Thursday, July 28, 2005
A dear friend who will never be forgotten
So often, I tend to take for granted all of the loved ones who are in my life. So rarely do I take the time to thank the ones who have helped me, loved me and nurtured me. Caroline McCrosky was one of those special people. She knew me from the cradle and has always been a part of my life, as well as the life of those around me (an original Ya-Ya).
I remember when we were in school and praying for snow. Not often were those prayers answered, but when they were you can bet that somewhere in town the Ya-Yas were clustered with the Petite Ya-Yas playing Boo-ray (at Carolines suggestion). It was only after she had won all of our money that she would thank us for playing with a large grin across her face!
Caroline was the one who convinced Grady to be a big boy. I will never forget pulling through the breezeway at school to pick up Caitlyn, and Grady yelling out of the window to Caroline, Miss Caroline, Im a big boy now! She was also one who could keep Grady somewhat under control on the pew at church. She just had a way about her that was stern, yet soothing in the way she said things. Not often did you have to ask her twice, as she was clear in telling you what she meant the first time.
She was larger than life. Sorrow and sickness were things Caroline handled with dignity, not disdain. She carried herself well through trials and tribulations, not questioning why me?. She was a rock - one whom you could call on for advice and better be ready to hear what she had to say, good or bad! She was a Christian, steadfast in her religion, rarely missing a Sunday. She was a beautiful person - inside and out.
I will miss her laugh, us trying to sing alto standing next to one another in church (I would always listen for her before I dare uttered a note), her precious touch that would come when I most needed it, her kind words of wisdom and encouragement on realizing a dream and chasing it and the way she would handle my children in such a kind and considerate manner. How lucky all of us were to have her in our lives to love, if only for a short time. She will never be forgotten...
A marvelous trip to Costa Rica
Costa Rica was marvelous again this year. Our trip was like last years trip and we repeated those grand adventures again. We went to the Zip line that swings through the top of the jungle again. When we got there, there was a roar of a wild animal coming from the jungle. It sounded like a lion but it wasnt. It was a big male monkey with his harem and babies trailing behind. What he sounded like was a big gorilla, his cousin. Monkeys were howling in the trees at Melodys house. Steve went out one day and there sat a big monkey by the car in the driveway but it scampered away when it saw him.
Costa Rica is on the migratory flyway for all kinds of birds from South America to North America and the country is always full of exotic and plain birds. There were squirrels scampering through the trees that I had never seen before. We were on the balcony of Melodys house looking down at the trees below when we saw them. They were basically tan with a black stripe down the back with white stripes on each side of the black. This country even has exotic squirrels.
The ocean here has the largest waves in the world and surfers from all over the world come here to surf. The undertow is extremely strong. The first day I was there on the beach, I was coming in, as the water was so rough. It seemed like the ocean floor under my feet began going out to sea. I fell backward into the ocean with my feet in the air. All my loved ones started running toward the fiasco (me) and I came up complaining that my hairdo was gone.
Steve has built a church here for the Evangelicals which is really a Protestant church. On the side of the church is an apartment for the preacher and his family. The preacher in the daytime is a gardener. They love music and half the service is music. Everybody who could brought their musical instruments and formed a little band. The people stand and sway to the beat, lifting their arms to the Lord. When we arrived, everybody came up to greet us with a hug and a kiss. Everybody. Children of all ages were there, some on pallets on the floor. Dogs roam free and even come to church sometimes. They wander into fine restaurants, too.
The Costa Ricans are a gentle people. They are full of love and kindness and are very laid back. They never get in a hurry. The building has big double doors on both ends, no screens. The doors are open and there is cross ventilation. Of course, the sermon was in Spanish. They have services four nights a week.
There are mosquitoes here that arent good, so you go doused in Off. The only fly I saw was on the big sailboat where we spent one day. On the boat they served a gourmet meal. There were children of all ages on the boat and I was afraid they would all fall in the ocean and drown but they didnt. At one point the boat docked and let everybody swim in the cove by a rocky beach. The water was deep there and some snorkeled seeing the wonders underneath. The marvelous big sail would catch the wind and gave us such a smooth sail across the water. Another day, the others enjoyed deep-sea fishing and golfing but that sun was a little too close to the equator for me and it also had a 100 percent humidity.
They have gourmet restaurants down there where we dressed up for dinner and I enjoyed eating fish everyday. At one place, the Specials for the Day were written on a board on the wall. When the waitress in Spanish asked what I wanted, I pointed to the special on the wall thinking it was fish. Then she says, Oh, you want rabbit? To which I yelled, No! No rabbit, fish!
Tamarindo is a little town by the sea where everybody makes a living with tourism. There are vendors on the sidewalks, stores line the street and you are supposed to haggle over the price of whatever you buy. Its fun to go there.
The roads are narrow, most are paved now, but only in the last decade has this happened. When we first went there, the airport was a pasture that had to be cleared of the cows before a little plane could land. The gate to the airport was a stile. Many millionaires and movie stars have adopted Costa Rica and one of them decided to build an airport so he could land his jet there. The airport is nice now and this one makes two airports for Costa Rica. The other one is on the east side of Costa Rica at San Jose, the capitol. Now, they have resorts and hotels that cost hundreds of millions of dollars with golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools and French chefs.
Costa Rica is blooming and bursting forth as the new international playground of the world as Californias west coast was a century ago. The temperature is a medium of 72 degrees all the time. It never gets hot, never cold (once it got down in the 60s by a freak of nature and the people thought they were freezing.) The days are always 12 hours long. Every night the sun sets at six and at six in the morning it rises. That remains the only constant but everything else is changing. There is a line of active volcanoes running through the middle of the country. One of them, called Arenal, erupts every hour regularly.
I loved every minute of our trip but I climbed one mountain too many and hurt my knee, and I hope it will be the same again.
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