Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Montrondo – The Annual Family Gathering


So once again we all gathered together in Montrondo on the last Saturday in July as we have been doing since the “abuelos” celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary nearly 15 years ago. Montrondo is Eladio’s family’s beloved home village where all 6 of the brothers and sisters were born. It is located high in the mountains in a remote part of the northern province of León. The countryside is spectacular, so green, the temperature at least 15 below Madrid and it is the most unspoiled village I know. In the winter there are only about 8 houses with people in but come the Summer months, the people who were born there return with their families and Montrondo comes to life again.

The only people missing this year were Alejandro’s sons and Miguel. This was to be the second year without Antonio, the “abuelo” whose absence is very much felt on such an occasion.

The annual lunch takes place in the old stable which has been transformed into a make-shift dining room. This year we were 15 “grown-ups” and 14 “children”, the oldest child being Roberto who is now 35 years old!! The news this year is that Roberto and Ana will be marrying in June.

Lots of things took place during the lunch this year, the most important being the presentation of the picture I had spent the last 6 months preparing for her – a framed poster with a picture of all the members of the family with a small message from each of us. My mother-in-law is not an emotional person but this did actually draw a few tears of joy from her.

See the picture of Ernestina receiving the picture and José Antonio explaining it to her. Very sweet indeed.

All in all we spent a great 4 days together. The brothers were busy cutting the tall birch trees in one of the fields surrounding the house, the younger generation spent most of their time turning night into day and day into night. As it was the fiesta time (Santa Marta) there were 2 nights of dancing with an orchestra playing and a make-shift bar set up for some heavy drinking.

We went on many walks, the best of which was to pick raspberries on the hills above Montrondo. It turned out to be very picturesque in a lovely rural sense as we went past a sweet grey donkey on the way up, as well as a large herd of beautiful brown cows and a gorgeous litter of new born kittens.

Here is the raspberry picking group on the hill overlooking Montrondo.

And now we are back home and getting ready for the next part of the Summer as we will be going to the beach on Friday coming, all of us except Susi who went to El Puerto de Santa María in Cadiz yesterday to be with her Prince Charming.

So my next post will come after our time in Santa Pola as there is no Internet there.

Cheers till then.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Enjoy your holiday! Smuack, Anne