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.
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?’