Trip to Sedona, AZ

Roberto and I saw Sedona on our recent Road Scholar trip but missed the Grand Canyon when I got sick and left the trip early. Here are some photos of the area around Sedona and our one train ride on the Verde Canyon Railway.

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The Beauty of Central Texas in April; Who Knew?

I’m settling in here in central Texas. Have a bad case of foot rot that I got from who knows where. Very painful. I’ve discovered that April is a beautiful time of year here. Tons of wildflowers by the side of roads. So today I got out to take some photos. Enjoy!

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Noisy, Nosey Parrots

Staying at Roberto’s family compound in Cartagena, this is what I wake up to every morning–three parrots with a lot to say.

And here’s my poem about them.

The Entertainers

Cramped and dilapidated cage

on the patio floor. Three green parrots

stare out. Wings clipped to thwart their nature.

Paco, Pepe, and Jay munch on sunflower

seeds, hang upside down, do pull-ups

with their beaks and crap in their water bowl.

Estupido and torpe, they scold.

They know a lot that goes on here.

Sometimes they sing, in chorus. Lovely

sweet voices. Next minute,

rude curses. You’re screwed,

they yell in Spanish, over and over.

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Not Forgotten

Have you ever left a place and found that it stayed with you irrepressibly?007

A Memory Now

My Colombian farm, nestled

in a savannah where egrets fly,

sold a month ago. A piece of me

sits there in that tall red flower

on a single stem. My mother’s

ashes in the field among the growing

yuca. Six a.m. coffee shared

with my husband, watching

the twittering birds on the ground.

We will no longer be there to wave

to farmers who pass by early morning

and again in evening.

Will the new owner appreciate what I loved most?

The three-sided terrace,  pink and white blossoms

along the fence, frog  songs at night, the seductive

scent of guava. Will he draw strength from the stalwart

mango trees, swaying coconut palms,

squash scurrying along the ground?

Will he notice the morphing shades of pink

on the exterior of the house as the sun

changes perspective?

I think of these things in quiet

moments before sleep.

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Are New Year’s Resolutions Necessary?

042Here we are in 2015 ready to turn over a new leaf, swear to be a better person, and do all the things we promised to do in 2014 but never got to.

How about trying this instead? Don’t make any resolutions or set any intentions. Simply accept each day as it comes, doing our best for that day only, or not. The important thing is to be present in each and every moment–forget the past and your particular “story.” Forget the future, since that’s not where life happens. Wake up each morning excited to see what your life will bring you. There are lots of gifts in the present.

Much love to all my readers. Enjoy 2015!!

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Safely Back in the USA

Brownie, Nikita, and Rambo arrived in Roberto’s arms yesterday after a successful relocation from Cartagena, Colombia to Caldwell, Texas. Roberto left Cartagena on Friday, 12/19, and so did the dogs. But theirs was a more circuitous journey that took them to Bogota before Houston. It was good that the three of them could stay together. That probably helped to ease their anxiety. Here are  photos of the reunion.

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They said, “WE LOVE YOU, DADDY.”

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Farm Sold…….Robbed

007Today I left the farm with sadness in my heart knowing that our beautiful oasis is no longer ours. We completed the sale about a week ago, selling to a man from Cartagena with a large family. His cousin had already bought some property at the beginning of the road. The area is starting to get built up and, within a year, won’t be tranquil anymore, so it was time to go.

Our front yard when it rains

Our front yard when it rains

Tuesday night when Roberto was alone on the farm, and it was pouring rain, three men with heads covered and brandishing knives broke in. They searched everywhere and took whatever money they found. The dogs growled and barked so the thieves put them in a room. I’m glad I wasn’t there for they could have used me in a number of ways, including kidnapping. I was staying in Cartagena that night. I am extremely grateful that neither Roberto or the dogs were harmed. They took Roberto’s cell phone and a few small things besides our money, but by what they said to Roberto, he knew at least one had come to the farm before and lived in town. Of course, he got the police involved but so far no leads.

Roberto is going back to the States, our three dogs too, and I’m staying on to avoid the winter months. I’ll be staying with Roberto’s family in Cartagena with better internet service, and I will continue my blog.

016The robbery left a bitter taste. I wish it wasn’t one of our last memories. I loved our year there and I loved the house we built. Eating and drinking our own fresh fruit, watching the dogs devour coconuts, cooking ahuyama (pumpkin squash) from our garden, observing the most beautiful sunsets, listening to and watching the many birds, bats, and lizards will remain in my mind. I’m sure they’ll be more adventures in our future.

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