Living with Mother Nature

There are many things I love about Panama, and right up there is the minimal suffering inflicted on us by mother nature. I puts your head in such a calmer place.

I grew up with New York blizzards that can bring a whole city to a standstill. I didn’t like the miserable cold then and I like it even less now.

I have lived in the Midwest. All spring, the tornado warning symbol is in the corner of your TV screen. You always need to know where you could go in a hurry if a tornado approaches. They come with minimal to no warning and they can be incredibly devastating. There are also blizzards and bitter cold spells in winter, and blistering heat in the summer. I learned to drive in the snow and icy road conditions, no fun.

I lived in Florida. June through December is hurricane season so you spend these months watching and wondering where and how badly the next one will hit. I’ve seen many pictures of what a hurricane can do, but seeing the reality in person is quite another thing.

And now, we have all been worried about my California (Santa Rosa) daughter and her family. They fled the fires in the middle of the night while flames came down the hill in front of them like rivers. They are very fortunate that they are all fine, their house and neighborhood are also ok, and they are some of the few who have been allowed back to their homes. Many are still evacuated, and many have lost homes and business. Thankfully at this point, there are no reported deaths in her area but many fires are still burning and uncontained. Winds are predicted to shift again today and it’s going to be 101F degrees.  And, all this is going on in the middle of a pandemic.

Here we sit in Panama…. Is it going to rain? Wow that was a lot of rain yesterday.  The sun is hot. It’s cloudy and cooler today. That pretty much covers all the weather related topics. Below 70F is very unusual. We’ve never seen 101F either and we’re in hot David. We don’t get tornadoes or hurricanes. We get crazy amounts of rain sometimes so flooding is possible but people generally know to respect potential flood areas. I don’t think I’ve heard anything about mud slides here, except maybe along the Panama Canal where dredges are in constant operation anyway. So the extent of our weather related concerns are rain and sun.

Every day we hear about the problems in the USA and other parts of the world. Every day we give thanks for our good fortune here. You learn to live with the treats of natural disasters, but you don’t fully realize the relief of no threats until you’ve experienced it. Thank you Panama.

There’s a pandemic, It’s fire season in the west, and hurricane season in the east. We must take care of our earth. Climate change is only making natural disasters stronger and more frequent. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Please be safe out there.

 

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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12 Responses to Living with Mother Nature

  1. Daffodil says:

    I dream of living where there are no hurricanes; Irma hit me pretty hard in Bonita Springs. I grew up in the Midwest with tornadoes and ice and snow. I don’t wish my life away but when retirement comes, I have Panama in my back pocket. I hope to visit again in the next year or two. Do you have many earthquakes near David? I guess no place is completely immune from natural disasters. We take what life gives us, do what we can to make things better and learn to appreciate all that is good in this world we live in. Cheers, Tami

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    • Yes, we have earthquakes. The shaking and rolling feels really strange but they don’t do anything. Maybe a stronger one will knock things off shelves, but they mainly they give us something different to talk about for a day or two.

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      • Hi Kris, hubby and I are planning to move to Boquete next year. I want to buy a Pfaff sewing machine this year but was wondering if I should wait until I get there? Are there sewing machine shops there and do you know if there are any Pfaff dealers. I’ve done a Google search and am not coming up with anything. Thanks so much and look forward to meeting you in person! —-Lynne

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        • I’ve seen sewing machines the most consistently at Pricesmart, but I haven’t looked for so there may be machines in other places. If you want a specific brand though, I’d definitely bring it with you. There’s aren’t any dealers of any brand, and the only shop I’ve seen is a repair shop and I heard the guy retired.

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  2. oldsalt1942 says:

    It used to amuse me when my neighbors in Boqueron would say to me, “Ay, hace calor, hoy. ” (Man, it’s hot, today.) My response was always, “Es mejor que un metro de nieve.” (It’s better than 3 feet of snow.) Of course I don’t know how well that registered with people who were born and lived their lives 8 degrees north of the equator…

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    • No, they have no idea what that’s like. When we went to Europe it was in the 50’s and 60’s. My neighbor was aghast. People go out to work in this cold? They take care of their homes in this cold?? Oh my, I couldn’t do anything in this cold!! She couldn’t believe me when I said that’s not cold, only cool. One day I will take her to the US when it’s really cold. ha! They also haven’t experienced 100+ degrees, or Florida where the hottest times come with the highest humidity.

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      • oldsalt1942 says:

        The sister of one of my neighbors in Boqueron lived in Pennsylvania for 20 years. Her kids attended U of P and one year she took her brother, who had never left Panama, even to CR, with her to her son’s graduation. It was in winter. They arrived in D.C just in time for the biggest blizzard in about half a century. Really! To hear him describe the trip was hilarious. How he sat wrapped in a blanket in the hotel seeing snow for the first time. “And it was night time at 4 o’clock!”

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        • LOL I’ll bet! I forgot about the time too. My friends think it’s very strange that it’s dark at 4pm, or 10 pm, depending on time of year. It took me a while to get used to it being always the same here, all year around.

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  3. Good thoughts for your daughter. Stay safe!

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  4. catfriend99 says:

    As the saying goes, “At least you don’t have to shovel rain.” I think one of the hardest things for me to adjust to in Panama is the whole dark at 6 o’clock thing. In the Seattle area if it’s warm out it’s not supposed to get dark until 10, and the sky should be lightening by 3.30-4. Whenever I have visited equatorial regions this has always been tough for me. Even when I lived in LA I couldn’t believe it got dark at 8 in the summer. Can’t say I’ll miss the winter darkness, though.

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    • I know. I also had trouble with the day length for quite a while. Now I have the opposite problem when I visit family. Why is supper in the middle of the afternoon and why are they putting the kids to bed when it’s still daylight outside?

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