It was hard to leave Chile, and somehow, I will always have a part of me there. But, that’s another story, too long and difficult to write about, or think about, for that matter. Ever onward…
After Mister’s three surgeries in the US, we came back to our old stomping grounds in the Western Highlands of Panama. A place so lovely and rustic and cool that driving up the 250-plus curves towards La Amistad, it felt like a home-coming. I clunked right back into my old life without a stutter. Mister had found an old coffee farm while I was back in the US taking care of my mother. He called me one night.
“I found a place,” he said.
“Really?!?!?!” I absently replied. I had heard this five times since I had been back dealing with home services for my mother, medical appointments, Division of Blind Services, transportation services, painting and sorting out details, watching Home and Garden TV and Oprah. This was the tenth place he had “found”.
“This is it,” he rattled. “I bought it. And, it has a house on it!”
WooHoo! Hhmmmm. Ok. Well. After our long and varied adventures, I, in no kind words, had told him as we left Chile, that I, “am not going to keep starting over”. I thought he understood. As it turns out, I meant I was in no mood for living like a pioneer. He thought I meant I didn’t want to camp again. The “house” aka/place turned out to be something in between.
We began camping/pioneering. There was no electric, but to his credit, there was good water, an indoor flush toilet and cold shower. And eight acres of coffee, bananas, and fruit trees. The floor of the house is cement, and the windows were cut-out holes with wood shutters. A blank slate, I conceded. Mister was ecstatic over the acreage of coffee, however had not thought through was that would involve when it comes to care and upkeep. Creating a livable space from the house would be my domain. As it turned out, so would figuring out the business of the rest of the eight acres. Have I ever mentioned he makes me wonderful coffee every morning? See…there are trade-offs after all.
We hauled in a bed and our clothes. I bought a small generator to run a little washer. After the first week we painted the outside of the house because I could not bear to look at the four odd shades of pink. There was no point painting the inside because it was so dark. I did sweep the walls and knock down the old bird’s nests. Sparing the tedious details, we made the place habitable. We bought kerosene lanterns and beans and rice. We put two rocking chairs on the front porch and started life in Panama.