The End

Trying to tie up loose ends so we can leave Malaga with things in order. Tomorrow FedEx comes to pick up many boxes and a giant paella dish. It's going to be hectic but today is the Feast of the Virgen del Carmen, matron saint of seafaring folk, so we'll try to be festive. Then Saturday morning an early departure for a long day of travel. Murphy left first thing this morning. We had a nice dinner last night at Maricuchi. We got back to Malaga yesterday afternoon from Almeria, where Daniela gave a wonderful, albeit brief, performance in the I Almeria International Dance Festival and Competition. Her solo variation from Paris in Flames was enthusiastically applauded by a large audience that filled the concert hall. A wonderful choice by Daniela for a July 14th performance! It was an interesting event because there were several kinds of dancing: ballet, Spanish dance, contemporary and flamenco. Daniela, too young to compete, was one of four guest artists on the program. Her friend from Victor Ullate's school, Helena Balla, who's 18, got second place in the ballet competition. In order of performance, Daniela followed the first place winner in Spanish dance. Wow! That young woman gave a crowd pleasing show full of sensuality, foot stomping, and great elegance. It lasted close to ten minutes and the audience really ate it up. Olé! Hmm, how was our fourteen year old going to deal with this? The change in pace would be brutal. Here comes a delicate, two minute ballet solo. I knew she wouldn't crack, but I was a little concerned about audience receptiveness. How silly of me. Daniela, her white leotard and delicate white tutu decorated with the colors of the French flag, danced beautifully and won the crowd over in an instant. Fanstastic. Anyone wondering what a fourteen year old was doing sharing the guest artist bill with seasoned professionals had their doubts erased. Daniela's poise never ceases to impress me. This is something she must have picked up from her sisters. And it was wonderful that her aunt Cristi, abuelo Daniel, cousin June, and friends from Malaga were all there to enjoy the show. Including the friends of Maria del Mar's mother, we had an enthusiastic 'Daniela contingent' of close to twenty. It was a nice way to end the year. Victor is very sorry to see her go. Well, it's off to do errands and finish closing up boxes. This is it for "A Year in Malaga". One could write a book on what these past two years have been like. Quite an adventure. And a fun last several weeks with our trip to San Sebastian, seeing Cristina, the visit from the Ohlstens... Overall, wonderful doesn't do it justice. I'm still trying to figure out how you write about what you think is real and important, about family and friendships and how time passes. Oh well. Right now, for example, I'm simply too tired and just a little stressed about this move. That's the deal today, and as Daniela knows, today is the deal. And Cristina knows you get what you get, and Alma knows you've got to stay calm. Asun simply knows. Waldo clearly thinks he knows it all. Does he know he's about to be cruelly pulled from paradise? The blog will keep going from the other side of the Atlantic, maybe with a new title.