“Johnny Ace”, Geckos and Bats!!

Happy Friday, All!

You may recall what it means for me … I hope Fridays mean a little something special for you, too!  So, T.G.I.F.!!

It’s the weekend and things seem to be coming together for me.  I have been able to add a few cushions to these hard wood benches in my place and am looking for a few simple wall pieces, but not paintings or pictures.  Something more natural like this “museum” of a house that I am renting!!  Even the kitchen cabinets as well as a cabinet in the bathroom, both made of wood, have carvings done simply but by hand.  Yesterday morning, I climbed a wall ladder to the “attic”, which is on the opposite side of the third floor of the second bedroom.  I swept it as it was full of “gecko” droppings and I was agile enough not to fall or trip while up there sweeping.  After putting the droppings in a trash bag, tying it up and tossing it down to the second floor, I also tossed the broom and trash receptor to the floor.  I “heard” that gecko droppings are toxic but I also learned that the geckos catch and eat insects, spiders, roaches and ants included.  Some of them watch me, taunt and play with me as they run across the balcony, escaping my reach!!  I welcome them as part of the ecosystem in “jungle life”!

Most of the readers know that I had traveled to Europe last year mostly in search of a place to retire that I can afford without working, and perhaps seek residency.  It was impossible, pretty much, as countries in the European Union don’t seem to respect nor want “Americans” in their countries.  The same goes for #45 in many places.  Shucks, at a hostel in Paris, I got told by a black guy from England that I was “running away”!!  I kept that conversation short and succinct and told the “brother” that he didn’t know me NOR what he was talking about!!  After I got a few phone calls to the room we shared with five other people, he agreed.  I had had a “double charge” from a hostel in Amsterdam and had to open a dispute with Bank of America while in Paris.  I also had to borrow about $100.00 and only one person was able to “come through” – “Johnny Ace” from Ft. Lauderdale!!  The thing is, he still helps me out with a loan from time to time.  Until now, I was paying taxes on my pension.  Now, I don’t have to file taxes as my only income is my pension.  I am extremely grateful for his help, over and over.  Thanks, “Ace”!  I couldn’t have made it without your help.

When one lives in an older house, it is possible to have bats around … maybe even in the “attic”.  We had bats in the Winbrook Projects where I grew up in White Plains and were accustomed to seeing them flying around the very large trees that doted (dotted … I like “doted”!) the property.  Here in Puerto Viejo, it seems that they are common.  The guy from France who oversaw the building of the upstairs bedroom in this house, including the wooden spiral stairwell up to the bedroom, told me that he suspected that there were bats in the roof of the house.  I hadn’t seen not even one … until two weeks ago when I had guests over for dinner.  While the guests were on the balcony, I was in the kitchen finishing up some spaghetti and I saw something moving near the kitchen ceiling in the corner.  It was a bat.  But, it was so cool!  I encouraged it to come down with my walking stick as I nudged it gently.  It went back into a little hole where it had been hiding.  Finally, I tapped it with the cane as it stuck its head out.  It flew across the kitchen and onto the kitchen window curtains.  I was cool, too.  I tapped it again and it seemed to faint and fall lifeless.  While it was in that state, I took a kerchief and draped it over its limp body, picked it up in my hand and tossed it out the second floor front door.  I saw it once since then, as it took flight from my bedroom wall, which is made of wood planks!

There is never a dull moment out here in Puerto Viejo, between the jungle life of all the animals, birds, trees and fish (did I forget the “howling monkeys”?).  I think I like it here.  I continue to make progress on the third manuscript.  It’s like a writer’s paradise out here!  Thank you “universe”!  I will make good on your blessings!

Enjoy your weekends, Folks!


John I. Cook, Director

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