Earthquakes and visas and containers, oh my!

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So it’s been awhile since I have updated my blog. No one told me that retirement was going to be so hectic. It seems that there is always something going on!

First, there was the big earthquake April 16 that did great damage north of here but spared us. Thanks to all of you who checked in to make sure we were OK down here. Just a few more cracks, but our container had not arrived at that point so no broken glass. It shook for almost a minute so it was scary but no real issue anywhere south of Manta. We’ve had a couple of after shocks, but all quiet now for several weeks.

Getting the container was a highlight of April! It’s good to have familiar things, meaningful treasures and color! Why can’t any move of mine be simple? Tractor trailers can’t go up the mountain in Dalton and here in Ecuador, the container couldn’t come into the subdivision. Human bungee cords held all the stuff on that tiny truck as it made endless trips up the hill to the house. The miracle is that it was unloaded in less than 3 hours and only 3 unimportant ceramic serving pieces were broken. Hats off to Shipper Joe in Cuenca for making the whole process fairly painless and by EC standards very fast.

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The Caples arrived just after the container and so for a really pleasant week we ate seafood, lounged around and enjoyed life at the beach. Their visit was way too short, but I bet they will be back.

Then there were the endless days of construction on the deck addition. Like every project I am involved in, there was “scope creep” like adding a sidewalk. Hey, how about making a retaining wall under the deck and oh, let’s put a floor in it. So after another month, the deck is done and landscaping in about half way there. This is what $650 of plants look like in Ecuador!

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And then there was the whirlwind trip back to the States for Memorial Day. It turns out that Fitz was not made for Ecuador living. Falling off the roof was a sign that maybe he was better off in Tennessee with Ann. It’s appropriate that her house was built as a foundling home during the Great Depression. Fitz is not really an orphan, but I just couldn’t keep him. Yes, I miss the little guy, but he is having great fun in his new home. He loves playing with his “brother and sister” and following Ann’s every step.

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So, it’s good to be home in Rio Chico and I hope that soon I’ll have more time to write. I do enjoy sharing the adventure and there are many stories left to tell!

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