Many Beautiful Things

Surely I’m describing Costa Rica and I could be . . . though this time it is the title of a documentary biography I found on my new streaming service, Curiosity Stream, that replaced Netflix for me, permanently this time with a whole year of streaming costing less than one month of Netflix (a stripped down version for Costa Rica).

The full title of this bio is Many Beautiful Things, The Life and Vision of Lilias Trotter. (Link to Wikipedia description) In brief, she was one of the world’s best unknown painters in water colors (late 1800’s to 1928) who was befriended by John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the Victorian era who promised to make her the “greatest living artist” in England. She repeatedly turned him down while continuing to paint beautiful nature scenes and landscapes simply to praise God.

Continue reading “Many Beautiful Things”

Goodbye to a Good Friend

Garden Art by Anthony

This morning at about 4:00 I said goodbye to my next door neighbor Anthony who has been a special friend this last year, as he was when he lived on the other side of me during my first few months in this house (before he traveled to Spain & Morocco for 9 months). He is the single artist guy, about 8 years younger than me, who is still driven to create. He did my garden art sculpture I’ve shown before and a painting I promised not to publish. You will have to visit me to see it – another contemporary bird!

Though Costa Rica is a great atmosphere for creativity, it is not the easiest place to get lots of different art supplies, especially for his clay and tile work. So he is moving back to the states, not to his native Indiana, but to an art community in Chicago where he can get everything he needs to create including many customers which he also needs at this particular point in his life. And he plans to take classes in a world renowned tile art school there.  So I wish Anthony the best of life in lakeside Chicago and a fabulous new career as an artist in the states.

The house he was in, next door in this same compound, has already been rented and soon I will meet my new neighbor and see what adventures that will bring! And very soon I could be greeting a new landlord, as the whole compound is for sale. I met one lovely couple moving here from Houston who are considering the purchase. They are originally from Louisiana and we hit it off when they visited as “fellow southerners.” It seems that people know immediately when I speak that I’m from “The South.” Wonder why?

We will see what happens. My current French Canadian landlords will still be in Atenas part time in a smaller house, with their main house being built on a Pacific Coast beach north of Jaco. And the now vacant house on the other side of me (Richard’s casita) has a couple moving in for two months that I met through my blog and the local evangelical church, Iglesia Biblical. Change is maybe the most consistent part of life! And it always brings new experiences and new friends! Pura vida!   🙂


The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam – It’s Us
Hoping non-subscribers to Christianity Today can get to this linked article by a Nigerian Christian. In many ways Africa is where Christianity is strongest today and there are many things Americans could learn from our African brethren! This article is a good example.

Oxcart Parade!

One of 200 or so colorful carts pulled by oxen in the annual Atenas parade.

As I had planned, I got a seat on the outside window bar at Gelly’s Restaurant for a front-row seat for the entire two hour parade including purchased food and drink! Best seat for parade and beats standing that long! It was packed! This is one of the big events in Atenas each year.

It began with horses . . .

As each oxen team got to us they paused in line waiting for their introduction
over a PA system and I assume some judging happened at that spot.

Runaway oxen! This team decided they wanted to leave this parade,
but the Boyero (team driver) managed to keep them in the parade,
after literally going in circles for a few minutes.

Some oxen teams were “in training” and had no cart to pull this time.

Several carts were filled with children having a ball!
Cart Drivers happily allowed for kid photos by doting parents.

Meanwhile the artisans never stopped trying to sell their wares. A big fiesta!
This Latin Crooner began some
beautiful singing as the parade ended.
And more until 10:30 each night!
And I doubt the clown every stopped! 

Tomorrow I leave early for Spanish class as I will stop by Crema y Nata Bakery to pick up a birthday cake I order for David Castillo, our Spanish teacher. Others are bringing drinks, plates, cups, etc. We might surprise him! Then it is back to getting my new house fixed the way I want it. A busy weekend and the new week could be too, though mostly slowing down.