Being a permanent resident of a foreign country was never one of them. Neither was marrying an aging Libertarian with a job. Or falling in love with chickens. Or, come to think of it, enjoying a blow-up baby pool full of fish. Or getting such satisfaction out of community theatre. Because, doncha know, I’m too well trained and experienced to be doing any community theatre.

Oddly, in my racially tense (at least waaaaaay back then) high school, I promised I’d “run away and get married” [because, you know, weddings were big in KY] and “adopt black babies” [because that shocked everyone except my mother]. I promptly forgot both promises, then kept them. Go figure. At any rate, my clairvoyance ended there.

Cedula libre condición So here I am: permanent. Residente permanente libre condición: permanent resident free of conditions. Actually, there is one condition: we have to be in country at least one day a year. I’m pretty sure we can manage that!

Wow. Even though I never yearned for this, having it is excellent.

You know, it occurs to me that my life is the perfect example of how life happens while we are busy making plans. I’ve decided I’m giving up on plans. Starting tomorrow.

Here’s the really odd thing: I’ve never been permanent anything except married and a mom. And, ok, 5′ tall. Couple my impermanence with the fact that my favorite thing is moving, well, let’s see how long this lasts. (Hear that? God is laughing.)

Although, in spite of my recent bout of homesickness and wondering if I want to stay here or go back to the U.S. and join a militia, at this moment, I am amazingly happy where I am planted. Despite the fact I can’t get everything I want when I want it, despite the fact I miss my family, my mom and my girlfriends, despite the fact that the cost of living here is not exactly cheap, despite all the other things I could whine about (and you know there are plenty), we have a really good life here. Peaceful. Tranquilo. The boys are happy here. Hal is happy. OK, Hal is ecstatic. I am content. That’s saying something. I’m enjoying some of this magical pura vida. In spite of myself.

Part of my current joy is that I’m directing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change for the Little Theatre Group. Four characters in a series of songs/vignettes about love and relationships. Very little dialogue, all singing with a couple of skits thrown in, funny and touching. In the tradition of true community theatre:

  • Three of the four actors have never been in a musical before.
  • I don’t have a stage manager.
  • Nor do I have a piano player… tough on a musical, lemme tell ya. (Fortunately, the publisher offers taped music for rehearsals and for the show.)

So, if I have to, I’ll use the taped music. Takes some of the mystery out of live theatre, but the show is so funny, the actors are so charming and hysterical, it will be a hit if I have to stand backstage and hum the accompaniment into a microphone. Speaking of which, I wonder if Bobby McFerrin is available. Anybody know him?

So here we are. At least for today. Permanent. Sin condiciónes. Ah, that feels good.

*Oh, yeah. I don’t know if you noticed, but that’s not really my picture on the cedula. That’s Sophia Loren, the most beautiful woman on the planet. If you saw the actual picture on my cedula, you’d bet I’d be thrown out of Costa Rica before I could figure out where I think the grass is going to be greener…

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