Friday, August 18, 2006


As you can see by the photograph above, one of our cats (Simpson) is ready to move, even though we won't begin the trek from one home to another until August 29th. The other cat, Mabel, hasn't offered an opinion. My son is rarin' to go, my wife is packing, and I'm ambivalent about it all.

It isn't that I don't want to move. It's time for a move, for some very good reasons. It's just that I know I am going to miss the freedom to walk around in total privacy in my back yard, to look at trees, shrubbery and flowers without interruption from chatty neighbours, door-to-door hucksters, or any number of other possible irritants. I don't mind as much being accosted in the front yard. I figure there I am fair game. In my back yard, I want to be invisible. I want to be left alone with my thoughts, my dreams and, occasionally, my reminiscences.

My new back yard isn't designed for privacy. As it surrounds a house which isn't even completely finished yet, eleven days from closing, it has nary a tree, no shrubbery and no flowers. I guess that means I will have something to do after we unpack, right after I take a two-week nap. We are waiting 12 days after we take possession of our new home to surrender our old house to the new owners. That will give us a leisurely period in which to move, sort, unpack, etc. At least that's the theory. I know that in reality there will still be boxes waiting to be unpacked when Christmas rolls around again.

Two days after we turn over our old home and say our final goodbyes, I am off to Panama again. My two partners and I will be meeting with several potential investors in the Boquete area, setting up bank accounts, signing stacks of papers, and visiting our Roca Milagro site near Rovira Arriba. We are still hoping that by next spring we will have the approvals we need to start building roads and other infrastructure. In the meantime, we are raising money, selling pre-development building lots, etc. If you have just won a lottery and have money to burn, send some my way. Become an investor in the project, or buy some building lots at bargain basement prices. Or just send me good wishes. I'll take them too, gratefully. At this point, almost everything we are doing in connection with the project is frustrating. The real fun will start when we get in the road graders, the asphalt trucks, the water cisterns and purification system, and delineate the individual building lots. I wish we were at the stage now, but I guess it will come soon enough.

As I write this, my computer's MP3 player is playing Gary Moore's 'Picture of the Moon.' It is strangely appropriate with its melancholy, minor key, guitar leads. Transitions in life deserve reflection and I sure am reflective today. I am only happy that my transitions are good ones, and not laden with trauma, pain and loss.

Well, maybe an itty-bitty, tiny bit of loss. I sure will miss that old yard.


  1. To me, moves are traumatic, even in the best of circumstances. Maybe because I like security, an elusive concept at best, so very much. I like what's familiar. I like what's become mine.

    Eventually, the new home becomes familiar. One's own.

    I hope, being somewhat of an introvert, there aren't well meaning but overbearing neighbors descending upon you every time you step outside.

    I wish I could move as easily as your cat.

  2. And if you have to put up with a damned neighborhood association where you're moving, God have mercy on your soul, because it's pretty certain they won't.
    Here's the deal: You drop a quarter to a half million on a freaking dump that's shoddily constructed and you have more trouble with once it's built than if you'd bought someone else's problem, then if you want to put a shed or a pool in your back yard or an amateur radio or satelite dish on your roof, some upper-society dame or group of them that never worked a day in her life is beating down your front door with an endless cacauphany of unwritten rules you have to comply with because you live on the same block as these altruistic, do-gooding egotists...
    Thank you, NO!!!

  3. I've read about those neighbourhood associations. Thankfully, they are rare in Canada, at least around here. When they are present it is more in a condo environment.

    'Covenants' are becoming standard, even in Candada. There you agree to do or not to do certain things. Many of the individual points in agreements are ignored. No-one really cares (around here) if your garden shed is 6" taller than allowed, etc., but just in case, the builder can produce a contract saying 'I told you so.'

    I hate busybodies of any stripe. Thankfully, I haven't had more than a couple in all the years that I have been alive, or in the many places I have lived.