Monday, November 24, 2008

I Don't Have the Words

Using your favorite search engine, look up "Boquete Panama Flood". I don't have the words. Look at the pictures. Pray for Boquete. Tell everyone you know: Pray for the Boquetenos.

We are safe - not dry, but not flooded.

There are no words...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Terremoto o Temblor?

Which means, basically, "big honker earthquake or not-so-much earthquake". And last night, if you happened to be near the border of Costa Rica and Panama, you experienced a 6.2 degree relatively big honker earthquake. Here in Boquete it was, technically, a not-so-much earthquake.

If, however, you are in your own bed, minding your own business and it sounds like you are in the middle of a very loud and bouncy-wiggly freight train, then it was something of a big honker. Especially when you consider that I have never been in an earthquake before.

The bed - trembled. It shook up and down - not violently, but obviously. There was a deep rumbling sound. The onset was without warning, and after maybe 20 or so seconds, everything sort of tapered off. I never felt any aftershocks. But then neither was I able to fully relax and get any restorative sleep after the event.

I don't think I like earthquakes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Part of me wants to call this post "'Flat' and 'Level' are Deceiving" and part of me wants to call it "I Won!! I Won!!". So it will be a mishmash.

If I had the proper equipment to transmit photos, which I don't :..( I could show you my pretty yard - flat and level. If you were here to visit me and see it in person, which you aren't :..( we could walk around said yard and enjoy the tropical plants and flowers. (Yeah, I have impatiens and daylilies and peace lilies in bloom today. Outside in the yard. Don't you just hate me??)

But I cut the grass this morning. My flat, level, and fairly small yard isn't. There is a definite, though subtle slant toward the back wall. And there are countless little bumps and hollows and the occasional ginormous root snaking across my path. And what really is a small yard suddenly grows huge when your only weapon is a 22 inch cut, non-self-propelled mower. Oh, yeah, and I mustn't forget the anthills. I don't know if they're fire ants, but they do pack a hefty bite and can get up inside your pants leg REAL quick.

I am proud of myself 'cause I got the grass cut and the laundry off the line WAY before the rains came. I WON!!! And it's just barely after noon!

Maybe I'll celebrate by dust mopping the floors...

Friday, November 7, 2008

The ____day Chowder and Marching Society

Will now come to order! It is official, I have decided, and I am unanimous in saying so.

We women need each other. We need to talk, to laugh, to walk, to sit, to nurture each other. We are the ones who pack the tents (as in Sarai and Abram) or the Mayflower or the Conestoga wagons or the 40-foot containers. We are the ones who gather those of our chicks that we can take with us and tear our hearts from our breasts as we bid farewell to those of our chicks that we cannot take with us.

We are the ones who leave all the familiar sights, sounds, smells, tastes, "feels" that are our homes as we follow our menfolk to the wilderness, the Promised Land, the New World - whatever it is that is around the next bend and just out of their view.

Our menfolk seem to be just fine, thankyouverymuch, as they settle in. They seem to be able to look ahead and to compartmentalize all the left behinds of their lives.

We women don't have that gift. We are the nest-builders, the putter-downers of roots. We decorate. We paint. And it is like splinters under our fingernails to have to up and leave our nests.

So what we do, we women, is to search out each other. We scout for each other. We "Knit in Public". We conspicuously look at local maps at the welcome center coffee shop in the hope that those nice looking people a couple of tables over might also be ex-pats. We listen for English - American or Brit. And we find each other.

And when we find each other and we discover that we are, as Gonzo said in "The Muppet Movie", old friends who've just met, we rejoice. Oh, how we rejoice!

And on a day like today, that rejoicing consists of getting together and driving to David and laughing and talking and sharing and eating and shopping.

My feet are a bit sore but my spirit is soaring! We have decided, Kathleen and I, that once a week is not excessive for meandering down to David and having girl time. We have not yet decided, however, what day would be best. But we shall, indeed, institute the _____day Chowder and Marching Society, effective today.

Because it is cheaper than a ticket to the states. And a heckuva lot more fun than a shrink!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sunshine Came Softly Through My Window Today

Who sang that song? I wish I could remember. I'd either hug them or slug them.

The east-facing bedroom window naturally captures the rising sun. Which can be blindingly bright early in the morning. There is no escaping - and no turning over and going back to sleep. Especially in the rainy season. You just gotta get up and get the clothes done and on the line. Sort of the laundry equivalent of "make hay while the sun shines".

It is in the mid-70's here, and the clouds are already creeping over the mountains to the east of me like the advance scouts - the invaders will be following very soon and the rains will come later today. The rains always come.

But I understand that the dry season will be here in about 2-3 weeks. School will be out, baseball season will be starting in earnest, people will be preparing for the annual Fair of Coffee and Flowers (in January) and the tourists will be arriving. Should be interesting.

Last Saturday we went to a guitar recital at the fairgrounds. I was reminded of the recitals I'd attend in Nashville, although there were no solo performances - just groups. All the pre-performance introductions were in Spanish, but one thing I was able to comprehend was "La musica is salud." Music is health. The college-level student/teacher group was really great. They played everything from classical to jazz to samba to cha-cha. I loved watching the artists' faces as they played. And I loved the music!

I'm told that the fairgrounds where we were is the location of the Coffee and Flower fair. Right now it looks pretty rough, but I understand that by January it will look lush and colorful. Actually everything will look lush and colorful by January. The farms and garden plots visible from the highway are all planted now - the idea is to get your garden in before November 1 so you can take advantage of the upcoming dry season. Difficult as it is for me to comprehend, they even have irrigation systems for watering! December thru March there is very little rain. I'll believe it when I see it.