A Basque in Boise

Cogeces

I’m pretty sure I got acquainted with all the bad (good) things in life in Cogeces del Monte, a small Spanish town in Castilla where my aunt, her husband, and my two cousins lived. My parents would take me and my little sister there during the summer months. Even though it’s no more than a 5-hour drive from our town, we would only visit every three or four years. I wasn’t always outgoing and shameless, so the long gap between each trip made it hard to keep the bond going with my cousins’ group of friends.

I developed a crush on Alvarito right away. I would see him every day at the pool or riding his bike around town. He was cute and blonde with long-ish hair and freckles, and he talked different from the boys back home. One day he told me to hop on the bike and took me home. I was never too good at hiding my feelings, so pretty soon everyone caught up with me and they have yet to stop teasing me about him. I can take it now, but it’s a little different when you are seven and shy. I went back to Cogeces many summers since then, and each time I had a crush on a different boy, but none ever compared to Alvarito.

The first few summers in Cogeces I didn’t play much with the kids my age. Instead, I would sit on the bench outside my aunt Valentina’s house, where my mom and all the other ladies from the neighborhood gathered to gossip while they knitted or sewed. I learned how to make wool dresses for my Barriguitas, and my mom helped me finish my first sweater by putting together the parts I had knitted.

I stopped being so lame around age fourteen. I was still shy and invariably bigger around the butt than most of the girls my age, but alcohol makes you forget those things. I’m not sure how it is these days, but back then each group of friends had a place indoors (adult-free) where they gathered to chat, drink, and smoke. I discovered peach liquor, cigarettes, and french kissing all in one summer. I got drunk for the first time during the town’s festivities, the day my aunt had reluctantly allowed my cousin and I to stay out partying longer than usual. Brigi still hasn’t forgiven me for passing out two hours before our curfew.

These days, I drink red wine instead of liquor, I don’t smoke anymore, and french kissing is something I see people do on He’s Just Not That Into You. And I’m seriously considering knitting some scarfs for my kids this winter.

Thanks for passing by: ↓

aita Maria Jesusl NeskaBaska German Friend on the bench Janice Steven Roosevelt Miren

11 thoughts on “Cogeces

  1. aita

    Cuando uno empieza a recordar su infancia, es que se va haciendo muy mayor.

  2. aita

    Cuando uno empieza a recordar su infancia, es que se va haciendo muy mayor.

  3. Henar Chico

    Ya te digo… Por cierto, ayer encontré a Alvarito en Facebook. Parece que acaba de tener un bebé.

  4. Henar Chico

    Ya te digo… Por cierto, ayer encontré a Alvarito en Facebook. Parece que acaba de tener un bebé.

  5. NeskaBaska

    This town was “only a 5-hour drive” from yours? Only? My goodness, in Spain a 5-hour drive can take you to at least two different countries. Even to this day I feel that a 5-hour drive is like driving to the moon!

  6. NeskaBaska

    This town was “only a 5-hour drive” from yours? Only? My goodness, in Spain a 5-hour drive can take you to at least two different countries. Even to this day I feel that a 5-hour drive is like driving to the moon!

  7. Henar Chico

    Haha, I guess I’m more americanized than I’d like to admit. Thanks for remind me. I think I’ll go to Walmart now.

  8. Henar Chico

    Haha, I guess I’m more americanized than I’d like to admit. Thanks for remind me. I think I’ll go to Walmart now.

  9. German Friend on the bench

    So when you start knitting a sweater for your kids, make sure to invite your girlfriends over to sit on the bench together so that we can chat and gossip. If you are going down memory lane you have to do the entire package, eh?!

  10. German Friend on the bench

    So when you start knitting a sweater for your kids, make sure to invite your girlfriends over to sit on the bench together so that we can chat and gossip. If you are going down memory lane you have to do the entire package, eh?!

  11. Henar Chico

    Well, I looked him up on Facebook last night and I saw him holding a baby on his profile picture, so I’m assuming he got married and started a family. I can always ask my cousin Brigi to get me the real story, though. I’m curious as well.

  12. Henar Chico

    Well, I looked him up on Facebook last night and I saw him holding a baby on his profile picture, so I’m assuming he got married and started a family. I can always ask my cousin Brigi to get me the real story, though. I’m curious as well.

  13. Henar Chico

    Ok, so I talked to my cousin, Alvarito is married, has a baby girl, lives in Valladolid and works as a truck driver. The end.

  14. Henar Chico

    Ok, so I talked to my cousin, Alvarito is married, has a baby girl, lives in Valladolid and works as a truck driver. The end.

  15. Henar Chico

    No problem, I guess being close to going back home made me nostalgic.

  16. Henar Chico

    No problem, I guess being close to going back home made me nostalgic.

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