Too Many Christmas Activities! :-)

Last night I went to the Christmas Dinner with live music at El Balcon del Cafe for a great meal

featuring a Christmas Ham! And a huge assortment of Christmas Cookies! But the best part was joining a lady from my second Spanish class and her 84 year old friend Jean who will become my new next door neighbor tomorrow! She is moving in the house that my sculpture friend Anthony left for his adventures in Spain and Morocco. It is a contemporary with lots of glass to the right of my house as the casita (little house) of another property owner, different landlord.

After the party my taxista had trouble getting through the traffic and bands for the big parade as part of that evening’s Festival de la Luz or Festival of Lights which begins the Christmas celebrations here. I’m now sorry I did not stay downtown for it because I learned later that it is the biggest celebration of the year in Atenas with a stage featuring constant musical entertainment, many booths with crafts and other vendors, the parade, and fireworks. But I was tired and had projects I was working on and decided to go on home. I heard most of it and saw part of the fireworks from my terrace. Next year I will not miss this!

Today our Su Espacio Spanish Class had our Christmas Party Lunch at Fred & Susan’s house two hills over from mine with their swimming pool being the big attraction for most, but also a great lunch! 

I was the only one not in a swim suit – just not my thing!

Thursday after the last Spanish Class at Iglesia Biblica we all go to La Finca Pizza for our end of year celebration and Christmas Party. A new friend and I are having lunch next week and then on Christmas Day I am joining other friends at a nearby hotel restaurant for a big Christmas Dinner again! At Hotel Colinas del Sol. I’m having trouble finding my needed solitude!  🙂


8 Great Holiday Songs in Spanish in case you think “Feliz Navidad” is the only one!  🙂

Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. – Helen Steiner Rice

Thanksgiving Plus Improved Numbers: 49.4, 49.6, 51.2, 48.8, and 46.8

“View from a Costa Rica Cloud Forest”
My photo from the September trip to Talamanca Mountains & Quetzales Park.

It is a THANKSGIVING time for me the way wonderful friends are loving on me as I’m about to leave! Tonight’s going away party at the apartment of Frances Carver was wonderful with super good food by her daughter Kay and help from her son-in-law Ed. They are such great friends and the time together was special!

And the numbers? Well those are this afternoon’s weights of the five suitcases with only one coming in over 50 pounds, so I’m about to get there as I continue to adjust and remove items like the iron skillet that I pulled today! Weird you think? Well it was the only cooking utensil I felt valuable enough to take, but they have utensils in the furnished apartment and I will be able to buy things like that there. The biggest adjustment in my suitcases today was taking the 26 pounds of file folders in my Tupperware-like file box out of a suitcase and shipping it via my Miami address. I’m hoping it will get there within a month! And worth the high price I’m paying! I guess what we choose to keep or take with us on a downsizing move like this tells a lot about our priorities.  🙂

I sold my car Friday and Monday I am wiring more than 20% of the income from it to the Costa Rica shipping company as a “deposit” on the shipping of the 57 boxes of art and books. Everybody wants my money now, but after getting settled and the residency paperwork behind me, that will hopefully slow down.

If you haven’t already signed up for the email version of this blog, do so now in the right panel near top and each new post will come to you as an email.

And by the way, I am so happy about President Obama’s announcement on Cuba where I hope to travel again, remembering my wonderful trip with AZAD two years ago. Now if congress will just get off their rear-ends and stop the stupid blockade, the U.S. might become a humanitarian country again. Oops! Getting political which I promised myself I would not in these blogs. But . . . I am looking forward to living in a country that has no enemies and no military or military industrial complex.  🙂

The Joy and Grace of Friends! And Let’s try Skype!

Collared Redstart
I photographed at Trogon Lodge in September
Also call the collared whitestart, it is a
tropical New World warbler endemic to the
mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama. 

Not only am I on the plane in 9 days, and my boxes were picked up today for shipping to Costa Rica, but the last few days have been an outpouring of love from friends here in Nashville, my home and family for the last 38 years! The Senior Adult SAALT Council at First Baptist gave me the biggest party at their last meeting with fun gifts and a beautiful cake by Kelly Porch with a camera and Costa Rica Flag on it! The Spanish Class sent me off last Thursday also and Saturday a party with my Sunday school class. The Christmas cards are nearly all thank you notes and farewell cards on top of Christmas Joy plus other farewells here at McKendree. One family takes me to lunch tomorrow and Saturday night a dear 91 year old lady friend is giving me a little party in her apartment. I am blessed!

I’m overwhelmed with love and the grace that goes with it (unmerited favor). I could start feeling guilty about leaving such a great support group – my Nashville family! Yet I am following my heart and believe this is God’s will and a fitting climax to my life of adventure as I truly try to obey God, allow Him to be central in my life and simplify living to an experience that pleases Him and me! I’m already feeling a new freedom without so much stuff to keep up with! Hopefully there I will figure out a way to diminish the quantity of art and books which is what I shipped. And maybe even reduce the amount of clothing.  🙂

Email will be the best way to communicate or stay in touch with me along with reading my blogs and commenting on them. I have also added a Skype account which means free phone calls with those of you who are also on Skype. I have even added the extra feature of a phone number you can call from any phone, but there is a cost for me on that. The number is with a middle TN area code: 615-649-4486. If I’m not at my computer when you call, I think it goes to a recorded message. NOW IF YOU ARE ON SKYPE, LET’S SET A TIME TO PRACTICE BEFORE I’M OVERSEAS. Most of the nights between now and Christmas Eve are available except Saturday, but we need to agree on a time to both be online for it to work.

Chao! Hasta pronto on Skype!