Mental Health?

I once read an interview in a surf magazine, where a young kid, living with his parents, was asked about dividing his time between California and Hawaii. His answer was, when I’m on the Island, I’m on the Island and when I’m on the Mainland, I’m on the Mainland. I had no idea how those words were going to replay in my mind, and be a guiding mantra to help me keep it together throught the last ten years.

I’m not sure what mental health is really. The dictionary says that, sound mental health, is ” the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner,”. Well who says what is normal.

When in Rome do as the Romans do.

When I came here, I wanted to assimilate into the culture. After being here a while, I found out how hard that can be. I went through a stages of trying to figure out what a “gringo” really is. There’s numerous definitions for that too.

Many things in life here have, drove me crazy, which I soon learned does not translate in Spanish. Neither does raining cats and dogs.

Year in, year out, I’ve seen many families come and go. They want it to be like it is at home. So they go home, eventually.

I fit in here, on my corner anyway, pretty darn good.

Here is an example:

This is my beloved stove. It’s practical for living here in the tropics. I make wonderful coffee on this stove. When I cook, I make a lot of one pot meals. And as you see I have a blender in the background; another must, for batidos (smoothies). There’s so much fresh fruit here and there’s a vendor right down the road. For years, I’ve not wanted anything more than this.

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Today, I went to town and purchased this stove top, with an oven. Is this what qualifies me as part of the human race? I don’t know. I once had an empty space, in my kitchen, where my stove had been. a When my sister saw it, she was horrified. Her comment was, “You can’t have a house without a stove.” I went out and bought a stove. I couldn’t shake the pressure of her comment. I didn’t want anyone to think I was crazy.

That was a long time ago.

The stove is really for Mary. Mary, Nestor and her two children live here with us and she is a good cook! Now I’d be crazy to not buy her a stove. Wouldn’t I?

Surfing-a chosen lifestyle

 

 

Last night I surfed Playa Grande. That makes two sunset surfs in a row. The clouds were a crimson red. It’s not about just catching waves. It’s about being in nature and being one with all things holy.

I came here to live a slower life. To be able to catch waves and not have to surf desperate. I’ve certainly achieved both of those goals.

I feel fortunate, that I’ve listened to that inner voice and gone against the grain. I believe, the universe has placed me where I am. I live on a small lot behind a big hotel, The Bahia Del Sol. Initially, here in CR, I owned a lot in the gated community, Rancho Playa Negra. But I soon found out that I didn’t belong there. I am a simple person.

I chose the name, La Huerta, for our abode, because it means orchard. I want to always be reminded that I am going to reap what I sow.

On the ride home, my friend and I discussed the waves and what goes on, in your head, when you’re in the water. Everybody’s different, though I think we’re also the same. Surfing is very individual, but for the most part, you’re amongst other people, other surfers of both genders, young and old. So, of course, there’s going to be varied perspectives. Some kids are out there wanting to be pros and they’re practicing every move. But for me, it’s a life style that I have chosen, and it might be for them as well. I can only guess what others are thinking.

I love it when I catch a wave.

But it will always be more than that.

 

 

 

Saddling up surf sleds.

There was the 1976 Land Rover that I just had to have. It stayed broke down. At one point, I became convinced that the devil lived in the dashboard. Then there was the Yamaha dirt bike that had a rack on the side for our boards. That was tricky, because we both ride longboards. It was confiscated by the transit police, never to be seen by us again. That was followed by our beloved 1989 Toyota that we drove here from Florida. We made it last as long as we could, but it was doomed, by the “aduana”. He’s the immigration man that robbed our tax money. I’m not going to say I paid any bribes to drive that truck, but I drove it around for a few years until the police told us, “one more time, I see you in this truck and we have to take it!”. It went out to a more remote area and was eventually wrecked.

Buy and maintaining a vehicle is one of the most challenging aspects of surviving Costa Rica.

A long time ago, I began to equate vehicle to horses.

This is a mule. This is a darn good horse.

At this here hitching post, we keep em til they’re ready for the glue factory, or the law gets em, or they meet someother unforseen disaster.

We have to save our money for gas to get to the break.

By the way, I did get to surf today with one of my good friends. His car is, for real, called a Galloper.

Friends and cars in Costa Rica, both are worth their weight in gold.

Happy trails and we will be truding the road to our happy destiny, one car and one wave at a time.

Happy Surfer

This is the face of a happy surfer. This is my oldest granddaughter.

This is the face of a happy surfer, surfing.

This is the face of a happy surfer and her Papa.

I woke up this morning thinking about my granddaughter. She has been here to visit me three times. These pictures are of her learning. She’s pretty capable in the lineup now, if she’s out there. She’s put her surfing on the back burner, but she can honestly say that she has surfed with Robert August. He dropped in on her once.

The first time I saw her take off on a head high wave, she was down the beach and I thought OMG, she’s never going to surf again. It looked like she was going to be late, and she was on my 9’6 Orion, in the picture. It looked like a recipe for disaster. But she made it. She road it in straight, but all the way to the beach. Yes, she had the huge surfer smile.

Surfing can be a path to happiness.

May 16th, 2001

May 16th, 2001, was the date of our arrival into Costa Rica. All of the antics that followed are a bitcloudy. I can’t remember the exact order of how things occurred. But that’s OK. No need to beat myself up about that. Memory is what it is. Continue reading “May 16th, 2001”

A blog about blogging.

 

I want to write a blog about blogging. I know this is probably all very simple technology. But for me, it’s an ongoing process of, Que!  What’s going on? How do I fix this. I fix one thing and something else seems to go wrong. I think back when I was in school at the University of North Florida. I was forty and the professor was very anti-computers. I allowed myself to be influenced by that. But on the other hand, before I got out of school, I did purchase a PC and took an art class, Fractal Painting, which had no pre-requisites.

But then, not long after that, I was off to the jungle. Communication was very limited. I had no computer, no phone, no hot water yet life was very interesting to say the least. That was in 2001-2003. Four years ago, in 2007, I bought an Apple, and I am forever playing catch up, on the computer that is. I haven’t missed out on one thing in life.

This blog is a test for putting my picture with the text.

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The test failed! Darn it!

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Re-tested/successful/not quite sure how!/interesting/more will be revealed

 

A LITTLE BIT OLDER

A little bit older than the crowd, but I got my waves. It was a good day at Playa Avellanas. It started out with some wind on it, so the majority of the people left, the sun came out and it cleaned up. I love it when that happens. It has been a week since I had been in the water.

My guage of a good wave. When I realize I’m smiling from ear to ear. That’s why I surf.