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I don’t recognize the silence.
I’m home from work, and the only sound resonating through the spacious walls is the sound of my allergy-induced hacking cough.

Lonely at first, I decide to clean the house. This is a problem, because Abuela C is in town, and Abuela C is a rock star of a house cleaner.

Every night we cook together, taking turns dumping spices and ingredients in the boiling pots. She’s about half my size, and speaks Spanish faster than an auctioneer can sell a painting. Spanish and English roll off her tongue, and she glances my direction to see if I catch on.

I cook an entire recipe written in Spanish, without a single translation. She doesn’t seem to notice. I copy the recipe down – in Spanish – but she didn’t seem to notice. Maybe she expected me to understand. I’m learning new recipes, and my husband is finally happy eating traditional hispanic meals. My stomach, however, is not so happy. It craves spinach and salmon and strawberries and other vitamin enriched-foods.

After dinner, we take turns cleaning. She cleans, and I clean again. Then she cleans after me. Hooray for another clean-freak!

I’m quite particular when it comes to cleaning, and I’ve used an entire bottle of lysol, 3/4 of a bottle of lysol wipes, and 7/8 of a bottle of dish soap so far.

In fact, the only thing that’s dirty is the dog, and that’s because I’m too lazy to give her a bath, and we don’t own a hose.

Tonight I have some free time while the husband and Abuela C. are gone. I’m sipping red wine, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.