Monday, February 8, 2010

Cold Feet?

The "Blizzard of 2010" has passed! Technically, it can't be called a "blizzard" because it fell short of three hours of sustained winds of 35 MPH! So what? It sure felt like a blizzard! All I know is we live in an igloo!

Yesterday I had too much time to think and started to get "cold" feet. I was cleaning out drawers, closets, and sorting through old photo albums. Did I mention I was a Creative Memories Scrapbooker?

So I called my mom in California and said, "I'm sending you the photos -- okay?"

"What photos?" asked my mom tentatively.

"You know...the ones that contain my heart and soul!"

"Oh, those! Go ahead and send them and I'll make sure they have a nice 'home.'"

That was it -- I burst into tears! Not over "materialistic" stuff (that can be replaced!), but photos that cannot. I spent well over 300 hours on my parent's 50th anniversary album. Who does that sort of thing?


This morning, I'm over it. Cold feet for one day didn't last long! I separated the albums and will take a few pictures: one from our wedding, one of the boys as babies, and Jon's wedding picture in May (that's it!).

Problem solved.

Lately, I've been on a lot of forums and gained some useful information. Because Cuenca, Ecuador has been named #1 place to retire by International Living, there has been a vast amount of interest in this place. Actually, we knew about it 10 years ago when Mark's sister lived there for eight years and fell in love with the place. We always thought we would retire in Sicily where we lived for six years, but several trips to Europe this past year made me realize that wasn't going to happen.

So we started to explore the possibility once again of Cuenca, Ecuador. As in Sicily, you need an insider. We have one (I think!). You need someone from Cuenca (not a realtor), but rather a person from Cuenca who speaks both English and Spanish, who knows the culture and the inside track. It's not that much different from Sicily (in that regard!).

Like Sicily, it's not what you know, but who you know! There are condos, apartments and homes for sale, but unlike America there are no "for sale" signs, you just need to ask, watch the moving van, and ask around. "Se vende" signs are in windows (maybe), but most people don't want to risk keeping a place vacant and having things robbed.

In Sicily, we found our "villa" on the Mediterranean by word of mouth. Without a doubt it was the most gorgeous place in the world and we have treasured memories there. But we will put that behind us because "nothing" will ever come close to that (ever!). People would come to visit us and say, "So this is what heaven on earth is all about!" Yes, it was heaven and I'm so thankful our son was born there and we have those memories to sustain us for life.

In language school, we learned something very important in our cross-cultures class, "It's not wrong; it's just different!"

When you go into a new culture, don't compare! Don't say "guinea pig" is something I would never eat, but instead say, "Hmm...might have to try that some day!" It's not wrong or right; it's just different. I never thought I would eat "blood sausage" and I did (not right away though!).

Keep an open mind and don't get cold feet (it will pass!).

Until next time...hasta luego!

Connie and Mark

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