|Life-giving Rain! Hard to photograph, but easy to accept!|
I rushed to plant my garden the first week of May because I understood that the rainy season started in May and it would be raining every day. Well, I have been watering plants almost everyday with only a few good rains thus far and none the last 4 or 5 days. Well, I watered this morning and this afternoon we got a long, soaking rain which I hope is the beginning of a near daily event. Then it started again this evening, so our longest rain yet this year. And now I know why they call it winter this season, it is cold during the rain.
|Ate lunch around the corner from these trees at the Catholic Church Atenas|
There probably is no such thing as a “typical” day in anyone’s life, never-the-less mine! But this relaxed Monday in Atenas, Costa Rica seems worth reporting as almost one for me.
As always, I was awakened early by the birds singing, but stayed in bed until about 6:30 when I got up for a shower, breakfast of fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and some Costa Rica Coffee, while overlooking a vista of the Atenas Valley and mountains, and watching birds in my trees. I put all the trash in one big bag making it easier to take to the gate and put in our big metal basket where we place only bagged trash for pickup.
With a backpack of Spanish learning materials, sunglasses, and my Panama Hat today (David calls it my “bonita sombrero.”) I walk the 1.1 mile under a sunny blue sky at around 80 degrees to my Spanish class in town. It is always a fun 2+ hours with two new students today and the temporary loss of others who are traveling for awhile. After class I walk back to my old apartments, Hacienda La Jacaranda, to return two cups I accidentally packed with my stuff and pick up my last electric bill there.
Then I walk to the center of town to the Post Office to see if a letter has arrived that was sent 4 weeks ago from the states. It has not. Make a note to tell people to use the Miami PO Box to get mail to me quicker! Then two blocks away (or here we would say 200 meters) to the Vargas & Sons Hardware for a couple of items I need for the house. Then I decide to eat lunch out today since I have not in awhile, preparing most of my meals at home. I was going to try a new place but it is closed on Monday, so I go to my old standby Tico restaurant, La Carreta.
For a little over $5 I get a casado (plate lunch) of fish, beans, rice, mixed veggies, and instead of my usual green salad, I choose the Picadillo de vainica y zanahoria, (right click on site for English Translation) always liking to try something new and it was great! Its a green beans and carrots relish or salad with delicious seasoning, my favorite item on the plate today. As always here, the meal was served on a banana leaf in a tray. But of course that was not all for this sweet tooth guy! For just the second time for me I ordered a Lechemulla which is their version of the Horchata rice & milk drink, but they use vanilla ice cream instead of milk which adds to the cinnamon flavoring and wow is it good! During all this delicious eating, I’m both watching people walk down the street and reading more in the lengthy Lord of the Rings book. I finished both the Happier than a Billionaire books which were fun, but I’ve had enough of Nadine & Rob for awhile! And yes, the Rings books are heavy and lengthy, but also some great writing and story-telling! My Kindle Fire says the typical reading time for it is 27 hours and I’m about half-way through.
Then I walk all the way back past Su Espacio, where my Spanish class took place, to CoopeAtenas supermarket for my little shopping list and pay the electric bill. While finishing there it begins to rain really hard. So I call a cab for the trip home with enough groceries that walking would have been tough anyway. It was about $2 for the taxi.
It was a good long rain, more than usual, that I’m sure made my new flower garden happy. Sun is shining now. After writing this, I have some bookkeeping to do, then may read or try to photograph birds from the balcony or walk with camera through the neighborhood. By then a sunset snack and more reading or time on the computer before bed. I haven’t watched a single TV show here and no Netflix movies since moving to new house. Real life is more fun! Plus I’m working on three different books and about to have my shipped boxes delivered, so never a dull moment! And I have done very little of the traveling around Costa Rica I expected to be doing by now. Maybe soon!
I’m looking at the Strangler Fig Tree outside my office window and continue to be amazed that I really am living in Costa Rica! It is not paradise or perfect by any means, but it brings me more joy and relaxation than any place I have ever lived. The rain just cooled it off, the birds are singing happily while I smile and think to myself what a wonderful decision it was to move to Costa Rica! Pura Vida!
|View from my bedroom window (between the power lines) during the afternoon rain today.|
The fact that there are power lines, houses, and a street below this scene doesn’t diminish its beauty for me, even though an uncluttered view like this would be nice! This is looking west at end of today’s rain. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” said Oliver Pratt, and that is why I like this kind of selective photography. And yes, it’s a compilation of 4 shots merged into a panorama. Fun!
“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.”
-Salma Hayek (emphasis mine)
“Your beauty . . . should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
God help me to have a gentle and quiet spirit that people might see your beauty in me! -Charlie
|Yellow Bells Trees Shedding Blooms
Sunny Sidewalk in Atenas
I walk in the sunshine under the Yellow Bell trees for a late lunch and early dinner out to try the ribs at the Don Yayo Chicharonerra Cafe. Beautiful day with some rain clouds in the sky like we’ve had for weeks with no rain, so of course it will not rain. Well, while eating we got our first rain of the year (not counting one little shower) and it was a “gully washer” as we would say back in Arkansas. I took a photo but rain doesn’t seem to show up in my photos. The streams and canyons were gushing as I walked home.
We were very dry and having grass fires, so we really needed the rain! But it was so unexpected that I left my apartment windows open AND my laundry drying out on the balcony! Guess what? Some floors got mopped and my clothes went back through the spin cycle with hopefully some sun tomorrow. This is a case for the electric dryer in my new house and almost reason enough by itself for the move! 🙂 Can hardly wait!
Then after clean up of the rain, I got this “After the Rain” photo of rain fog on the horizon. Hope I get as many photo ops from the new balcony! I just love nature, even in the middle of a town.
|“After the Rain” from my balcony, Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica|
My new word today is usually referring to animal dormancy, particularly butterflies in the pupae stage. I’m not in a pupae, unless you call my apartment that, but after preparation for two differents sets of visitors and a particularly full week with Kevin, I’ve kind of pulled into my apartment and mostly resting, reading, and taking care of just necessary business – not running all over Costa Rica looking for birds to photograph! This pre-sunset photo kind of symbolizes my diapause. It frequently looks like rain without ever doing it. It makes me look forward to May when the rain actually starts. It is very dry and grass fires are common.
|Rain Clouds that Don’t Rain!
Atenas, Costa Rica
It is fun to just sit on my balcony, watch the town below me, the sky, the birds and listen to the howler monkeys who are hollering as I type. Click to hear them yourself: Mantled Howler Monkey Oh, go ahead! Click it and listen for 20 seconds! I hear every morning & evening.
|Male Howler Monkey
Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica
My photo made by me here at the apartments in a tree along the river
And by the way, it is pretty easy to rest this week as most every business has closed already or will after today for Holy Week. No Spanish Class either! Semana Santa.
|An unusual Dry Season Rain moves over the mountains this afternoon.
It was the first rain in my nearly 8 weeks here. Rainy Season starts in May.
|Sunset Saturday Night – No two Are alike!|
All my maintenance issues were solved over a week ago and the management is really looking good for the apartment complex – but you know – even if they weren’t, I might want to stay here just for the views from my front porch! I’ve never had front porch views like this!
And if you start comparing and doubt they are all made from the same balcony, remember that I zoom in and out a lot AND occasionally use 3 photos merged, like the rain one at top here. For example, the large lone tree on the left in the top photo is the same tree barely protruding the skyline in the bottom photo, just smaller below. 🙂 Fun! Pura Vida!