Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from a warm tropical 94 degrees in Panama City, Panama. He and She just returned from a nice Christmas brunch at the Intercontinental Hotel. Naturally, dogs were not allowed, so I slept. (On their bed, but don’t tell them that.) Today is hot, so we all slept in this morning. Then, enjoyed a nice long walk in the park next door, though because it was so late, we kept to the shade as much as possible on the way back. Took all of us a long time to cool down upon our return. When we got back, they kept saying how hot the apartment is during the day, and I just looked at them, because yes, it is this hot everyday which is why all we pets do is…… lay around all day until the sun goes down! So, we were treated to the AC in the living room which is a rare treat for the four-legged members of the family.

Now that the summer season has started, the days have really started getting hot. 90 degrees F is the norm now, and though a breeze blows most of the days from the South and the West, it is still really hot. Happily, the humidity has fallen a bit, more around 50-60 percent instead of 80-90 percent during the rainy/green season. So, we are all feeling good about the change in the weather.

In preparation for today, though it did not make much sense to me, I was sent to the vet twice this week to be bathed and have my nails trimmed. On Monday, happily, I was the 47th dog to arrive (though we got there by 9 AM) and they were only taking 45 that day, so I was saved. On Tuesday, however, no such luck, I was #41 and spent several hours there undergoing the usual humiliation. I came home smelling and looking really nice, and our houseman Joel even called me a lady. The things I have to do to keep the peace around here! I am not sure why I was the one that had to get cleaned up, when I never really go out. She said it was because they were going to be home more, and wanted me to smell good for them.

It does not feel like Christmas to us, in this heat and without family, though we cranked the satellite music on Sky TV last night to some classical holiday tunes. He said it does not feel like Christmas to him at all, as he is really missing the boys. This is the first time we have all been fully separated from them by such a distance (lasting greater than a week), and we have all had our moments of nostalgia and missing their presence.

We did not get a Christmas tree this year, as the firs and pines have to be shipped in to Panama, and do not last long, once you take them home (or so we have been told). So, we opted instead for a festive Christmas Palm and decorated it with lights. Unfortunately, because this decision was not made until the weekend before Christmas, the only lights to be found at the closest hardware store were orange. Well, the box said red, but they turned out to be orange. (No such thing as truth in advertising here.) So, in some ways, our festivity feels like an odd mix of Halloween and Christmas but without any scary masks.

They also bought some other plants during the Palm run last weekend, so now, our patio feels homey and comfortable, with multi-colored leaves, big pots and the orange lights even add a nice glow at night. She enjoyed getting into all the repotting of the plants last Sunday, though I did not get what was so fun about it with a bunch of dirt and water and a lot of clean-up.
They roped Elphaba and I into posing with them for a Christmas card photo last night on Christmas eve. We were, of course, minding our own business and suddenly, I found myself with a goofy green bow (borrowed from a gift of wine they received) around my neck and Her holding Elphaba on the hammock, which is never a smart idea. This went on for several takes and finally, they appeared to get what they were looking for, and then, it became a big production to get the photos on the computer and sent out to all of our friends via email. Meanwhile, so that you can appreciate the moments we shared in this holiday experience, we’ve attached some for your viewing pleasure with this posting. You may notice that Blossom, our older sister (and white feline) is not present in these photos. She escaped from the apartment on the Wednesday before last, and failed to notify the rest of us she had planned a vacation. No one has seen her since, and so we hope she is enjoying her time away, and that she will return soon. He and She have been a little worried since she took off, as there are a number of large owls that live in the park next door, and they certainly might enjoy some well-fed American feline for dinner. (We know that Blossom was not kidnapped, as Panamanians seem very confused by the idea of having a cat for a pet. Most cats in Panama run wild and hunt for a living.) So, we miss her and, of course, will open the door with open arms when she decides to rejoin us, if she does. Elphaba has had a very hard time adjusting, and has been sharing her anguish with us all night long the past few nights, which has been annoying but understandable.

Well, we are off to watch some movies in the cool AC, so hope that you and yours have shared some parvo (turkey), sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and enjoyed it. They mentioned when they came home that their spread at the hotel that their dinner did not include any vegetables, except for tomatoes (which is really a fruit), so these are the things we are missing. And, of course, none of the usual pies or cakes either. So, enjoy those savory bites of tradition for all of us here in Panama, and Merry, merry, merry Christmas! We miss all of you and are thinking of you fondly on this tropical day in Panama.


1 comment:

MB said...

Hi Again,
Did you guys get our Christmas card? We don't have your email address or your new address, please send it to us at
Hope you had a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
Mary Beth & Shelby O'Keefe (his niece & great-niece) :)