Monday, July 26, 2010


It's been a little over six weeks since we first arrived in Cuenca -- our new home. And today, I reflected on what this new life change has meant for us (the good and the bad!).

It's not an easy decision to leave family and friends, travel 2,800 miles, learn a new language and experience a new culture unless you're really sure it's what you're supposed to be doing.

Last week, I received several e-mails from readers who asked me to be honest about what this change has meant for us.

Some flat out told me that they could never leave their children (or grandchildren -- even if they didn't have any!). It would simply be too difficult. I wholeheartedly agree. It has been the single hardest thing we have ever leave our boys. And if I'm really honest, there are days when I want to rush back on a plane so I can give them a hug! As you know, boys don't express their emotions (that often) and sometimes it's hard for me to "read" what they're thinking. But for the most part, those days don't overwhelm me like they did in the beginning. I can actually look at their pictures and not cry. Remember: We left three days after our son's wedding (not great planning on our part). 

But as with all of life, we take the good with the bad and I must say that there's so much to be thankful for here in Cuenca: low cost of living, perpetual spring, lots of sunshine with scattered showers to make things green, a wonderfully diverse and caring culture, great food, fireworks every night, amazing healthcare, and a whole host of new friends. As a writer, I find myself crafting a series of novels -- in my head -- set in this incredible place. Then Mark "smacks" me out of my daydreaming and says, "Stop're retired!"

"Yep, you got that right!" I bounce back.

But if I had to pinpoint the single greatest gift of all, it's been the joy of spending time with my hubby of almost 35 years. In the States we were always rushing around, trying to meet obligations and hoping there was enough money at the end of the month instead of the other way around! It's a privilege to be able to retire "young" (meaning in our 50's). Mark and I are closer now than we have ever been (we actually sleep in the same bed!). His snoring doesn't even bother me anymore.

The other day Mark leaned over and whispered in my ear, "You have really pretty eyes!" We were eating ice cream at our favorite place -- Tutto Freddo -- as my "fresa" (strawberry) ice cream dripped off the cone. Mark reached over and licked off the scoop that was about to topple over and our eyes met. That's when I knew...we had actually fallen in love again! 

Mark grabbed my hand and we walked across the street to Parque Calderon. We lingered  for over an hour -- just holding hands -- not saying a word...reflecting on the second chance we've been given!

I know it sounds crazy, afterall we're 55 years old and we've been married for 35 years, but I still believe that love can have new beginnings. I'm so thankful that "Cuenca" has given us ours.

It's a good reflect!

Until next time...Hasta luego!

Marco y Consuelo


Holly said...

We also live in Cuenca without our kids (21 yrs and 18 yrs) so we know exactly what you mean about missing them. It's a bit of a dilemma, isn't it? Wanting to enjoy life to the fullest but also feeling the pull of family back "home". All I can say is thank goodness for Skype and air miles!

CoastLights said...

Thanks for such interesting posts. I am a recently retired librarian (59) and my husband will soon retire (58). We are intrigued with the idea of spending time in Cuenca part of the year - currently live in Florida. We are somewhat accustomed to foreign cultures as we were military and lived overseas in Europe and Asia. Is it easy to find a good rental apt. or condo in the Centro? We would love to come down there and check it out! If you have time, you can reply to me at If you are too busy, I totally understand. Will continue to follow your blog. -Susan

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