My story of Spain begins with lovely friends . . .
They are The Larson Family: Erik, Rocio, and then baby Nico. We met in Port Angeles, Washington in 1991. Erik and I were classmates at Peninsula College. Erik and Ro are Alaskans. Rocio is a biologist from Spain; Erik is born n’ bred Alaskan: logger, commercial fisherman, newspaperman and today an accomplished diesel mechanic. Erik and Ro met and married in Alaska — a story waiting a start. Erik was fun; we raised lots of hell together. Moreover, he was a serious comrade and industrious student; we were there to learn. Ro was loving and VERY patient with our occasional academic celebrations. Sitting down to Ro’s meals was a five-star experience.
We spread out following graduation — The Larsons returned to Alaska, me to Orcas Island. It was sad saying good-bye. As time went, The Larsons welcomed baby Nico, a bundle of perpetual energy. Two years following Nico’s welcome, Erik phoned telling me they’d bought a farm in Spain. Soon, they invited me to Spain to work. I’d been without work or hopes of. I took the leap. Prior to Spain, I’d never been outside the continental United States.
There are times I’ve regretted spending time and resources for my brief academic experience. Then I remind myself the greater importance, that is, the wonderful friends and relationships gained on one’s path . . . priceless. My dear friends have since returned to Alaska from Spain. Today, they’re a happy family of 5! In Spain, they hosted me in a wonderful, old home near the village of San Tirso de Abres. San Tirso hugs the border between Asturias and Galicia.