A woodpecker feeding off the bugs on the tree
Well, I feel a bit strange about our 8-month mark. It's one of those 'wow, it's gone by so fast' combined with 'it feels like we've been here a very long time'. This time last year, our house had been up for sale a week and we were in hyper-cleaning mode,maintaining that model home look. It was a different kind of stress. I was going to work everyday, feeling quite duplicitous: excited but fraudulent. It was only the first week, and we were getting great feedback so our optimism was soaring. Little did we know it would take 2-and-a-half months before the right buyer would come along. There was a lot of anxious moments within the selling process, yet Kevin and I felt so sure that moving to Costa Rica, buying this farm, was our next step forward: we learned the meaning of patience during that period. Had we not sold our house, I might have learned the meaning of nervous breakdown as well. I just wasn't coping very well. Although last year's winter was pretty mild, it was still winter. I had a good job, but felt like I was just going through the motions. I felt the only way I'd find my true purpose (other than being a mother to my two great kids) was to take a humungous leap into the unknown, leaving my comfort zone. The fact that Kevin was just as eager to embark on such an adventure was my saving grace. What are the odds, really? Once we sold the house the stress shifted. Relieved that our dreams were coming true, there were all kinds of things that now needed serious attention: negotiation with the seller of the farm, packing, shipping and so forth. We had 45 days to decide what we would sell (and sell it... which included my Lexus and Kevin's 4-Runner), what we would take with us and what we would trash (my favourite part). I love a good purge... Kevin, not so much. We had to get all the legal documents ready, signed by our lawyer, signed by Foreign Affairs, then finally signed by the consulate of Costa Rica in Ottawa. While I was going to work, Kevin was back home taking care of all this paperwork. That was a full-time job in itself, but it all got done. As I write this, Frankie is snuggling comfortably beside me... but back then, getting a straight answer regarding what we needed to do to bring her over was probably our biggest headache. Kevin called the airlines, the airline Pet Safe department, the Costa Rican Consulate, Costa Rican customs, the agency in Costa Rica who helps expats with all sorts of questions... everyone had a different answer. It wasn't until we walked out of the airport with Frankie that we were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. We did it, but certainly not due to any clear information.
Today, 8-months later, I look back and I see how much we've accomplished in a relatively short time. We survived our first rainy season, was introduced to the raging river, managed to go without internet for a whole month, crossed obstacles, solved problems, raised some healthy (and tasty) fish, raised some happy hens (tasty eggs), learned how not to plant potatoes, what to do when white flies infest our beautiful tomatoes plants, got rid of wasps by chopping down a rotted tree, cleaned up the hatchery, did some fundraising, started to teach English, opened our B&B with what we would call success. Many firsts for us, yet it all feels perfectly natural. It feels like we were meant to do this. It kind of feels like we've been doing a whole lot longer than only 8 months. We've dug right in and it now feels familiar. Only recently we've figured what routine really works for us... I'm an all or nothing kind of gal, so I tend to either procrastinate or work like a demon for 12 hours straight I definitely had that confirmed when I started writing a few weeks ago. I sat in my chair for hours without stretching to the point it felt like rigor mortis had started to set in. I've decided since we can pretty much be guaranteed of gorgeous sunshine every morning, I will do all my outside work before lunch. Then after lunch, I will dedicate 2 to 3 hours to writing. Yesterday, I decided to write in the guesthouse (only during the days when we don't have guests, of course... that would be a little weird otherwise). I love the lighting in there, the quiet, nothing to distract me. So, as the rain starts to fall more consistently in the afternoon, I can sit and write my book. Kevin, well, he always keeps busy with one project or another. A farmer's job is never, done.
We continue to feel blessed and look forward to what tomorrow brings.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!