BANG! AND THEY'RE OFF!

We make it home without incident in our inadvertent car bomb. My daughter, her college roommate and I unload the five full propane cylinders from the old yellow Land Rover that we have just filled at a station, each one a weapon in itself. Five could take out the entire village of Fuseta which is…

34. TALKING OF TANKS IN PORTUGAL

It’s getting colder, a chilly 48 degrees Farenheit. None of my New York friends are sympathetic as it’s below freezing in their city. But here in the Algarve, my house is made of thick limestone without a single layer of insulation. The homes are built as if the country is tropical and the stone is…

33. WEB LEGS IN PORTUGAL

You’ve heard of sea legs? Google’s dictionary definition is ‘a person’s ability to keep their balance and not feel seasick when on board a moving ship.’ The example that follows is: “now I’ve found my sea legs I’ll be much more useful.” Well, I’m finding my web legs at our new farm Golden Web. Golden Web’s unfamiliar…

32. GOLDEN WEB IS BORN

You know those cobweb brooms made and sold by Rastafarians in Jamaica? They’re at least twice the length of a store-bought broom so they can reach into the corners of a roof to sweep away cobwebs. They’re handmade, the broomsticks pared down lovingly with a knife by the maker, the straw head neatly trimmed and…

31. HOME AT LAST

This Christmas morning, I woke at my farm, made a thermos of coffee, threw on sweats and sneakers (odes to my old American life) and turned the key to unlock from within my new front door. The air was crisp, a chilly 56 degrees Fahrenheit, the sky clear and scrubbed clean after almost a week…

30. GOODBYE, BELOVED NEW YORK CITY

After my summer in Portugal, I returned to New York to wrap up with all my beloveds. I said goodbye to my beloved daughter who was returning to college in California. I then immersed back into work with my beloved Gary and Andy who made up my jewelry team on finishing orders for the holiday…

29. ALMOST HOME IN PORTUGAL

I (almost) have a farm in Portugal. Though it’s not much of a farm (yet). It’s a bald stretch of flat land with the ghosts of ancient citrus, olive and carob trees reaching and bending in the sea breeze that wafts in from the Atlantic. The Atlantic is less than a mile away, ebbing and…

28. ON COMING FULL CIRCLE IN PORTUGAL

A year ago, if searched on the web for any combination of these words ‘Jewish tour Lisbon best guide’, only one name popped up, Paolo Scheffer of Lisbon Explorer. His reviews were extraordinary, everyone expounding on his historical knowledge and passion for the subject. Given that I was seeking citizenship in Portugal grace of my…

27. A TREE GROWS IN PORTUGAL WHERE RIGHT NOW THERE IS NONE

The power of suggestion is a remarkable thing. It’s a seed dropped from a bird passing overhead, a seed culled from elsewhere unknown. That seed sits on the land, the land and the environment nourish it, so it sprouts and flourishes. As if out of nowhere, that seed is a tree. A little background. The…

26. SO YOU ARE A PORTUGUESE WHAT??

‘The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.’ — Anne…

25. THAT MOMENT IN PORTUGAL WHEN THERE IS NO GOING BACK

Lisbon is calling. Hers is the low droning hum of a singing bowl before it rises to a coppery aria. It is also the moan of a wetted finger running along the rim of a glass before it hits a shrill. This early heeding is anticipatory. I have been inadvertently holding my breath, knowing that either…

24. THE SIGNS OF A GROWING TRIBE IN PORTUGAL

Like the mini Fiat I’ve driven up and down Portugal a few times searching for a home, I’m in need of a tune-up. The car and I have revved out our engines though I’ll admit neither of us has much horsepower. I’ve used much of mine urging the little engine up and down mountains where,…