Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our First Anniversary

We met when we were 12.  Forty seven years later we got married.  A lot happened in between for both of us but our life is together now, perhaps the way it was supposed to be.  This past year in matrimony with my lovely Rachel has given me more personal growth than the previous 59.  I think growth happens when you love someone that much.  There are challenges to be sure, but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?

A year ago today we were roaring about in Rachel's Miata through Mark Twain National Forest on our honeymoon.  We had been married earlier that day in a civil ceremony in Tennessee by a minister who was 'on duty' at the courthouse.  After our simple ceremony we lunched at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and laughed to tears by our approach to our new life together.  It was good preparation for Ecuador.

We were going to go to Lago Cuicocha today for a romantic four hour walk around the serene and mystical lake.  As fate would have it the sun just didn't want to come out today so we spent a little more time being cozy this morning.  Then it occurred to us that we should best celebrate our first year together the way we started it, at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  So we hopped on the bus to Ibarra.

I love you Rachel.


Sometimes a unique and wonderful lifestyle is waiting for you in a place no one has even talked about.  Phil and Sandy have taken that path less travelled.  It takes some real courage and faith to create your own heaven on earth where few gringos have even trod.  Tumbabiro is such a place.

Rachel and I were honored to be among the invitees to Phil and Sandy's fiesta.  We're pretty sure the auspices for the fiesta were some birthdays among the guests, somewhere in the past six months or perhaps the next 6 months range.  You see fiestas in Ecuador don't have to be real specific in intent.  They are just fiestas.  Actually Fernando's daughter was turning 13 and was festively attired for the occassion.  Fernando is Phil and Sandy's personal botanist extraordinaire.  Some people might be too quick to call Fernando the gardener until they see his work, or should I say his art.

Fernando has personally travelled all over Ecuador in search of unique and sometimes endangered plant life.  Sometimes that rare species is on a mountain top and sometimes it's along a snake infested stream in the jungle.  But no matter where it might come from it will be happy and healthy under Fernando's tender care and Tumbabiro's idyllic climate.

I'm pretty sure Adam and Eve didn't have this kind of comfort in Eden, but Phil and Sandy manage pretty well in their German engineered home.  With internet access and Direct TV on the big screen, the quiet solitude of the tropical paradise can be broken when you've had your fill of nature's splendor.  The man who lived here before had to return to his native Germany but left a legacy for Phil and Sandy to enjoy the rest of their life.   Thanks for inviting us to your Ecuadorian Eden!