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Update and farewell to Albergue Villares de Orbigo

LTfit

Veteran Member
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Difficult decision, I'm sure. All the best to your future!

Edit: Enjoy your coming grandchild: Had I known they were so fun, I would have made them first!

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:
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jennysa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
So devastated to hear your news Lee. I know how much you put into your beautiful albergue. I had rejigged my Camino plans last year to visit you, but of course, we could not travel. I was hoping that it would be September this year but now its not to be. Perhaps we will meet at some point on the Camino yet. Wishing you all the very best for your change of plans.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
I know this must be disappointing for you. Year 2020 has been an awful year for many people on many levels. It has been for me as well. It seems the catch phrase for 2020 is “but then COVID happened.” Let’s all hope and pray 2021 will be better. Blessings to you and congratulations on your first grandchild!
Ultreya!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
Oh my sad news BUT you tried and perhaps you’re needed somewhere else instead. I’m happy that you found new managers and Dutch at that.....I’m sure you’ll have a free bed when you walk next time. God speed, prayers for you and your family AND the little one on its ways. 👣 Buen Camino pilgrim!
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
Ah, that is so sad, a dream realized only to be so swiftly taken away. It is good you are weathering the storm, being a pilgrim does help in these difficult times. I too hope to be back in Spain and other parts of Europe as soon as it is safe to travel again. Very much hope our paths will cross again one day.
Lots of love, Gitti
 
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CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
There is literally not much to say after so many posts and good wishes. You and I exchanged couple of private messages and I was truly looking forward to make a stop at Villares de Orbigo and say Hi tete-a-tete... :(
it is a shame.... to quote John (THE ONLY ONE! ;) ...but not the Saint) "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans". Yet.. as you say - you are healthy and looking forward to spend time with your grandchild! Perhaps thats all that matters....

On the other hand.. when God closes the door, somewhere He opens a window, so...
ULTREIA!!!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
Lee, you gave it a good shot! Unthinkable faith must have made it completely impossible for you to keep your dream: You have my deepest sympathy.

I am sure there are many on this Forum (and hopefully also elsewhere) who have assisted you a little in your efforts during this crisis. Atleast you took a brave step, in fulfilling your dream of an albergue on the Way, where many of us just walk, and are just daydreaming of doing what you actually DID.

You have my deepest respect, Lee, and I wish you many walks without bitterness of having had, and fulfilled your dream, killed by an unimaginable destiny. But remember; Each time a door closes, two others are opened. Just find them.

Chin up, and:

Buen Camino, amiga!

If our roads should cross on the Way, you will be in for a large amount of rioja & tapas on my account!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
Lee, so fleeting! Understandable though, in the weird circumstances of the year playing out. It is my loss not to have been able to call in. Look ahead, and enjoy becoming a grannie!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Sep/Oct 2015
C Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Sep/Oct 2017
VdlP, Muxia 2018
Dear Forum friends,

Many, many thanks for your (financial) support during 2020. Your contributions - from some members multiple times! - helped me weather the lockdown and difficult year with few pilgrims. For this I will forever be grateful. We have all experienced a trying time, and continue to feel the enormous impact this year.

As many of you know, I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo on March 13, 2020 and was forced to close two days later. It was only in July that I reopened after a long, severe lockdown in Spain. During the following months until I closed in October, I welcomed 133 pilgrims. That’s it! Many questioned why I “bothered” to open, as many private and municipal albergues decided to remain closed throughout the year. My answer was simple: “Because this is what I came to Spain to do”. The 2020 pilgrim season was like no other I had experienced over the past 10 years walking Caminos and volunteering. Distancing, masks and health regulations governing albergue owners changed the Camino as I knew it. Offering communal meals on a donation basis was put to the test and due to the guidelines was often impossible. Still, I am glad that I could welcome all those who entered our doors. It remains to be seen how season 2021 will unfold. We can only hope that by this summer or fall we will be able to move about more freely and enjoy one another's company without too many restrictions.

Uncertain times and family circumstances sometimes calls for a major overhaul. And so, this will be my last post as the hospitalera of Villares de Orbigo. Today Martin and Merel, a couple from The Netherlands, will be taking over the albergue and its Facebook page. They too are pilgrims so I trust that they will keep the Camino spirit alive.

No worries, I am healthy and in The Netherlands awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. I will return to Spain, there is no doubt about that but next time it will be with my backpack!

I personally thanked all of you who contributed. In most cases you did not want a Buff, a night at the albergue or anything else I offered but please know that my offer still stands (except for the night at the albergue). My belongings are now in storage but I would be more than pleased to send you a Camino souvenir once I move. And, the next café con leche or vino tinto is on me!

Ultreia!

View attachment 92606
I don't have the words to express the sadness I feel. Like so many on the forum it was inspiring to follow your journey. Following the anticipation of opening and then having to close are a couple of days. Phew! Gut wrenching. Then opening up again, few pilgrims and another wave of covid. Through it all you kept us posted and connected. Your decision is correct. Face the future. Take good care . Look forward to your grandchild, a new dawn, new beginning, new hope, a new Blessing, on you and your family.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF14
LePuy/CF(21?)
Aussie Camino15
WHW15
CP16
CdelN Fin/Muxia18
GGW StCuthWay HadrWall CotswoldWay19
All the very best for your future Lee. Best wishes to Martin and Merel who are following the great tradition of this lovely Albergue. We stayed there in 2014.
Buen Camino.
Anne & Pat
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
We were so looking forward to staying with you when our Camino was cut short.
You gave it your best!
That's all we can do in this life.
No regrets.
Enjoy that grandbaby!
You are where you are supposed to be.
Big hugs and see you on the trail!💗
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Gosh, Lee, I’ve just seen your post. Only a day or so ago I emailed you to say that I had to cancel our booking in May as there is no way we will be able to leave South Africa then. So sad to hear that you will be leaving Villares de Orbigo, but I wish you lots of luck for the future. It’s been a tough year. Jill
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Gosh, Lee, I’ve just seen your post. Only a day or so ago I emailed you to say that I had to cancel our booking in May as there is no way we will be able to leave South Africa then. So sad to hear that you will be leaving Villares de Orbigo, but I wish you lots of luck for the future. It’s been a tough year. Jill
I´m sure that Martin and Merel received the email as they are now responsible for the info@ email address.
Take care Jill.
 
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Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Lee, you gave it your all, and then some — but obviously your path goes somewhere else. The avalanche of good wishes here could not be more deserved! May there be a lot of joy where that path leads, and I join with several others here in saying next time we meet, the tapas, menu del dia, or whatever will be on me.
Onward and upward — that kid will be very lucky to have you as a grandmother!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Finesterre 2015
VdlP 2017
Congratulations on having made your dream a reality, and shepherding your albergue and each of those 133 pilgrims through an unprecedented and most difficult time. The work you did there matters, and will have untold ripples into the future for an uncountable number of people. And now you are graduating on to another wonderful adventure. Buen camino!
 

pelerine

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
There is not really anything I can add to all that has been said above. So lots of good wishes for the future for you and your family! Keep safe!
 

Mary Doll

Donating Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Camino Francés SJPDP to Finisterre planned for June 2020
Lee I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had to leave the albergue. I was blessed to be able to spend a night with you around the end of September and it was one of my favourite albergues on the Camino. Wishing you well for the future.
Marie
 
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Parzival2020

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
juli-august 2020 first camino
Hi Lee, sorry to hear! Must have been a hard year! I was happy to stay at your albuerge this summer. Probably not my last camino. enjoy your time here in the Netherlands!
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
It seems that it’s been a while since I last checked the Forum, as it’s only today that I see your posting. I’m really sorry that you have to leave this delightful albergue. COVID has made a mess of so many plans for so many people. Enjoy your time with your grandchild. They grow soooo quickly!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
It seems that it’s been a while since I last checked the Forum, as it’s only today that I see your posting. I’m really sorry that you have to leave this delightful albergue. COVID has made a mess of so many plans for so many people. Enjoy your time with your grandchild. They grow soooo quickly!
Thank you! I never realized how special this could be, what you don't know you don't miss I guess.
 

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