Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's All About the Weather

On Remigio Crespo there's a Fybeca & just down the street from there is what we call the "spice store". We had walked to the spice store Friday morning to pick up some pecans but they were out. We then stopped into the Fybeca to pick up an item and they didn't have it in stock either. It'd been raining that morning but the sun was out & shining hot and although we had to walk Fredi around puddles it was more of a game than anything. We could have thought our time out was wasted but we didn't. With the sun shining, the air clear because of the morning rain, a blue sky & a happy puppy on a leash nothing seems a waste.

Both Brian & Shelley worked full time from the time they were teenagers until retirement. There are as many ways to go into retirement as there are people retiring. Nothing is right or wrong. Our life is pretty placid. We go for our daily walk, have a holiday every 3 or 4 months, eat out once a week and have people over to our place from time to time. Some of our friends find work for themselves in retirement. This is what gives them pleasure. Others travel extensively. Still others discover the internet and go into the world that way. We know one fairly young couple that seem to have a whole world of pleasure in sitting in the park downtown and just watching the people go by. Always pleasant, always there, we chat from time to time and then continue on our walk. There are those that go into retirement and find no pleasure. This is just wrong. If it doesn't suit you, there's a whole world of things that require your presence. Go out and find them! As for us, we're pretty content. After two lifetimes of working, and struggling with ups & downs, we're still and constantly amazed at where we are and how much joy it brings us!

Because it's Ecuador & because we're retired, we have a tendency to make "expeditions" out of certain purchases. On Saturday we hopped on the # 28 bus to go out to Coral Centro & SuperStock. We were looking for a set of sheets somewhere between the two sets of prices we'd so far encountered ($7 & $150). We were also on a quest for a metal loaf pan. We'd found a pyrex one but preferred the metal if we could find one. Brian & Fredi went for a walk and Shelley went into SuperStock. There she found a perfectly good set of 300 count sheets for $50. Leaving the store, we walked down to Coral Centro and Shelley stayed outside with Fredi while Brian went exploring. He came out with a metal loaf pan & two blocks of Kraft Cheddar Cheese. You have to understand that cheddar cheese is very difficult to find in Ecuador, so this discovery made our day red letter!

There was a young couple at the main park on Sunday singing childrens' songs and the crowd really seemed to enjoy them. There was much laughing and tittering. We sat in front of 3 stuffed horses and watched the photographer take pictures of young children. He has a pretty good digital camera and a small picture printer that he carries over to the single plug provided by the park. We sat in the sun for 40 minutes and no one we knew walked by, so off we went to get Brian his roast pig. Monday we shopped and Shelley made Microwave Cheesecake as we're having company on Tuesday. We still have several Tuesdays to go before we're caught up on our obligations, but we're having fun doing it, so that's what counts. Brian's getting confused over what he's served to whom...but Shelley's not worried about it.

Off we went Tuesday morning to the CB Carolina Bookstore to trade in our usual 10 books. We talked to someone there about moving to Ecuador with only 4 suitcases ("One of them filled with books.") When we first came we thought we might have to buy books through the internet & put up with shipping, duty & credit card purchases, etc. We can't express how much we appreciate this English language bookstore right here in Cuenca. The proprietors are wonderful people and there's actually a pretty decent collection of books.

Upon arriving home, Brian ate lunch and had his nap and then we set out prepping for our company that evening. Brian made his meat loaf (2 hamburger, 1 ground pork & whatever spices he feels like that day, stuffed with cheese & topped with ketchup). Shelley made salmon pate appetizers (apparently we like variety). Nothing was rushed, nothing was onerous. Company came, we ate, we talked, we ate some more, we talked some more and lastly we ate some more....OK, not lastly, we talked after that. It was a nice evening with nice people and we had a nice time.

Shelley wanted to pick up some chocolate and the best place for us to get good Ecuadorian bulk chocolate is Feria Libre so on Thursday we took a walk there. Shelley needed a cup of melted chocolate for a recipe she wants to try and after buying it she checked with Brian if he thought it'd be enough for a cup. She was advised she had at least 4 cups there. It cost $4. On the way home we let Fredi free walk near the river and she had an absolutely delightful time.

They've been issuing UV warnings here the last little while and it certainly is hot when you're out walking around. Back in Canada people are very concerned about the daylight savings time change and the spring equinox. Here in Ecuador however, it's pretty much equinox all year round, with sunrise at 6:30 a.m. and sunset at 6:30 p.m., give or take half an hour. Shelley discovered by reading, that only people with "weather" talk about the weather. If one day is pretty much like the next, there's not much to discuss, but in Canada where you go from extreme cold to extreme hot throughout the seasons, there's always something to start a conversation with.

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