Siesta time in summer



Have you ever been to the trendy new sewing shop in calle San Anton? I went there yesterday, While I was trying to find a small loom for my cross stitch cushion of this summer, I saw a group of three young girls, the age of our niece Isa, who were learning to sew, sitting at a table with lots of scraps of cloths. Their teacher, a lady with a great dose of patience, was showing them how to sew a little cloth fish on their mats. She asked them if they knew the difference between a needle and a pin. One of them, the wisest girl, explained that a needle had an eye, and the pin had a head.
I realized then that when I was their age, I did not use to learn theories about our sewing tasks, we just learnt by doing.
My old petit point landscape

At school during the winter, we had lessons on home tasks where we would learn embroidery, darning, petit point, how to sew buttons or make buttonholes or even knit or crochet. Besides, in summer days at siesta time, the girls in my family had to make cross-stitch tablecloths or sew other things for our trousseau.


But during those teenage years when our parents took us to the mountains for a month holiday, near an old lumber mill,  life changed completely. In the long afternoons of August, at siesta time, when the house was in dark because the windows and blinds had been closed to protect it from the scorching temperatures, and the eldest and youngest in the house were sleeping, then, we left the house to go on an excursion. 
The old lumber mill, now in ruins

We, the group of teenagers formed by my brothers, sisters, cousins and other neighbours of our age who were also on holiday in the houses nearby,  were not afraid of the high temperatures that could be felt in the pine forests at that time of the day and after lunch we would leave for our daily walk. 

The firebreaks
We had no guides to indicate what paths to follow, so we used to climb the mountains following the track of the firebreaks, obviously without any shades to protect us from the terrible heat. We just wanted to go up, we wanted to see the sea from the top. We knew the coast was on the other side of those mountains that surrounded our holiday houses.

Most of the times we could not reach the summits, but along the way we found the ruins of small cortijos still with some old fruit trees which provided us with a good 'merienda' of delicious plums, peaches and almonds.

Río Verde
Sometimes we were also lucky to find a spring or a stream with clean clear waters to drink and refresh our faces and feet. But other days we had to wait until we got down to Rio Verde, on the bottom of the valley,  where we would walk following the river course until we got back home, exhausted but happy and proud of our great challenging adventures!

Then it was time to wash and change and wait for dinner and the darkness of the night. After dinner we would sit in the porch of the house and enjoy the view of the stars, the moon and the Milky Way - there was no light pollution then and the night sky was clear and dark.
The pool in the river, the lumber mill on the background. An old pic.

The moths turning around the light bulb over the house door also accompanied our evenings while my parents and all the family prayed the rosary to beg God to keep us always together.

Before we went to bed, we planned next day activities, swimming in the river pool, going shopping to the village or trekking on the mountains again like wild goats. After some time for reading or writing letters to friends and loved ones, the long summer day was finished.

Camino del Cañuelo, a recent pic



These summer days, during the excursions that Pedro and I are doing near Cerro Gordo, Cañuelo or Cantarriján beaches where the plants and grounds are similar to the ones we had in Cazulas, the hot smell from the pine trees and from the aromatic bushes, like rosemary, lavender and thyme  brings back to me memories of those teenage summer afternoons at siesta time.