In spite of my best intentions I’ve struggled to update my blog lately. There’s much news to share, but little time — so I’ll just give you the big headline: After much soul-searching, Esteban and I have decided to move to Patagonia.
Esteban has been fascinated with Patagonia since 1998, when my parents gave him a penguin-wool sweater. (Warmer, softer, and 100 times more rare than cashmere, penguin-wool comes from the downy undercoat the Magellanic penguins molt in the summer. If you’ve never heard of a penguin-wool sweater, it’s probably because the tiny tumbleweed-like tufts must be gathered by hand, and an entire harvest yields only enough yarn to knit three or four sweaters.)
Yes, Esteban’s penguin-wool sweater is five sizes too small.
Anyway … we talked for years about moving to Patagonia, but always ran into that most practical of questions: “How will we make a living?”
The answer came to us a few weeks ago, when we learned that the founder of the Escuela Patagónica para el Desarollo de la Actuación a Base de Objetos Imaginados y Gestos Graciosos (Patagonian School for the Development of Acting Based on Imaginary Objects and Funny Gestures) would be retiring this summer. “I used to be a mime,” I told Esteban, “and you’re a wonderful administrator. We can TOTALLY run this mime school!”
It’s true — I used to be a mime! (The antibiotics worked, though, and thankfully I got better.)
“I don’t know,” Esteban said, with uncharacteristic doubt. “What about the language barrier?”
“That’s the brilliant thing,” I shot back. “It’s mime. We won’t need to say a word.”
To make a long story short, we’re taking the Patagonian plunge.
It won’t be easy, of course. We’ll miss our friends. Minnesota has been good to us, and we’ve built a wonderful life here. Nevertheless, we’re looking forward to living in a place that’s even more bitter and barren — a place where you don’t have to go outside to get frostbite.
But do you want to hear the best part? We’ll be moving into the abandoned whaling/research station not far from Beagle Channel, so we’ll have plenty of room for guests. I do hope you’ll be able to join us, and perhaps help us celebrate our first penguin-wool harvest.
It needs a new roof, but the view is spectacular. Images by Jan Erik Waider.
In the meantime, we wish you and yours a wonderful and happy April Fools’ Day.