Sunday, February 24, 2013

Please Don’t Taaaaake My Sunshine Away ♪♫

A barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather. Numerous measurements of air pressure are used within surface weather analysis to help find surface troughs, high pressure systems, and frontal boundaries.

I am a human barometer.  I measure sunshine. These sunlight measurements forecast short term changes in my climate.  Changes may occur quickly and often.  This winter season has been seriously short on sunshine and I have spent most of my time in a trough – a butt trough on the couch.  Now and then the clouds will part, I will be showered in sunshine and, in a microburst of energy, I will accomplish all kinds of things in a whirlwind of activity.

Unfortunately for my equilibrium level, clouds reappear, the sky becomes overcast, the sun disappears and it either snows more or the wind blows harder or it gets even colder – or all three.  That's when I crawl from the trough toward a frozen depression – and bake.  I bake sandwich bread and dinner rolls and kolaches and cookies and brownies and muffins – because baking is warm and comforting.  And then I eat what I baked.  

I need sunshine. The extended outlook isn't good. That trough in the couch is getting snug.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Mo' Joe Please

After we waved goodbye to pina coladas, the beach and the sandflies (I completely forgot to mention those in my last post) we spent the next three days lounging at Abby and Jorge’s home in Quevedo.  And when I say lounging, I mean literally sitting on our butts on the couch, in the hammock, out in the yard reading, playing on the computer, or petting Navy Bean the cat or Maggie the dog while Abby scurried around cooking us breakfast and lunch and dinner and washing our laundry and generally just catering to us.  I did feel some twinges of guilt now and then, like when I had to lift my feet so she could sweep under me, but I pretty much just thought, “maybe this letting your kids take care of you in your old age thing won’t be so bad after all.”  


When we weren’t being total slugs we went with them to their favorite haunts.  Now when Abby tells me they ate lunch at Ninos or dinner at El Toro or she just got back from grocery shopping at the mall or they spent the afternoon walking Maggie along the river ...


... I can picture where they are.  It helps me pretend they are closer to me.

 We left Quevedo and drove up into the highlands through some of the most beautiful scenery you could ever see on our way to Cuenca.  Our hotel was across the street from one of the many cathedrals that fill the city.  The morning after we arrived, I laid in bed and listened to the muted singing of the worshipers as it began to slowly swell and flow from the cathedral into my room.  After having spent all night kneeling on hard, cold tile worshiping The Porcelain God, the peaceful blending of their voices soothed and comforted me.  Abby and Jorge brought me flowers and mints and medicine and Gatorade and wrinkled their brows in worry.   I did walk around a bit during the afternoon but that pretty much took it out of me so instead of getting to see this with Abby and Jorge and Dean as they walked to dinner, I sat in bed and ate a dry roll.

At least I didn't miss the largest, brightest, most sparkly Christmas nativity scene ever.

The day I managed to find the strength to go shopping I saw two medicine women in the market.  I wasn’t sure if they were healing people or warding off future illness but whichever it was, people were lined up waiting for the opportunity to be slapped with a bunch of herbs that smelled so strong my eyes nearly watered even though I was standing several feet away.  After my recent infirmity I was still feeling a bit green about the gills but I figured if being whacked about the body and head by a bunch of herbs would make me feel better I was all for it, even if it meant standing in line with shaky legs.  And then I saw one of the healers take a large drink of some special liquid and spew it out straight into the face of her patient―and I changed my mind.  

If only we'd pushed Dean to the front of the line for some protective mojo........

Want to see more of Cuenca?  You can bore yourself to tears here.