on the line.  I never imagined myself without a tumble dryer and hanging laundry on a line, but here I am, basket full of wet clothes, clothespins at the ready.

There are camellias, wisteria, and roses, kiwis, lemon and orange trees. It’s the wandering in the gardens and snapping photos that is the source of my greatest pleasure. Happily, we have a gardener, who helps trim the trees, plant irises, mow, and clip, prune, and water.

Although people always told me spring was the best of the four seasons in Portugal, we’ve only been here in the fall, so I’ve had to take it on faith. Now that I’m here in spring, I understand. What a lovely time it is–and a good thing, too, since winter here was cold and rainy. Without central heat or a functioning fireplace, it was more than a little chilly indoors. But now I can forget the winter cold, months spent in lock down. Instead, I smell the wisteria and orange blossoms. And am glad.

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