Subscribe to Our Costa Rica Experience

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All About "Stuff" ... and Other Nonsense

        “Oh, the days dwindle down, to a precious few…” as the old torch song goes. And so it is with us as we wade through boxes, sell possessions and make plans for our last month here in the States before we return to Costa Rica and our idyllic life there. We thought we had a plan: We would each pack one large and one medium suitcase as checked bags, then have our two smaller carry-ons. But with each new box we brought from the barn, we found something else of value that one or the other of us felt would be “so handy” to have in Costa Rica. My three-piece set of mixing bowls, my old reliable food processor, the Emeril skillet, Layne’s good camera equipment, the whetstone and the good knives, the toaster, more clothes, more shoes, even perhaps my cowboy boots for possible horseback riding… and on and on it goes. Now we look at the suitcases and the pile of “stuff” and we realize we may have over-estimated our space. Some of this will just have to go back to the barn. One thing we learned in our three-month stay in Costa Rica is just how much “stuff” you can do without.

         Despite the pressures of packing and planning, we do find time to enjoy our life here. On Sunday, we went to see “The Pirates of Penzance” at the local community theater in Roseville. The old Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera was well staged with good choreography and the acting was quite credible, for a G & S comedy at least. Some of the vocalists were really spectacular, particularly the female lead whose operatic skills were stunning. Still, the pratfalls and campy script made the whole thing seem a little over-done. We almost left at intermission but fortunately, stuck it out as the second act was more entertaining than the first. When we got back to our car parked in the sun, the heat was incredible. Our temperature gauge read 122 degrees! It must have been that hot inside but as we drove back to Auburn, it slowly dropped to 104 as the outside reading. It made us long for the halcyon weather on our mountain outside Atenas.
         Between gardening duties and cat-sitting, we do stay busy here at Ruth’s. Happily, the “phantom cat” Abby has finally befriended us and now even sits on my lap and rubs up against my legs asking for pets. This is not to say he is altogether at ease with us here, but he does seem to have become desperate enough for human contact as to allow our attentions. Most of the time he still stays out of sight behind the big chair in the living room. Socks, on the other hand, has accepted us as substitute slaves, meowing loudly when it’s time for his curry-comb grooming each evening. Gardening chores have expanded with Layne’s desire to put in a full drip system for Ruth’s raised gardens in back. Today he laid the main ½” line, carefully hiding the tubing under rocks as it made the corner past the small fish pond and then began adding the ¼” lines to each plant. It’s a time-consuming project and a hot one as the sun reaches its zenith. My gardening job was weeding, not something I’m especially good at since I often confuse a weed with a treasured plant. When that was done, I retired to the kitchen to cook up a batch of hummingbird syrup. After all, we can’t let those little guys find a neighbor’s sugar source, now can we?
         Another task that fell to me today was cutting back the artichoke plant, which has provided Ruth with 8 or 10 sizeable fruit this year. The plant was a monster with long fronds and a trunk the size of a small tree. As I cut away the leaves, I discovered that one fruit had been lost in the foliage and had gone on to flower. Well! If you’ve never seen an artichoke flower, you’ve missed something pretty spectacular. Hundreds of tiny bright purple stalks about an inch tall, clustered together in the heart of the opened artichoke petals. And the fragrance? It was a musky sweet odor, extremely sensual in its depth and drama. What a delightful surprise!
         At least some of our efforts to unload ourselves of possessions has paid off: we sold the Prius! My beloved hybrid went to the sister of a good friend and she was delighted to get it. After delivering it to her doorstep up the road in Nevada City, we took a walk along Independence Trail above the Yuba River. Developed some years ago by a father for his wheelchair-bound daughter, it follows an old gold mining flume, the now-defunct Excelsior Canal, built in 1859 to carry water to a gold-mining operation 25 miles away. Mostly level and offering views of the Yuba River below, it took us through oak woodlands above the river valley. One dramatic feature was a huge boulder arrangement looming over the trail. My darling husband took it upon himself to shoulder the gigantic rock so I could safely walk underneath. My hero! 

No comments:

Post a Comment