Have you noticed, how fast an entire year just zipped by? Before you can catch your breath to say ‘boo’, you have to memorize a new year to write on your checks. Otto and Vandal, on the other hand, are well prepared to enjoy the New Year and mingle with the tourists on the beaches
We’ve had a year of great joy and of deep sorrow. We lost my sister-in-law Felecia to cancer in March. Her death was a profound loss, with which the family she left behind will struggle for some time to come, and which shredded the hearts of all of us, who knew her. She will forever own a corner of my soul!
Also in Spring, we moved to Costa Rica ‘mit Kind und Kegel’ as we Germans say. This is a very old expression, one that is used in modern German, as we use ‘with everything but the kitchen sink’ in English. I like the German phrase better. ‘Kegel’ is the mediaeval term for an illegitimate child, while ‘Kind’ was only used for in-wedlock progeny. Plus the lovely K&K sound, which turns the whole thing into an alliterated Hendiadyoin. Vastly more elegant, don’t you think :)) In truth, we brought neither with us to CR. Instead, we dragged along our dogs and had the car shipped, too. I guess it’s more like the kitchen sink, after all!
In Costa Rica we applied for, and were granted, residency and Barry had a couple of surgeries to dispel the boredom of his retirement. We gradually learned more about the country’s delights, quirks, and potholes, we had adventures and made new friends. Additionally, I soon learned of the unexpected difficulties of juggling more than one country of residency. After 34 years of a peaceful life as a US green card holder, it became apparent that I had to appease officialdom and ask for naturalization – before inadvertently giving cause to be booted out. Since I’m not ready, however, to turn my back entirely on my Vaterland, I first petitioned the German Government to allow me to keep my original citizenship also. To my great delight, La Embajada de Alemana en San José informed me a couple of days ago that my Staatsangehörigkeitsbeibehaltungsantrag had been granted. So I will return to Texas in two or three weeks to apply for citizenship of the United States of America. I sincerely hope, they’ll accept and grant my request. For the first time in my life, I’m making a New Year’s resolution: to study civics diligently, to answer all my citizenship questions correctly.
And now I have to cut this short and go and help a caterpillar, which has been trying to fold our front door against its very own frame in an attempt to build a cocoon for its pupation. Normally this endeavor is much more successful if done with leaves. This misguided fellow found our door to be rather more sturdily build than a leave and exceedingly stiff. Not knowing, if it’s possible or even advisable, to move a silk-spinning caterpillar to a different location, I asked Dr. Janzen of the ACG for help and he just answered with his expert directions.
But before I go, I do want to wish everyone the very best for the New Year –
stay healthy, stay safe!