Its warm in the sunshine, the smell of ripening pot in the air, and I sit thinking about all the things we still have to do to prepare for our departure to Costa Rica. I can’t help thinking, “are we crazy for doing this?”
We have about 30 rental properties, a coin operated laundromat and an 8 year old happily pursuing 3rd grade, and we’re uprooting everything to try a new life very far away. Part of the reason is the pungent odor in our current neighborhood and
the pit bulls, guns, and other drugs that come with it. Harvest season is right around the corner, and then the crime won’t be far behind. The irony in moving to Central America to escape drug trafficking hasn’t been lost on us.
I met my husband nearly 20 years ago when we both found ourselves on the same airplane, 4 rows apart. He was on a film shoot and I was on a consulting job, and we were both headed from Portland to New York at the same time. At the end
of the flight, he brazenly sat down next to me and asked me what I thought of the movie. It was Steve Martin’s “A Simple Twist of Fate.” I remember I wore a blue silk dress that day that fit me like an oversized nightgown and
I was slightly hungover from having had a bit too much beer the previous day with other consultants from work. The novelty of talking with strangers on airplanes had long since worn off, and I usually eschewed strange guys approaching me for any reason.
This one was different, and we’ve been living happily ever after since then.
Gary is a born entrepreneur, a self starter and a risk taker. His brain is an idea factory, and he can make the pictures in his mind turn into a reality bigger
than life. I’ve seen him do it over and over again and it sometimes feel like I’m flying on his coat tails without a net. We’ve bought properties we couldn’t afford, started businesses we didn’t know how to run, and
embarked on projects ranging from the meerly crazy to the completely insane. Somehow we’ve managed to emerge in tact, and now it feels like we’re embarking on a whole new journey. I have to trust that we can do it again, but as we get
older, and now that we have a kid involved -- our kid -- the stakes are higher and I feel like we have to be more mindful. But the wheels are already in motion and off we go.
We visited Tamarindo, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica over the summer to see
if we even liked it. The first time Gary and Lauren heard the howler monkeys they thought that a busload of tourists were being eaten by jaguars, but I had already heard these monkeys before many lifetimes ago when I visited Costa Rica with my sisters.
It is an unnerving sound and is a reminder that nature is powerful and unpredictable.
Tamarindo is beautiful, and we found a modest house that we could call home without too much trouble. Having been assaulted on more than one occasion in my life,
one of my criteria was to be walled in, and this house fit that bill. It has a great floor plan, a barbecue, pool and fully equipped kitchen, and the school bus comes right to the neighborhood. So, with the nervous twitch reactivating itself in
my right eye, we went ahead and mailed a money order for a non refundable deposit to the property owner and signed up for a 6 month lease.
Meanwhile, the to do list started festering in my mind -- in Gary’s mind too, no doubt, but I feel very
sure that our lists wouldn’t match up in the slightest. Such is the bane and the blessing of marriage.