Well, if you've followed our progress on Facebook, you know by now what the house looks like. But, if you picked this sucker up where I started, you're probably wondering who, what, why, when, where, and stuff like that, huh?
So, to back up, before we go forward, here's the nutshell version:
My wife of 42 years, Blanca, is a retired classroom teacher, bilingual certified. She came from a large family, and was born in Los Angeles. Her father was born in Mexico (The Sierra Madre, not too far from Chihuahua, Mexico). Her mother was born in El Paso, but raised in Chihuahua. Blanca was taken back to Chihuahua while still an infant, and stayed there with her grandparents until it was time to start school.
She began school in El Paso, at a Catholic school, where the nuns did not allow her to speak Spanish. This was a bit problematic, since she didn't know any English. She later changed to public schools, and did manage to learn enough English to get by, but lost a grade or two, along the way. Then, just as she was getting the hang of things, her parents abruptly sent her back to Mexico, upon completion of the 8th grade.
She was enrolled in a Private, Catholic Girls' school, in Chihuahua, and felt like she had been abandoned, and was overwhelmed, because she did not have the command of Spanish that her new classmates had. So, she once again had to work twice as hard as her classmates, first to just catch up, then to try to stay even.
She did manage to graduate, with a basic business course, from that high school, in 1967, just in time to meet me, when I was stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas, upon her return to El Paso. We met in January of 1968, and were married on June 22, 1968, in the main chapel at Ft. Bliss.
We did move back to my home of record, Seattle, upon my discharge from the Army late that same year, and I found work at Boeing, as an aircraft electrician, on the 747. Blanca found work right across the street from our little house in Seattle, as the bookkeeper for a diaper service. We stayed in Seattle only about 14 months, before we abruptly decided to move to El Paso. This was mostly because she missed her family, and really hated Seattle, but it was not hard for her to convince me that we needed to move.
We settled down in El Paso, buying our second home there in June of 1970, and began to raise a family. I finally got smart and entered college in 1973, after we already had two sons, Arthur, who now lives in Austin, and John, Jr., who still lives in El Paso. Blanca also started college, after me, and even went on to University, while giving birth to our third (Blanca, our lovely daughter, who live in Arlington, Texas) and fourth, Andrew, who also lives in Austin. I remember she had taken a final in one course, or another, the same day our daughter was born.
I became a Registered Nurse, and Blanca became a teacher. I spent 32+ plus years as a Nurse, and Blanca worked more than twenty years as a classroom teacher.
We first started talking about moving to Costa Rica - after retirement - early in the new millenium. So, sometime around 2002, or maybe 2003, we started actively planning to make this idea work. Then, in 2004, we moved from El Paso (after nearly 35 years there) to Dallas. Blanca went to work with Dallas ISD, and I found jobs much easier, and with higher pay than I had ever experienced. We were able to hasten our eventual retirement, because we were able to put more money aside over those last four plus years, than we had ever done before.
Now, we have been here in the Arenal area for nearly a year. We have our own little house, on our own little lot (which has grown to be two lots, and I guess we now have (thanks to Blanca) nearly a half acre. We have an adequate used car, lack for nothing.
So, here we are. Happy, with lots of time on our hands, and lots of new friends. As a matter of fact, our social life is busier than it has ever been.
What's next for this blog? I hope to continue to bring it up to date, and I expect to begin adding my thoughts about some of the things I encounter, adding freely my complaints, grousing, musings, and whatever......remember, as they used to say about GI's (all those many years ago, when I was in the Army), "The troops ain't happy if they're not bitchin'" And, I am still defined by that statement.