Posted by: pennyinparadise | May 1, 2009

Hello 2009

How in the world can it be 2009?    When someone talks about the 80’s I still think that was yesterday!   It’s over 20 years since the 80’s…how can this be?    Well, there’s no choice but to keep on keepin on as the years roll by….so here’s a few things I’ve been up to so far in 2009.

The saddest part of the new year is that, on February 13 at 3:45 pm my step-dad, the marvelous Leon Wilson, transitioned to the other side of the veil.   He has been very ill for the last 3 years, and since November when I visited, he had gone further downhill.  I took the first plane I could get out of Ecuador and arrived in The Villages, FL 24 hours later.    Mother only had 9 years with Leon, but they were the best 9 years of her life.   She loved him dearly and he worshipped her.   Now she is alone once again.    Leon’s daughter, son, niece and nephew flew down for the funeral.   As he wished, he was cremated and there was a beautiful ceremony at the National Military Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.   Leon was a retired Naval Commander, having trained pilots in WW2, so both he and mother have the right to be buried there.  The ceremony was followed by a 21 gun salute, and presentation of the American flag to my mother.

Leon's Urn with Military Guard

Leon’s Urn with Military Guard

daughter Chris, mother, son Vernon, me, nephew Dan & his wife Paula, niece Toni

daughter Chris, mother, son Vernon, me, nephew Dan & his wife Paula, niece Toni

Here’s the last photo I took of Leon, on his birthday December 5, 2007.    After that his health was so poor that he didn’t want any more photos taken of him.    He will ALWAYS be in our deepest heart!

Leon's 83rd birthday, 15 months before his passing

Leon’s 83rd birthday, 15 months before his passing

Back in Cuenca, the Easter holidays brought much celebration.    There have been concerts in all the cathedrals, art shows and dancing in the streets.

Art show in the park

Art show in the park

Friend Natalie & me at crafts faire

Friend Natalie & me at crafts faire

symphony-chorus

People in the US and in Panama are always asking me about the food here…..so here are some of my favorite restaurants and their food!

Akelarre Bistro

Akelarre Bistro

Akelarre Courtyard

Akelarre Courtyard

Villa Rosa

Villa Rosa

Villa Rosa Interior

Villa Rosa Interior

Corvel in Paute

Corvel in Paute

Mediterraneo

Mediterraneo

Patio at Vino y Olivo

Patio at Vino y Olivo

El Rey del Mariscos

El Rey del Mariscos

And food…..you wanna see the food in Cuenca?   Well here is some.

Salad and Salmon

Salad and Salmon

Trouth with Seafood Sauce

Trout with Seafood Sauce

Mexican Food

Mexican Food

Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Wine Sauce

Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Wine Sauce

Chicken Dish (notice the popcorn....this is common here)

Chicken Dish (notice the popcorn….this is common here)

And still more seafood...

And still more seafood…

So, as you can see….we don’t starve here!

My very best friend in High Springs, FL is Judi Kearney…..she gave me the MOST fantastic 60th birthday 6 years ago and this April 26th was her 60th.   I decided it was an event I just couldn’t miss, but since I had assured her I was unable to attend (since I had just been there in February/March).   Our friend Joan Ashley kept the secret and I flew to Miami, rented a car and drove up for Judi’s party.   She almost fell over when I walked up to the fire circle where our women friends were celebrating with her, especially since I emailed her from Joan’s house that morning telling Judi how sorry I was I couldn’t be with her.   LIAR!!!  she called out to me and then threw a big hug around me.

Judi was REALLY surprised!

Judi was REALLY surprised!

My wonderful circle of friends celebrate Judi's 60th

My wonderful circle of  women friends celebrate Judi’s 60th

The next night we bbq'd at Judi's house...here she is with Joyce

The next night we bbq’d at Judi’s house…here she is with Joyce

Then, I drove down to my mom’s house and spent a night with her.

Mother and me....

Mother and me….

And finally, I ended up in Miami to fly back to Ecuador….spent time with my ex-husband, David Ripple.   It was great seeing him again!

David Ripple on his 65th birthday last year

David Ripple on his 65th birthday last year

I leave for Panama and will stay in beautiful home in Boquete for 6 weeks, turning the house over to a new tenant for another year.   It will be great to see my home, my friends and yes….if I can work up the courage to see the world’s most fabulous dog….Ms. Zap, I will do so.   I just don’t know if I can stand again having the broken heart I get when I leave her behind.  But her new parents love her and she is well cared for.

My friend Wanda Stoll has finally received word that her Residency Visa in Panama is ready to be picked up….she got in just under the wire last June when she visited.   We’ll meet in Panama City and fly together to David and then drive up to Boquete…she’ll spend a week with me and then return to the US….she still has a few years to work before retirement.  She is a good friend, and drove up from Miami for Leon’s funeral….

Wanda and me at Leon's funeral

Wanda and me at Leon’s funeral

I hope you all enjoy this posting, and remember…..COME ON DOWN!!


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