It’s Monday morning. Now that I am retired, weekdays and weekends are pretty much equal. Our schedule is whatever we choose to do. Back in the states, I would look forward to weekend; as a teacher, those were my days off. Those two days were days I could sleep in, visit friends and family, worship at church, take road trips overnight, etc. They were usually packed full of activities, which can be stressful as well. Oh, and how I looked forward to those Monday holidays. I did not like most Mondays because I had 5 days of work before the next weekend. I enjoyed being a teacher, but some days were very stressful. Now I can do that on any given day and not wait for weekends. And much less stress, if any, which certainly is good for my health – “tranquilo”.
So this Monday morning, I sit in my usual spot-rocking chair on front veranda under the ceiling fan-and think back to the past week. Mikkel was sick with a cold at the beginning of last week. I watched him carefully because Dengue fever is spreading throughout Panama right now. But it was only a cold, no high fever or rash as with Dengue, and he seemed to get over it around Wednesday. We still are taking Spanish lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I was the only one who went since Mikkel was sick on Tuesday and went to Las Tablas early Thursday morning to buy food for a party we were hosting on Saturday.
Mikkel was feeling better on Wednesday, so we met up with our friend Tim from Las Tablas who introduced us to Devin, owner of Cafe Limón B&B (in Limón). Off we went together to his property outside of Los Ascientos, about 20 minutes south. Although there is a graded road up to his property, you have to have a 4X4 to drive on the property. So were were 4-wheeling up and down the hills, stopping at different spots to take in the views. He has sold some of the land to a couple of others who will be building, but has about 7 acres left that he wants to sell to the right person. The views are spectacular; 360 degrees at each bluff where one could build a home; views of the ocean on the east all the way to Isla Iguana; views of the hills to the west; and views of the jungles below on the property including monkeys, eagles, iguanas, etc., and the camarca. The property includes 2 natural springs that flow into streams through the jungle. And the breezes felt wonderful standing on the bluffs, so both wind and solar power would be ideal for someone who would want to build their dream home. We aren’t in the market to buy, but it was fun to explore and dream. Devin was a great tour guide and host, and has a nice B&B 5 minutes south of Pedasí. He and his wife open the Cafe for their guests, and occasionally will play the violin for his guests in the evening.
From there we drove to Playa Venao for lunch and then drove out to Playita Resort, owned by a professional jockey. Always saw the sign when we drove by, but never drove out until now when Tim suggested we go there. Besides the hotel and restaurant, there is access to a private cove, although they charge to park for the day. (We just were staying for a few minutes to look around, so we talked them out of charging us.) Nice beach with cabañas and trees for shade to spend the day with clean restrooms and showers to rinse off. We discovered a couple of Emus walking around the grounds along with iguanas.
On Saturday, we hosted our first party in our home. Mikkel started slow-cooking pork in the oven on Friday for pulled pork sandwiches. He also marinated chicken wings that were grilled on the BBQ. It started off being a party for about 15 people, but Mikkel invited more and more. So we had about 40 people come, bringing different side dishes, desserts, and drinks to add to Mikkel’s entrees. We ordered hamburger buns from a new local bakery, Panaderia Pedasi, owned by our friend Valerie. We also rented tables and chairs from the local liquor distributor, Julio, very nice Panamanian who speaks English and rents small tables for 60 cents each and chairs for 40 cents each. Mikkel and our friend Dave picked them up on Friday and did not have to return them until Monday. Dave and Tim helped set up the table & chairs Saturday morning. The party started at 11am and lasted until about 8pm. We also met some new friends who were invited by others. We and everyone had a great time. Mikkel and I would probably do it again; we certainly have enough room; but not too soon in the future. It may seem to be a lot of work, but I really didn’t notice it much.
The next day, we cleaned up what was not done the night before, and then just sat back and watched Netflix movies. Today, Mikkel & Dave returned the table and chairs and are now sitting on the veranda drinking ice tea while I am writing this post. This is how Mondays and most days go, nothing scheduled but anything could happen. We possibly will have an emergency bell installed today by the Vigilante Vecinos (Neighborhood Watch) group, but not sure when. And Mikkel just asked if I am doing laundry today, but I told him I will probably do it “mañana” even though I have time today. I am grateful God has blessed us with this “Third Life”. Sometimes I feel a little guilt creeping in when I am just sitting around with nothing planned, but that feeling soon goes away. One must be flexible, but the benefits definitely outweigh the stress-filled busy life I had in the states. For now, I will just enjoy the gentle breeze and the multitude of colorful flowers blooming around our home as I drink my iced tea out on the veranda.
Views from Devin’s Property
A Few Party Pics (thanks to our friend Lee)