18 April, 2009

Spring is here in southern Minnesota!

This week has brought us our first sustained real spring weather. The daffodils are beginning to bloom, bluebirds are picking out nest boxes, robins are pulling worms from ground covered with green grass. The trees are still bare, but flower buds on the maple and sarvice berry trees in our yard are swelling and will break forth at any moment.

Earlier this week I was out in the front yard with our two cats, JD and Max, checking out the status of the daffodils, etc. when I heard another cat meowing. I looked over to see a young, scrawny cat tentatively emerge out from under the mugo pine. I quickly picked her up so our cats wouldn’t chase her off. Poor kitty was skin and bones, in fact some places didn’t even have skin. It looks as though she was thrown or leapt from a moving car and is recovering from serious road rash on her left flank. Of course I took her in and gave her water and food. Over the course of the next 4 hours she ate 2 large cans of cat food and wanted more. Her road rash seems to be healing quite well, but it covers an area about 3 inches by 3 inches with a square inch in the center still scabbed over. From the looks of it, I estimate it happened as long as 3 weeks ago. We are keeping her in the sunroom while we check with the neighbors to see if any of them are missing a cat. I hope we don’t find them because I want to keep her. JD and Max aren’t too happy to have another cat in the house, but they are behaving pretty well. She is very affectionate and is sitting in my lap purring as I write this.

In last weekend’s blog I started telling the story of how we wound up in Belize. After our first 2 trips to Belize in 1998 and 1999, during the next 4 years we had winter vacations in Puerto Rico (including a side trip to Vieques), Bahamas, Baja Mexico, Tortola British Virgin Islands, and Kona Hawaii. We had previously been to St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John in the US Virgin Islands, Maui Hawaii, Culebra Puerto Rico. It seems that with each warm place we went to, each of us was, independently and without the other knowing it, scoring the location as a possible place to live. We finally realized that both of us were thinking this way, possibly in reaction to moving from Georgia to Minnesota in 1993. ;-) Our highest ranking places were Culebra Puerto Rico and Belize. Neither of us likes crowds or has a need for poshness. Not to say that we don’t like our comforts or are antisocial, but we do like a simple life. Belize won out for a number of reasons, cost of living being a major factor.

So it was that in February of 2004 we set off to Belize, checkbooks in hand just in case, to look for property. We started our vacation at Gale’s Point. Gale’s Point is a low, narrow, finger of land that juts straight out into the Southern Lagoon from the south shore. We flew into the Phillip Goldson International Airport, took a taxi to the dock at the Save-U store in Belize City. We were met at the dock by John Moore who boated us to Gale’s Point Manatee Lodge. The journey was wonderful. We started on the Belize River, then a canal to the Sibun River. The Sibun River took us to the Northern Lagoon. All along the way we watched birds in the tropical jungle plants along the water’s edge. Once in the Northern Lagoon we made a brief detour to Bird Caye. It lived up to its name. We couldn’t stay long because evening was approaching and we still needed to navigate through the maze of waterways connecting the Northern and Southern Lagoons. The sun was setting behind the mountains as we arrived at the Manatee Lodge dock. We checked in to the lodge, put our things away, and went down to a quiet dinner before bed.

To be continued …

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