I stared at the ceiling in the middle of the night imagining how to write about the sale of our house in Peru. We owned our huge, wonderful, historic house for twenty years, visiting every year. At first, it was our research station, where we arrived the week after school let out and stayed until the week before we all had to be back for fall semester. When we retired, it became the place we went every winter, enjoying the South American summer from Christmas to Easter. We live across the street from the Pacific Ocean, and if there is anything better than that, I don’t know what it is.

We had wonderful neighbors, ate fresh fish from the market, attended festivals, visited archaeological sites and beaches, and generally enjoyed ourselves.

My mind flooded with cliches about time and eras and tides and people and aging. We decided to sell our house now that we are both over 70. Much as we love adventure, we recognize that we are not as sharp as we once were, and the time had arrived to let go of our overseas possessions.

Almost exactly a year ago, we put our house on the market. I knew it would not be a quick sale, not everyone wants a 7,000 sq ft house with a second two-story house in the back yard. It takes a lot of maintenance. As of today, that is someone else’s to consider. The buyer lives locally and exports agricultural products. He seems mildly interested in the place, though it may be just another investment for him. I feared it would take two or three years or more to find a buyer, so I am not questioning the motives of the person who has just made our lives simpler, with minimal haggling and no foot-dragging about payment.

With that, we spent the day packing the odds and ends we did not take on our previous trip in July. There are a lot of them! I somehow thought that I had packed up everything I wanted, and have still managed to pack two suitcases. I’m starting on a third, as Jonathan claims he only needs one of the two suitcases he is allotted.

Monday we head to Lima, then on to the US on Wednesday morning. We can come back and visit any time. We have neighbors who are just furnishing a new apartment for Airbnb, so there is always a place for us. Whether that will happen is anyone’s guess. For now, we look forward to getting home to California and celebrating Christmas there. We’ll have one long, sad look behind on Monday morning, then focus on the future.

Our house in Peru


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

6 thoughts on “Endings.

  1. Winifred,

    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this post. It brought back memories of my Uncle, Jim Duncan, and the stories he told of his time in Peru with you and Jonathan. I wonderful memories of some time I spent with you and Jim in New Mexico many years ago on one of your projects near Santa Fe.

    I am also at the age of letting go and I am so grateful for all the adventures I have had. So many of them with my Uncle Jim. He was so fond of you and Jonathan.

    When Serena Williams announced her retirement she said that “she was going to miss that girl that played tennis”. I thought was such a nice way to put it.

    Well done. Thank you for your newsletter and my introduction to mudlarking.

    Lezlie Barker



    1. Leslie, I often think of Jim and how lucky we were to have him with us. My daughter Lyra and I visited him not long before he moved out of his big house. We were always glad that we made the visit.


  2. So bittersweet. Sometimes our houses feel like “other children” and letting them move on to other owners is a bit emotional. We’ve experienced it a couple of times. You and Jonathan have paved the road for many archaeology students to succeed in their careers. That wonderful house was well used! Congrats. And may your Christmas be filled with loved ones and much joy. 🥰


  3. I’m glad I enjoyed the special privilege of visiting you both there and sharing your extraordinary lifestyle and archaeological survey work.


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