36 Days till we return to Boquete

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7 AM. Winter in Ohio.

For those who ask “why Panama?” A picture is worth a thousand words. Mariah’s new and favorite expression is this: ‘No mas nieve para mi!’ I’m on board with it. The same folks who ask why Panama look at the above scene and invariably say something like, ‘So beautiful,’ or ‘Isn’t that pretty?’ or ‘I just love the change of seasons.’

Well so do we. That’s why we’re changing seasons, except in our case we’re planning to change them on a permanent basis. While we may agree that the snow and chilly weather bring certain vistas of aesthetic beauty, a somewhat brighter, cleaner atmosphere and a kind of atavistic sense of renewal and rebirth (once the thaw arrives), we’re at an age that we’ve seen enough of that, and now see only the limitations snow and cold and ice and frigid temperatures bring. And limits are, well, limiting.

As we both grow older, reaching those socially defined benchmarks like retirement, pensioning, career cessation and an easier life, our priorities have necessarily changed. The daily grind is now the sound of a coffee maker no earlier than 7:30; the kids are properly launched and off the payroll; the pets are gone, and good riddance to them (the guinea pig was adorable, but she stunk to high heaven). With the remaining time and money and health parameters that we’re given we want to travel, and visit and move about the world uninhibited. We want to occupy our porch of a morning and feed our birds. We want to hike up and down the Rio Caldera, and listen to its babble and gush as it threads its way down from Volcan Baru. We want to walk into Boquete of an evening hand in hand, with light jackets instead of hooded, goose-down, pleated and padded heavy coats and visit with friends at Art Cafe’. We plan to finally meet (in person) cyber-friends from blogs Let The Adventure Begin, Loving Retirement in Panama, In Da Campo, Chiriqui Chatter, and Latitude Adjustment. We plan to become regulars at Sugar & Spice, Mike’s Global Grill, The Fish House and buy all our bread from Mort. Our coffee—from Mariposa Azul and Finca Luz, or Kotowa, will be so fresh we’ll have to drink it before it sprouts new beans.

We want to donate all of our boots and scarves and gloves and woolen winter goods to Goodwill, or scribble up an ad for Craigslist Free and watch the scrum of cold-weather inhabitants free-for-all as it ensues over our no longer needed extra skins.

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9:27 AM. Winter in Boquete

What we want as we approach the last quarter of life is to shed not only the heavy cloaking we took for granted for three, or four…or five months every year, and to live without the limiting conditions they demand. So for those who ask ‘why Panama?’ Just copy and paste these two pictures, and ask, ‘why not?’

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Prospero Ano Nuevo

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Pirotecnico a Boquete

Happy New Year to all, and may 2016 be the best year of your lives! Here’s our NY resolution: By the end of 2016, we intend to be residents of Boquete Panama, living in a place where the temperature never varies from a low of 65 F to a high of 85. That’s not the only consideration, of course. We also intend to be reasonably conversant in Espanol by year’s end, or at least fluent enough that Panamanians no longer roll their eyes at us.

Sharing the New Year’s festivities, here’s a sampling from some of the blogs we follow, a rebuttal to people who think there’s nothing happening in Panama! Just check this out!

Connie and Mikkel Moller over at Third Life Pedasi polished up their performance skills it appears, celebrated the holidays and ushered in 2016 with a grand old time at Smiley’s Restaurante singing and dancing and basking in the warmth and friendship of amigos.

Karen over In Da Campo chose the end of 2015 to figure out a perplexing problem that’s obviously bugged her for some time: Why is the ocean salty? Hey, you never want a year to end (or begin) with that kind of uncertainty. Good for you, Karen, always the educator. Keep it up!

Holly and Scott over at Let The Adventure Begin closed out 2015 by reminding us all to be grateful, and to give back without reciprocation. As Holly says, ‘To give someone a gift that they didn’t expect is so much fun…’ She’s right of course, and it’s just this kind of attitude and approach to living every day that’s drawing us to Boquete, and Panama. It’s not just the warmth of the climate; it’s the apparent warmth of the people living in it as well. A connection? I believe so.

Don Ray Williams, blogging at Chiriqui Chatter ended his Panama year on a rather sad note. It appears the old saying about the size of the dog in the fight Vs the size of the fight in the dog… Well, the little pooch apparently keeled over and died, sigh… Our condolences to the distraught dog owners. Here’s hoping 2016 improves after this, and hard to see how it wouldn’t. BTW, for those who didn’t catch Don’s recent post about jet service from Orlando to David starting soon, my advice is to keep in mind the date this service is to commence. Just sayin’. Thanks, Don, keep ignoring all that trouble, it’s the best approach in my estimation.

For John and Susan on Latitude Adjustment, more canine condolences. What is it with dogs and the holidays? Too bad about your beloved Maggie. Sounds like you could use a hug. Happy New Year anyway, and all the best.

Kris and Joel Cunningham blogging from David in The Panama Adventure bring us up to date on a new bus terminal near their home. Hey, David may or may not be getting non-stop air service from Orlando, but the new terminal will be a welcome addition to travelers in western Panama & elsewhere. (BTW, Kris/Joel, about the helicopters posted close by: You’re right about the Bell H-13, those are spray arms used for crop-dusting/aerial application of some liquid for agricultural use. The Bell 206, called a JetRanger looks like a military surplus machine, I’m guessing, now used for corporate/private transport. Thanks for tossing the pix in there. I’ve flown both of those old machines, and enjoyed them equally.)

More later. Feliz Ano Nuevo everyone, and here’s hoping we soon meet and greet in person in western Panama, and who knows where else? Salud!