To read A Broad In Costa Rica from the start, go here: 1rst Costa Rica post. At the top of the page, you'll see the previous post on the left and the next-in-sequence post on the right. Keep clicking the right one and you can read the posts in order. (The previous posts are about the hurricanes that batted us about just before the move!)
Cast & Crew:
My Nukular Family
Hal, my husband. We fell in love on our first date in May '89 and have been joined at the hip ever since. We lived in a humble Airstream by the sea on Stock Island in Key West. On Groundhog's Day '91, we eloped to our backyard and were married on our little dock overlooking the ocean at sunset.
Hal and I have worked together always. Since becoming parents, he has home schooled the boys and I've sold real estate. All done at home. He's also a licensed auctioneer and insists we call him Colonel Hal. It pleases him.
I can't imagine life without him, particularly when he's cooking. And he still makes me laugh out loud. Based on these two reasons alone, I think we'll be married forever. He says it seems like forever already.
Criticia Voluptua Right-Right and Pollyanna My
alter-egos. My mom gave me the Criticia moniker. She says I am the most
critical person she ever met. I say the woman has never looked in the
mirror. Of course, I've never said it to her… probably because I CAN
be a tad critical. Actually, if I'm reviewing anything and wearing my
Criticia chapeau, stand back 'cause the s— is about to hit the fan.
PollyAnna is my Completely Optimistic In The Face Of All Adversity
persona. How the two of these gals can exist in the same body is beyond
me. But there you go. Me in a nutshell.
Morgan, Dweller by the Sea. Born 12/2/91, became ours 12/10/91. Pictured here with Ellie Bortman, an expat at 5.
You can never be prepared for how much you will love your children. I don't care how much babysitting you do, or how many nieces and nephews you have, how many siblings. Becoming a parent changes you forever. In a good way, if you consider loving a human being so much the thought of losing him rips your heart out. Life takes on a new quality. Icky in many ways. Like having the devastation of war become personal. Like realizing the importance of good decision making. Particularly when you have a child looking up at you wanting to know the next right thing. It's horrible.
Horrible or not, of course, we had to do it again.
Ryan, Little King. Born 1/20/93, became ours 3/5/93. We couldn't birth our children, so we adopted. Luckily, I was THRILLED not to have to get pregnant instead of feeling devastated like some of my friends. "All the gain, none of the pain," as far as I was concerned. And, in the long run, what difference could it possibly make? Does anyone imagine I could love my children more? God help me if I could!
I met a woman one day in the grocery store… she was in front of me in line and somehow we got on the subject of adoption and that Jal and I were anxiously awaiting word from our agency. Funny coincidence (events like this make me doubt coincidence), but she is adopted. She tore off a piece of paper from a notebook and wrote out a poem her mother had given to her.
Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone
But still, miraculously, my own.
Never forget for a single minute
You didn't grow under my heart, but in it.
– Fleur Conkling Heyliger
'Nother funny coincidence, I carried this handwritten note always and wished I could remember the woman's name. While you are waiting for the universe to call with your new baby, you are in an addled state. Anyway, last January, just before we left the states, 14 years after she gave me this poem, we took our teenagers for an eye exam. Guess who the receptionist was? Guess what else? Her mom had stopped in to bring her lunch. Coincidence?
Uncle Brian and Aunt Peg, Hal's brother and his wife. This is a picture of the boys firing at the clay pigeons across the yard at the farm. It was raining so, rather than stop shooting – oh no – they stood at the back door of the house and fired. Why? Because they are guys.
We love Peggy and Brian so much that if anything happens to us, they get Morgan and Ryan. Sometimes we threaten to fake our own deaths just to freak them out.
Mom, nee Nancy Tazewell Lee, aka Nancy Tazewell Lee Scott Richardson Sexton Richardson Rutherford, mommy for short. Now Nancy Tibet. She legally changed her last name to draw attention to the Tibetan crisis. You might say she's a dreamer. And a woman of action. She laid down in front of the pigeons in protest of the annual pigeon shoot in North Carolina one year. She'll never hear the end of that. Please mention it if you meet her.
She hiked the Himalyas at 70 and waved to the Dalai Lama. She was the only one waving, of course. She was so excited to be seeing the D.L. she didn't notice that everyone else was bowing… the D.L. laughed and waved back. My mom has never let a little thing like "logistics" get in the way of her and her dream. I find that admirable.
R.T., my dad. Everyone loved my father. Snow white hair, sky blue eyes,
easy smile, always cheerful and funny. The women were all ga-ga over him,
the men all wanted to be his friend. My mother married him twice, for
goodness sake. You can't get more charming than that. September 19,
1927 – June 2, 1987. I miss him.
Granny Boo, aka Nancy Tazewell Scott. Born March 25, 1918. I've written lots about Granny Boo: My Granny Boo, GB Update, Lipstick & the Joie de Vivre, Climbing the Stairway to Heaven, Mommy, Megan & Granny Boo, The Ugly Truth. In My Dreams.
Earl, my big brother, named after my grandfather, manages a huge country club in Kentucky, and has for many years. Earl, like my father, is a man EVERYONE loves. One of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Ever. It's why his country club is so successful… whatever bar he managed did great. Earl leaves, so do the customers. Married to Barb, the best daughter-in-law a mother could ever have.
Tucker, my baby brother, named after my father. Tuck is a big shot criminal defense lawyer in Kentucky. He says he will never be out of a job because he keeps getting the criminals back out onto the street… He's, um, kidding, of course. Married to LeeAnn, a beauty and a sweetheart who has given my mom the two cutest grandchildren on the planet, after Mo and Ryan.
Taze, my baby sister and perpetual student. The smartest one of us all. Writes cutting prose, needs a blog. Love her madly. Mom to Ellie (Nancy Tazewell the 14th), teenager from hell. God, am I glad I have boys.
I so appreciate your blog comments and make every effort to reply in a
timely manner. But I can't answer private emails, especially now that
I'm working. Or supposed to be.
If you want to ask questions about Costa Rica, I am happy to answer one of two ways.
1. Ask on the blog as a comment. I will answer asap. Then others can
benefit from the information (assuming I know what I'm talking about!)
Blog answers are free. If you email me a question privately and I can
get to it, fair warning, I will post it on the blog with the answer.
2. If you want to ask and be answered privately, I
have to charge for my time. Consultations are $25/hour, one hour minimum (I talk fast). To get
started, pay $25 via PayPal to saratica @ gmail . com. As soon as you've paid, I get a confirmation with your
email address. I will write to you and we can decide how to chat. If email is good for you, just write me back
with your question(s). I will answer right away.
Hi Saratica, I found your blog. Looks like you have a lot of fun in Costa Rica and your trips. Thanks for the permalink tip. I need all the help I can get.
Great discription of a mothers love! I’m in morning as our son returned to the states Tuesday after an awesome two week visit. I was doing great until he called from Florida sobbing Tues night.
Hug the boys everyday Sally, even if they hate it and be prepared for a whole new level of emotions when you release them into the world to live their own lives.
“Releasing the boys”? Whatever are you talking about????? NO. Please don’t answer that question. My heart goes out to you. We will get together soon – need a good Jennifer hug!!! Sally
I have carried that same poem my Mother gave me, for years. I was adopted at birth.
Saratica, I feel like I know you, you seem like you could be my best friend! I don’t know if this email is appropriate but seems you would be the perfect person to help me out on this one. We bought a half acre in Costa Esterillos outside of Jaco. First payment has been made and the 2nd is due in Dec. We were excited at first about this but have had some time to think about it and am not sure we did the right thing. We don’t plan to live in Costa Rica, even though we are visiting in Nov. My husband says I will be disappointed in the lot because it has no ocean view, jungle view and not the best location. I know I will love Costa Rica but we bought for investment and now think it will be a long term affair if we are going to make any money. I have been reading your articles and am not sure now if we should just blow it off as a loss before we lose more money down the road. My husband doesn’t have a lot of patince and doesn’t want to be secluded. I actually talked him into buying the lot, and now I’m not sure if we did the right thing. Was wondering about your thoughts along these lines. We live in a beautiful spot too, the Big Island of Hawaii and are totally spoiled but not sure we could really retire here because its expensive. I thought Costa Rica would be a great alternative to retirement but My husband doesn’t want to live full time in a third world country. I think Costa Rica is not for everyone. I feel guilty for spending the money on something sight unseen. My husband saw the property in Jan. He wasn’t that thrilled. I know we can’t get our money back, but better to lose now than take a bigger loss down the road. Thanks for listening, and your input…Mahalos….Kerry Banks
I’m so thrilled to find your blog. My husband and I are considering relocating with our two little girls to Costa Rica. It seems a bit crazy (mostly because we’ve never been there), but I’ve been doing my homework and it seems like a perfect fit for our family. My biggest concern is finding a school for the girls. They are 5 and 8. They’ve been attending Montessori school since they were 3 and are thriving. I’d love to find a similiar type of philosophy that doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg. Finding such a school would probably dicatate where we decide to settle in.
I have about ten thousand more questions, but the school issue is numero uno. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks so much!
Jessica in Nashville