Closing out 2007

As I look out of my window at the bright sky and listen to the birds singing in the trees, I find it hard to believe that one more year is almost gone.

For the ending post of 2007, I would really like to have something profound to write today. However, not having anything profound to write, has not prevented me from writing in the past and apparently it isn’t stopping me today either.

2007 has been a wonderful year. This is a year I never thought I would see and if all goes well today, I will get to greet 2008 also. I remember when my dad died. It was one day prior to my 12th birthday. He was 50 years old. For some reason, his dieing at the age of fifty, left me thinking that the same thing would happen to me.

As I counted birthday after birthday, I watched as the difference between my age and fifty grew smaller. Finally I became 50. What now? It seems that it is easy to have something in our mental future that we are always waiting for. I know you know the feeling.

You say things like, “I will do that when ______ (you fill in the blank). And for some reason the blank never happens. Many times we may postpone living because of something we think needs to happen. Often times, what we want to happen, never does and we have just wasted all that time waiting in limbo.

Well, I am happy that I no longer postpone enjoying life. Most days I can find something new that I haven’t seen before. Most days I find something that makes me smile. It is amazing how much more fun you can have if you are not waiting for some event to occur so that you can start enjoying life.

I have gotten to the age that I don’t have to expect myself to accomplish something to feel fulfilled. I have been there and done that. I don’t have to make a large amount of money. I have long past learned that money doesn’t buy happiness. I now just enjoy each day for what ever it brings.

Luckily, Chiriquí Chatter is one of the things that brings me unexpected happiness. It seems that everyday, I receive at least one email from some place in the world, where I have never been. Take yesterday, for instance. I received this nice email from Holland. The person that wrote it, just wanted to pass on a musical artist that he thought I might like to listen to.

Many of the emails I receive are written as you would write a long time friend and yet we have never met. I read and respond to every email and feel grateful that the person was willing to use some of their valuable time to write me.

While I no longer set milestones for myself, Chiriquí Chatter has reached a few milestones. None that were planned, they have just happened. This month, the Chiriquí Chatter Photo Album passed the 100,000 mark, for photos viewed. With this post, there have been 1850 posts made and, more importantly, 6,575 comments. If there is any real profoundness to be found here, it most likely will be in the comments. December will also have the largest number of individual readers that Chiriquí Chatter has ever had.

In closing, let me just thank all of you who continue to drop in now and then. Thanks to those that have taken the time to comment or send emails. You have helped to make my time in Panama most enjoyable. Now for 2008, remember the words of James Dean, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” Now go out and have a great day.

24 thoughts on “Closing out 2007

  1. Don:

    Like many of us.. an integral part of my day is to “tune in to CC”…

    A very warm and sunny greeting from Barbados… and I look forward
    to following your postings in 2008 and beyond.

    Many thanks!!


  2. I’ll try to live like your year 2007 next year so I wish myself a happy new year with lots of CC !! To you, Don I wish that any unknown blanks may be filled.

  3. You have truly brought joy to me and mine this past year, and hope you will for many to come.
    Susan and I just returned to Cedar Key (that’s on the West coast of Florida) from visiting one of my daughters and two grandchildren in Louisville, Kentucky. I lost my father there when he was only 55,
    and, like you, started counting each day and year after I passed 55 as a blessing. I am now 75 and have REALLY been blessed.
    We hope to return to Panama in February, and will try to contact you at that time.
    I believe James Dean was also quoted as saying “Live fast, die young, and have a good looking corpse”.
    Too late now. Enjoy 2008 and many more!

  4. Hi Shrader. Thanks for the nice comment. I know you enjoyed your visit with your children and grandchildren. I am sure I will be here in February. All the best for 2008.

  5. I too have a lot to be thankful for this year Don. And having you as a friend is one of them. Keep up the good work on Chiriqui Chatter and… Here’s hoping you have a great 2008. Oh…by the way, the good news is you didn’t have to scrape frost from your windshield this morning like I did.

  6. Hi Ron. Thanks for the nice comment

    I do appreciate not scraping off frost on the windshield. Have a great New Year and I will see you in a few weeks.

  7. Don Ray,
    ¡Prospero Año Nuevo!

    Like all the other commenters, I very much enjoy coming here most (if not all) days. Keep up the good work.

  8. Hi Don,
    Boy, are you right on! You really shouldn’t be putting off things you enjoy for….whatever reason. Just had a bombshell dropped on us on the 22nd when we got news of my husband’s thyroid cancer. Surgery followed on the 26th. We now have some extensive external radiation treatment coming up before too long. While his prognosis will likely be pretty good with treatment…it has truly been a wake-up call. I can’t say that we’ve been putting things off. But I can definitely say that we certainly do appreciate little things a whole lot more. We recognize our many blessings despite the tragic cancer diagnosis…like having good medical insurance, adequate financial resources to see us through this, and most importantly a wonderful supportive circle of friends. We likely will not be making our annual holiday down your way on the 18th as planned. But, God willing, we’ll be down there next year.

  9. Cheryl,,

    I am truly sorry to learn of this unfortunate event that has occurred in your lives. Sorry that you won’t be making your planned trip. However we will keep a warm welcome waiting for you when you both are able to make it.

  10. Happy New Year! Thank you Don Ray for providing this great blog & forum for us to leave comments. My wife Anne & I wish you all the best in the coming new year.

  11. Don Ray….wishing you all the best for a prosperous, happy and healthy new year…all the way from Australia!

    It has now been nearly 10 years since my last visit to Panama…but somehow it just doesn’t seem that long…and in part that is due to your blog, Boquete Guide and Panama Guide.
    Everyday I come and read all the latest stories and enjoy the land that I love from afar. So I thank you for providing us with your lovely stories that give me the opportunity to remember and continue to embrace the beautiful people, culture and customs of Panama.

  12. Hi Don,

    My mom died at 64 and my dad at 66, but his dad died at 55. It wasn’t until I hit 55 that I realized that I’d been sort of unconciously counting the years down. I realize my error, so I’m not even thinking of 64 or 66; the only thing I’m waiting for is the wheels to thump down in David on Wednesday!

    They’ll not see 20 degrees here Wednesday, and 10 above at night. I’ll see 84/69 in David (, which is about perfect, and I’m in the mood for a fresh fruit salad. I’ll call you.


  13. Chinasgal and James, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Hopefully we will all have a good 2008. It has started, and it really came in with a BANG in David!

  14. Don,
    Always enjoy reading what you say, and like you, are looking at life as each day comes. Can’t wait until I finally am down there for good. Very soon I hope. All the best to you in the New Year.

  15. I just want to wish you happy new year and all the best for 2008. Although I may not have commented a lot on the things that have been written in CC but I enjoy visiting almost 2 or 3 times a week just to find out what is happening and also to view the lovely pictures and comments.

    I feel that I have learnt a lot about different aspects of Boquete/David and Panama just from visiting this site. I look forward to viewing in 2008 and also making some comments. Thank you so much.

    Once again I will be arriving in Panama from London on Jan12th – 26th Jan. I will be visiting David/Boquete from 16th Jan for 7 days. I was told that I must visit the Boquete coffee Fair.

  16. Hi Pearl,

    Thank you for the nice comment. I hope you enjoy the Boquete Coffee Fair. I don’t think I have ever seen it. I have been to the flower festival several times and it is very pretty.

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