Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Farewell to Vacation

I just tried my hand at an ode -- but I'm not in poetic mode, muse has fled the airport in despair. Maybe the change from sea breeze to mountain air has fried my brain the way it frizzed my hair. I have serious hair problems in the tropics!!! I have mountain hair!

Yesterday, I tried to get Bob and Kiko, the little capucine, asleep on the little jungle patio at our B & B. But they both opened their eyes when I walked toward them. Kiko more so than Bob.

This morning I fed Kiko banana left from my breakfast and he as so happy that.... well let's just say he was VERY happy!!!

So now, I'm at the airport debriefing...trying to set my brain to face civilization again. Wondering which of the habits we've acquired here are possible to keep at home. Some of them, yes.

For example, I love the continental breakfast. It would be really easy to do....just get my derriere in gear each morning. We even have the patio to eat it on, ala Costa Rica. I brought back the small seat-type hammock. I'm going to get that strung up...if I have to climb the tree myself!!! Then, I have to find a half hour or so each day to sit and relax!! Possible. Not easy, but possible.

We're both more relaxed. Knowing things are well at home helps....Rob and Christy are so very reliable to tend the church. With Rodney, Rob, Rachel & Company, the music is always well-done. (Yes, Debbie you are included here!!) Jorge (Lidna, that's not YOUR Jorge!) keeps an eye on the house and the church with help from Kenny.

We thought this visit to Costa Rica was a one-time thing, based on where the plane tickets were most economical. We are finding, however, that we really like the place, the people, the culture.

I only need Mel Gibson to donate his beachfront property in Playa Casilla and we'd be able to start ministry!!! :) Who's ready to migrate with us???? (I know, I'm out of my mind! But God sometimes has strange plans!)

Do I look crazy?? Okay, only a little!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Conversation between Costa Rican horses

Soledad: Look what we have now! Two aging, chubby Americans.

Dolores: Ai! This man can't even get on. Did you see? She gave him a shove to get him up.

Soledad: Here she comes. Can't get on either. Senor Daniel found a traffic bump she can climb on. There she goes. She made it.

Dolores: This guy doesn't know what he's doing. I'll just take a little break here in the street.

Soledad: Okay. Headed for the beach. But wait this crazy woman is taking pictures of my butt!

Dolores: Maybe I can rake this guy off at the fence. Darn!! He hung on...just scraped his leg a little.

Soledad: She thinks she's a cowgirl, but I almost hit her head on that tree in the alley.

Dolores: This guy is making strange sounds trying to get me to speed up. Good thing he doesn't know what he's doing. I'll just keep plodding along.

Dolores: Should I speed up a bit? Just to keep up with you guys.

Soledad: Up to you.

Dolores: I gotta go....and this guy won't even let me stop for a minute for a potty break. Strange noises again! What does a girl have to do for some privacy around here.

Soledad: She's worried that Daniel won't be going to school when it starts Monday. Ai! The questions these Americans ask.

Dolores: Now he's telling stories about wild dogs in some place called Ecuador. I think he has a phobia about dogs.

Soledad: Almost finished. My back hurts.

Dolores: I'm just tired of these cityslickers!

Soledad: Yikes! Now she can't get off. Come on lady that leg has to swing over the saddle to the other side!!! How long do I have to stand here!!!

Dolores: I think he's gonna just sit up there all day!!! Come on, man, get down. Oh here she comes. Does she really think she's gonna lift him down??? Heaven help us all!!

Soledad: They did it! Both of them. I think they're in one piece too. She's walking funny though.

Dolores: I'm walking funny!!! Where's the pasture. What does a girl have to do for some rest around here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Impressions

One always assimilates the new by comparison, contrast and associations with the familiar. It struck me right away, before we even landed that San Jose reminds me forcefully of Quito.

The first thing that made me smile was the juxtaposition of the Denny's and the Fiesta Casino. I realized that Denny's was the fancy restaurant associated with the Casino. A few miles later the same phenomena occurred. Another casino, another Denny's.

Our first hotel in San Jose was homey, clean and quite lovely. The patio was a virtual jungle complete with parrots and a little capucine monkey with a sad face. (I'm trying one more time to upload more pics. If it doesn't work this time, it'll have to wait!!)

We got acquainted with San Jose a bit before heading to the coast. San Jose is clean and well organized -- except for traffic. Traffic in Latin American counties is.... well traffic in latin America!!! The people are quite friendly. Bob blended immediately. They mistook him for a Tikko right away! Me? Well, what does one do with red hair that shouts "Gringa?"

Having quite a lovely time. Although on the road to the coast, I was stopped by an efficient traffic cop. Ma'am, did you know you're doing 94 kph? In Costa Rica the limits are 80, 60 adn 40. You are in an 80 kph limit. The law says, and he shows me the book, there is a 50,000 colon fine for speeding. This has to be paid at a bank and there will be 30% fees added for processing. I'm gulping, eyes wide and very respectful. He gives me the whole spiel and I think I'm had. (About $130.00 American) Then he says, "First time in Costa Rica?" Gulp. "Si!" Well, I'm going to just warn you this time. "Gracias, Gracias." "But no more speeding." "Si, senor! No mas." (No picture, I didn't dare.)

And relieved...we head on down the road. For some reason, my foot is considerably lighter the rest of the way to the coast. It just won't go faster than 70-75 to Samara!!!

Nice, polite people, these Costa Ricans. Very effective!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anatomy of a crazy day!
This is me at 1:36 A.M. this morning. It's had been one of those days!

  • 8:00 a.m. leave for work
  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - work
  • 1:30 - 3:30 - errands, preparing for arrival of friends
  • 5:00 p.m. go pick up rental car
  • 5:30 p.m. first of guests arrive from O'Hare
  • 6:00 p.m. Dinner
  • 7:20 p.m. Home again, home again
  • 8:00 p.m. Hubby leaves for Midway
  • 9:15 P.m. Hubby calls; asks for help locating arrivals
  • 9:20 p.m. Check airport arrivals
  • 9:22 p.m. Call hubby back -- plane has arrived
  • 9:30 p.m. Receive facebook message from one of the arrived party -- cell phone that hubby has # for is dead. no one else has hubby's cell #. Gave hubby's cell # to facebooking guest.
  • 9:31 p.m. Called Hubby, gave location of guests...guest had already called per number given by facebook
  • 9:33 p.m. Happy reunion of hubby and guests at airport.
  • 10:45 p.m. Hubby arrives with party of 6 guests
  • 11:05 p.m. Hit Mickey-D -- only place open for food. Feed guests!!
  • 12:00 p.m. Pick up car for guests use
  • 12:04 a.m. Take group of 5 guests to their accomodations
  • 12:30 a.m. Take group of 2 guests to pick up rental car then to their accomodations
  • 1:00 a.m. Return borrowed van to owner (One hubby drove to airport)
  • 1:20 a.m. Arrived home
  • 1:22 a.m. Facebook
  • 1:45 a.m. Time for night-night!!!!
  • 6:30 a.m. Will come toooo quickly -- must work tomorrow!!!! !
P.S. What did we do without technology. A dead cell phone-- the only phone number we had and the only phone that had our number -- the contact phone -- would have meant disaster. But Facebook saved the day. If ever I needed an excuse for FB, that was it!!!! Justified!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A lovely Afternoon

I'm sitting on my little patio (no roof, so it's not a porch) in front of the house. A beautiful, sunny, warm summer afternoon drinking a Caramel Collision Coffee Chiller, an invention of Pat Jamin, one of the proprietors of my favorite gourmet Cafe, Al's Cafe in downtown Elgin. I just had the thought, "Life can't get much better." Yet it isn't that EVERYTHING is so wonderful. I can think that "if only..." But the point is that this is one of those perfect moments in time. Relaxed. Sunshiney. Nothing major on my mind at the moment. Bills will be paid tomorrow. Lesson Plans finished later. That problem addressed next week. The other concern travailed over at another time. This moment is one of those perfect ones. Just me, the sunshine, my computer and the neighborhood in which there isn't another soul astir at the moment. Lovely.

Thank you God for an Oasis, a moment in time in which to enjoy your world, your work and contemplate the good things of life. Did I mention the Carmel Collision Coffee Cooler?

Thank you God.

P.S. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of oneself?? It has to be a closeup -- unless one has octopi arms. The first pictures alternately showed: the wrinkles on my neck, the bags under my left eye (not even the under eye bags match!), my droopy left eye, eyes squinted too much, mouth drawn from trying to get the arms out farther for LESS of a close up. Finally my dear hubby emerged from the bowels of the house and agreed to snap this one shot. While I could point out the faults in this pictures as well, I shall not because at least it's not too closeup!! You will agree with me to ignore chubby arms an legs! Yes you will because I said so!

Did I mention that the Caramel Collision Coffee Cooler is delicious? And the day is sunny and bright?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Travel tales

Taste of Chicago today.

On the train via Chicago, the train begins to fill up. We know this through power of deduction. When three thousand people traipse through the car and try to take two seats while two of your party is in the bathroom, if you''re really sharp you'll figure it out: The train must be very full. I'm smart like that.

So the conductor comes on the intercom. "The train is filled past seating capacity. If you are not going all the way to Chicago, please stand up."

We look at each other. Even the 7-year old thought that was an odd request. No one in our car stood up. He only paused for a moment before he continued.

"Then please get off the train." We start to giggle, thinking it must be a joke. Nope. No joke. He continues.

"Deboard the train at this station if your destination is other than Chicago. This will now be an express train. We will make no more stops before Chicago. Please wait on the platform for another train. There is another train 20 minutes behind this one and will take you to your destination."

Well people, please get off. I don't want that train catching up with us!! I'm thinking. But I have to admit I was happy that we were now on an express train.

Don't think I'd be that happy if I'd been getting off somewhere other than Chicago!!!

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