What Do You Mean I Can’t Move to Costa Rica?
A single woman artist follows her heart and re-designs the last one third of her life… 28 chapters detailing Jan’s decision and her first year in Costa Rica – 2009 – after several life crises that put home and health in dire jeopardy.
Selected Excerpts from the ebook
Chapter 3 ‘On Vacation’ in San Rafael Norte
My first stop was at the Coffee Stop internet café at base of the hill – to check my emails and sample the gallo pinto (standard rice and bean dish) – perfect! I asked Luis about a hardware/lumber store ferreteria and was given directions to Boston Lumber. There are no street signs or addresses in Costa Rica – so it all depends upon verbal directions and the ability to visualize or memorize!
“You go down and turn right at Delji Pollo. Then go through 3 stop signs and turn left at the fish market with the paint store across the street. Then ‘directo’ and look for…”
Chapter 4 Illness and Medical Relief
No one else was in the waiting room and I went in to a consultation room with the doctor, who spoke good English, as many do. He checked my throat, ears, blood pressure, and found that I had a slight fever. He thought my lungs sounded clear but wanted to get an X-ray to be sure. He also ordered a blood test that would amount to calling the Hematologist, who would arrive in a miniskirt riding a motorcycle, prick my finger, collect blood and then analyze it. While we waited, he told me that he would give me something for the pain. What? Something for the pain while I wait? A nurse injected something into my arm that nearly instantly erased the pain and the all over body soreness. I wasn’t high, but I was next door to it – and I felt so much better. So we waited. Another family came in and was seen. Then, we were told to cross the highway to get an X-ray, which we did and then returned. I would never have guessed that the building across the street housed a complete X-ray lab. The completed X-rays arrived in a big orange envelope and were placed on the table. I wondered why the doctor didn’t look at them and I was told that he preferred to have all the information together – the blood test results as well as the X-ray – before he decided what to prescribe. Made good sense to me. Finally the blood test results were ready. From the waiting room I watched the doctor examine my X-rays and look at the blood results before he called me again to the consultation room with him. He told me that he believed that my pneumonia of 3 weeks ago (while I was still in the US) might have almost been cleared up but that perhaps a few bacteria remained. He showed me the X-ray that showed my left lung quite opaque with congestion that he called inflammation. He prescribed an antibiotic that I would take for 5 days, an analgesic to help with pain and fever and some cough medicine and told me that if I had any questions I was to come by or call. We thanked him and went to the 24-hour pharmacy next door. All in all the total amount came to $140 which included medications, examination, X-rays, blood test and conference. I was astonished.
At home I dropped into bed and slept soundly.
Chapter 9 On the Trail of San Rafael
During the tours of Live in Costa Rica on your Social Security, first with
George Lundquist followed by Jane Gregson and Mike Wilson in early March, 2008, I understood that it could be barely possible to live in Costa Rica on my meager social security funds of $750/month – but how I would purchase a place to live was a very big question. I had managed to put $25,000 into a mutual fund – and that was essentially the sum of my wealth outside my home, which had only a very modest equity (if it could be sold. Most of the properties we were looking at – without houses – had higher price tags than what I could afford. I began to face the issue that for me – a single woman at retirement age – my dream had far exceeded my potential to grasp. It was the next to last day of my time in the southern region and at breakfast Jane and Mike announced that today we would visit San Rafael Norte. My heart skipped a beat. San Rafael? Could Saint Rafael be showing me a way?
Chapter 15 How Much is Enough?
And when I began to think about things I would buy after I got here, I began by thinking about each day. What do I need first in the morning? Coffee. Therefore I need a coffee maker, coffee, teapot and something to heat it with. A stove or hotplate. If I had one I liked – I brought it. If not, it went on the list to buy… And so it went. I had the luxury of starting over. Literally. I could build my life again using all my experience of living for 66 years. And this time I could build it with just the things I needed to be comfortable and to feel safe. I could go back to the simple life I once had at 22 – just before the wedding gifts arrived. I gave each of my three sons his baby book and photo album and asked if any of them wanted the boxes of old photographs? When they said ‘No’ I accepted it and threw them away. And on it went. I threw away all my old yearbooks with hand written assurances that I would never be forgotten – many from people I couldn’t recall and imagined it was the same with them. I sold or gave away paintings and clothes and furniture and chickens and my birdbath and…and…. I shipped 37 boxes, a fainting couch, a small New Mexican coffee table, a wood folding easel, a small 50’s Formica table and two 50’s tuck and roll chairs.
So here I am and it still looks like I have too much.
“You are a wonderful writer, as well as painter. And so honest!! I am so looking forward to moving down there and have been reading a chapter or two of your book every day…”Marcelle M-B
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