Retirement is confusing. I used to have this nicely segmented life: I went to work. I came home. There was cooking and cleaning, a little social life, a little time for gardening. I always knew what day it was.
Then we retired. Now life is undisciplined, complicated. I figure my days by the arrival of the gardener and when the book club meets. It’s confusing and, although I often (not always) know what day of the week it is, I usually can’t tell you the date. Naturally enough, in Costa Rica, I hardly ever equate our weather with a season.
The other day I was chatting with a friend and mentioned that our gardener had been with us a year. Shock! Without seasons, it gets hard to label the passage of time. It was autumn when he started with us. It is autumn now.
Not having a season is usually fine with me because I can garden all year round. All that is required is to know whether the weather will be hot and dry or hot and wet. HAH!
Evidently, we live in that area of Costa Rica where the Green Season (so named so tourists wouldn’t know that it would be raining most of the day) and the Dry Season have absolutely no meaning. Here we have, as Metric Man puts it, la estación lluviosa y la estación MAS lluviosa, “the rainy season and the rainier season.”
Evidently just over the hill, Caribbean weather reigns dumping rains into Lake Arenal. Look toward the east from Cañas or Liberia and you will usually see what looks like a fluffy white shawl draped over our mountains. Drive to Tronodora, and it is hot and dry. Drive from there to Nuevo Arenal, and you will often drive into something between drizzle and deluge. If the center of the United States is its bread basket then we are the water bucket of Costa Rica.
Understand, I am not complaining. The soil is fertile, there is usually some part of the day in which to garden and a lot of things do really well here. Squash, melons, fruit trees, they love a lot of water.
Some day, though, I am going to have to put a roof on part of the garden to shelter tomatoes and other things that don’t like to be drenched day after day. It’s a challenge, and I admit to all my fellow gardeners that I still haven’t gotten it quite right.
But I keep trying!