Home Alone - While Andy Is Away

by Fran Browne

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When Andy started planning his month long US trip, I started to wonder how I would handle being by myself for such a long period of time.  Remember, I have been married for 38 years.  That's a long time being with just one person.  I joked that it will be great and that I was really looking forward to it.  Finally the remote control would be mine and I didn't have to worry about stepping in anything "damp" in the bathroom!  At least for a month the house would be free from clutter.  I could eat M&Ms for dinner and come and go as I pleased.  Awh the single days.

When we lived in the States, Andy or I would travel for work, but neither of us were gone for a month, usually just a week or two.  I have to admit, when Andy was on the road, I really did enjoy my "alone time."  It was different then, we worked and were busy raising Sean and Mike.  But now we are retired and the circumstances are different.

But now that he has been away, the house seems eerily quiet.  Yes, it is free from clutter, but not really cleaner.  Remember, I live in the land of dirt, bugs and dust.  The kitchen is cleaner, since I have been going out to eat with the girls much more than usual.  And when I am cooking at home, Im not making anything that requires substantial cleanup.  But on the positive side, if I eat a big lunch out with my friends, I tend to not eat dinner.  When I do make something it is usually soup, sandwich or salad.  Truth be told, Im too lazy to make a big meal for just moi! 

Andy usually pays the bills, deals with the house and car issues, but for now I have assumed these responsibilities. However, much to my surprise, things have gone quite well.  Last week I got the car inspected, paid all the bills online and even dealt with repairs to our AC with a Tico repairman.  The car inspection was a piece of cake even though my Spanish skills are less than awful.

I just learned a few more words, smiled a lot and used my pathetic old lady eyes and had no problems. 

When paying the bills online, the computer was acting weird.  Andy would have fixed it in a second but since he was 2500 miles away, I did the next best thing... I called the my neighbor.  Having North American neighbors close by is essential for our survival... at least it is for me.  Its nice to have someone close by if there is a problem we help them and they help us.  Its a win, win for both of us. 

Andy's absence has also forced me to become more independent.  Last week I took off for the day with my 4 legged girls to explore a new beach.  Im not sure I would have done this with Andy here.  Even though I got lost, we finally found the beach and had a great time. I also did a long road trip to a beach called Doa Ana, two hours away near the port of Puntarenas.  I was able to hook up with a bunch of our ex-neighbors from San Ramon who decided to do a day trip to the beach.  It was really great seeing everyone and catching up on stories about the old "hood."  I really need to do this more often.  The last time I saw many of these people was when we moved away.  That was more than 1 years ago.

I am the type of person who needs to stay busy.  My normal week consists of playing/walking on the beach each morning.  I take yoga classes twice a week and also help teach English at the local school.  And when Im not doing that, I am glued to Facebook, staying in touch with friends and family and also answer some expat related questions from the occasional Boomers Offshore fan.  Of course I miss Andy, but I am surprised that I am more independent than I thought.   The key for me is to be happy where you live and be happy with yourself. 

I would be lying if I told you that everyday is a good day.  Some days I get bored or for some unknown reason am pissed off at the world.  But this happens if Andy is here or not.  I have noticed that when I am alone I sometimes have a pity party for no real reason.  I eat too much chocolate and watch too many chick flicks. Not sure why this happens, I am retired and living at the beach in Costa Rica, I am living the dream of many people. Maybe it is just hormones or a sugar rush from the chocolate.  Or maybe that's the way life is.  Everyday is not Pura Vida.

Ok enough writing its beach time with my furry girls. 



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