Keeping You In Stitches

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After 5 long years of having our house on the market someone has finally made an offer that we accepted.  And by Friday we should have a signed agreement.

Since we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do, we’ll be going to Ft.Myers, FL, where our daughter and son-in-law live. We’ll be renting a VRBO for awhile to see what it’s like.

We, at least I, have enjoyed our 6 years  in Costa Rica.  I’ve met so many new friends, Gringas and Ticas.

While at times it has been frustrating, we’ve been able to muddle thru with the Spanish and charades.

It is sad that we arrived with 4 dogs and now only have two.  But that’s the circle of life.

I am asking for understanding from our friends – some days you’ll get the Nice Nancy and some days it will be the Bitchy Nancy.

Not thrilled that this will be the 14th house we’ve lived in.  This was supposed to be the last move.

…when things get hot, I cool them off! Shooting my gun and blowing off the smoke from the caps!

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That’s how Gunsmoke started out!

When I was a kid, I loved all the cowboy programs,Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Sky King, etc. I really wanted to be Annie Oakley when I grew up!

Since I very seldom sleep thru the night now , when I’m awake, I turn on WGN out of Chicago on my iPhone. Certain nights of the week they play old radio programs. One night this week was a Gunsmoke program. No, I did not go back to sleep, but I listened intently! I had the neatest gun and holster set, my bike was my horse, with a squirrel tail on the back fender. We had more fun playing cops and robbers or cops and Indians. I really think unless you live in a small town, you don’t get to play like we did!

Brought back fun times in good old Camden, Michigan. A small town where everyone knew everyone.

I was probably the boy, my Dad never had! A real tomboy.
He coached high school basketball and was the chemistry teacher. He took me to practices frequently! The gym was like the one in “Hoosiers”. I used to sit behind the team, and one time Dad benched a player for smoking. When the game started everyone started yelling “Boo Reynolds,” well, being the loud mouth that I was, I joined in too. No clue what that meant. He said when he turned around and saw me yelling with the crowd, that hurt worse than the crowd yelling.

He also coached Little League….I used to tag along to practices, hoping someone wouldn’t show up so I could fill in for that player. Great summers.

When you were around 12 years of age, you were “allowed” (allowed as in parental OK) to go to the cemetery and play Ghost in the Graveyard! So much fun!

At Halloween, we were able to go Trick or Treating by ourselves all over town. And from year to year, you would remember which houses gave out the best candy. One Halloween there were three adults that were dressed in long underwear, stuffing everywhere, and really creepy masks. No one could figure out who these people were. They were actually on the front page of the Hillsdale Daily News! Imagine my horror to find out one of the women was my mother!

We loved May Day. Am sure that’s not celebrated this way anymore. Making baskets and filling them with spring flowers and candy….hanging the baskets on door knobs of houses, ringing the doorbell, and running like crazy to hide. We never knew where the baskets came from.

Eggs were cheap! We used to buy them and mix them up with sand to make cakes! I can’t remember how many times we tried to dig to China in the sandbox. Never succeeded!

With the way the world is today, I feel badly for kids today because they sure don’t get to have experiences like this.

We spent our first Christmas in Costa Rica in 2011.  Going to the festivities in Atenas was a fun time for us.  Loved the Christmas parade and told Mark that maybe we should go in the business of selling drum sticks!

What really surprised me was everyone was bundled up.  Coats, jackets, scarfs, hats, and I thought the little babies were really over bundled!  There we were the Gringos with short sleeves and shorts on!  Thinking these people are crazy, it’s not even chilly.

Well, things have changed!  This year, I had on a denim jacket!  Guess my blood has thinned or something has happened.  Mark was fine.  But again, people were bundled in jackets, scarves, hats, etc.

I think I’ve become a Tica!

Felez Navidad to all.

Started out in Ft. Myers, FL because Todd, (SIL) had shoulder surgery at the VA hospital. I was impressed! Fairly new hospital. I was the runner to get stuff (ie: paperwork, medications, the sling for his arm). So I spent a lot of time in the lobby listening to the Vets talk about their experiences, etc.

One funny story. As I was sitting there waiting to get the sling to take up to Todd in the recovery room, a woman named Mary came out to give a man his c-pap mask. He kept saying over and over, thank you Jesus, I can sleep tonight. Then he said “I guess I should be thanking you Mary, for giving me the mask.” Her reply was “You know he’s not my son, right?” It appeared to be a “nice, fun, happy place to work.”

After 7 days there, I was off to Bowling Green. Gayla’s daughter, Megan, was planning a surprise birthday for her on Saturday. So, Pat, Velma and I headed to Nashville that morning to do a “little” shopping before hand. We arrived at Megan’s house and Gayla’s friend Patty, from Memphis, was shocked when I walked in! She said Gayla is going to be so surprised to see you! I never did count but I think there were 15-20 people there. It was a nice party and Megan and Rusy, Gayla’s son, did a great job!
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Stayed with Julie and Norman this time. They sure have a beautiful house!!! And I thank them immensely for their hospitality. Was able to spend some time with Joanne, who is another “bestie”. Pat, Velma and I had a ball. Went to see the movie Jason Bourne….throughout the movie I kept thinking this is right up Mark’s alley. All the car chases, motorcycle chases, crashes, etc. So I imagine when it comes here, I’ll be seeing it again!

I flew Delta, and love they have screens on the back of the seats. Watched three movies in my travels….of course the only name I can imagine is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Cute!

Most of the shopping was already done and sent to Velma’s. So it was like Christmas!!! Even brought a new sewing small sewing machine home. Plus various other things that are too darn difficult to find in CR.

Was really surprised at the prices in the grocery stores. Cheap! Compared to here. Eggs, 49 cents a dozen; milk 99 cents a gallon.

My trip to the states was eventful because of storms and we had to fly over and over Ft. Myers before we could land. Then the pilot informs us we can go around one more time but then we need to make a decision on what airport to land at because we were running out of fuel! It would have been much less nerve-wracking if he had said “we may have to land at another airport because of weather”! Trust me, no one wants to hear “we may run out of fuel!”

Then the flight to Nashville, we circled Nashville for a little over an hour because of storms before we were able to land.

The weather was so darned hot! Miserable…..I don’t know how people that work outside can stand it. The humdity was absolultely draining!

I was happy to return home and see Mark and the dogs! Julie has 4 dogs and boy did I get sniffed over by our three dogs.

It was a great time, but I am exhausted! Perhaps age has a little to do with that!

Derby has been on special dietary dog food for months! He needed to go for a weight check this morning. Dylana and Nazareth rode into town with me. Normally, if the girls are with me, the dogs are all over them; but not today. Derby decided to ride on my lap. However, he was on the controllers to open and close the windows…..between him stepping on the controllers and me trying to get him off, his nose got caught in the window. Poor baby, even whimpered. While this is going on, I cannot see a thing but knew I should be braking……when I finally got him off my lap, we were pretty close to kissing a tree! Derby rode in the backseat with the girls the rest of the way….of course, they fussed over him.

Good news, he’s lost 3.5 lbs.; has a few more to go tho’.

Better news, he rode in the backseat all the way home. Let’s hope he’s learned a lesson to not sit on the driver and try and control the windows!

What an exciting morning…..I think I should take it easy the rest of the day.

Pura Vida!

My Aunt Mary passed away last night. She was my Dad’s sister; his two other brothers have already passed away. The nasty disease, Alzheimer’s is rampant in my family. Hope something is discovered soon to halt the progress of it.

This is one of those times that living in Costa Rica is a detriment. However, since Indiana is deep in snow, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make it there.

Aunt Mary was a happy, jolly person! She, my Dad and his brothers were so alike in having the laugh easily and frequently gene. Glad I got that gene and can see the humor in certain situations!

I don’t like the family dwindling slowly away…..I know it’s going to happen to all of us, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

My heart goes out to my Uncle Dale, cousins Mark, Susie and Marlene. Please know that Mark and I are there in spirit!

It suddenly dawned on me that I am now the oldest of the Reynolds clan! I guess you’ll all be seeing me with my tiara frequently. Matriarch not a label I’ve ever thought about. I guess I should buy a pair of white gloves too.  I think I’ll stick with the Miss Congeniality Title I won in the Miss Michigan Aerospace contest in the late 60’s.

 

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In Costa Rica, most Ticos (at least in Guacimo, where we live) celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.  This year we expanded it a little and invited Maricela’s Mother, boyfriend, and sister, Lola. We’ve always invited Lola’s boys, Gabriel and Moises.  Maricela, Dimas, Dylana and Nazareth were here too.  It was a rancho full of people.

They arrived Christmas Eve morning and everyone was in a happy, jolly mood.  Especially the boys when they saw the gifts under the tree.  I asked them if they wanted to eat first or open presents….to my surprise, they wanted to eat first!

And did they ever eat!!!! LOL  Nana, Maricela’s mother thought the coffee was so delicious!

After lots of laughing and talking, some in Spanish, some in English and some in Spanglish, it was time to move into the house to open presents.

Nazareth wanted to be Santa!  And a dramatic Santa she was!!!!  I told them this year they were going to open one gift at a time so we could see what everyone gets!  I tried to get pictures of them with their gifts and I’ll be darned if “Santa” didn’t photo bomb almost every picture!

Nazareth, would go “do, do, do do……Gabriel” – and then Gabriel would come up and get his gift and we’re all clapping and yelling Gabriel.  It did get loud but isn’t that what Christmas is about.  It was so fun to watch the boys open their gifts!  Moises will start kindergarten this year, so he even got a new backpack for school; (I’ve always gotten them new backpacks.)

Nana was so pleased with scarf and immediately tried it on!  I thought Lola was going to cry when she opened up her necklace and ear rings!  It really tugs at your heart so see how excited they are.

I’ve gotten so I take the girls to the mall and let them pick out some clothes; better they get what they like, then something I would pick out!  They look forward to this every year!  But, they have to act excited when they open what they pick out….that’s the rule, as if they’ve never seen it before!

The girls both wanted calendar books this year.  I told them every day they had to write “I love Nancy” and that I was going to check on them once in awhile.

After the gifts were opened, it’s quite funny to watch the kids pack up their things to go home.  They cram as much as they can in their new backpacks; and head home wearing them.

I was exhausted when they left!  But it was a good, happy exhaustion!!!

They truly are our Tico family; Nana, always refers to me as the kids’ abuelita (grandmother), but she really is!  The girls are old enough to know that I’m their Gringo Abuelita!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have a happy 2016; I would hope their would be Peace on Earth, but I don’t think that’s going to happen!  But there’s always hope!

Pura Vida!

 

PS:  Mark is known for wearing his shirts inside out – well, he did Christmas Eve too!

 


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