Leaving San Pancho to spend the spring and summer in Connecticut isn’t easy. We rent the house when we are not there, and Casa Skip y Nancy needs to be ship-shape. The countdown begins weeks before my early April departure. Each day I update lengthy to-do lists. Conversations with Skip begin, “Did you remember to (clean the grill, get extra keys…)?”
Our property manager and housekeeper, both capable people, take care of the house in our absence. Nevertheless, I try to anticipate any problem that could arise. A notebook I leave for renters contains exhaustive details: disposal clogged? Here’s where to find the Allen wrench. Dryer not working? Call Lorenzo-the-dryer-guy in Sayulita. I imagine renters thinking as they read the notebook, “An obsessive person wrote this.”
But the hardest part of leaving is saying goodbye to people I care about. I’ll miss my walking buddies, my writers’ group, friends who pop in unannounced. Being part of a community seems effortless in San Pancho. On a one-block walk to the store, I might run into three people who stop for a chat. I seldom have casual, spontaneous encounters in West Haven. Many of my friends are still working, and time with them is planned in advance.
Still, I yearn for my Connecticut life. I’ve got to see my children and grandchildren; if I don’t get back there, too much of their lives will pass me by. The recitals and birthday parties, Middlebrook Elementary’s spring fair, walks in the park with my new grandson – I love all that grandma stuff.
So I pack up and leave San Pancho. When I’m in one place, I miss someone who’s in the other place. And that's not a bad problem to have.