On January 17th, I arrived back in Costa Rica after my cold-assed hiatus in Colorado. I was welcomed back by warm embraces and warm weather, and things were going great. A day or two after I got back, I went to Angela’s house in Berlin with the intention to propose to her. I was assured in my mind that she was the one for me, and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and I was confident that she’d say “yes” when I asked her to marry me. Still, I was a little nervous, partially due to the fact that I needed to ask for her parents’ permission and blessing. As a teacher, I’m used to public speaking, but I almost never do it in Spanish. Mainly, I just didn’t want to come off sounding like a Neanderthal Gringo to my future parents-in-law.
When I got to her house, though, I gained courage from a strange source: a can of paint. Rest assured, my dear reader, that I in fact did NOT do a bit of huffing before I proposed to my future bride; however, when I looked into Angela’s room, I noticed that she’d painted it a bright-ass, garish hue of neon green. It was a tone that was only one or two degrees of green away from the bright-ass, garish green that I had painted MY old room in Colorado recently. For some strange reason, that helped encourage me even more. With additional back-up from Angela, I went out to the porch to ask for her parent’s permission and blessing. They said yes, and that they’d be happy to welcome me into their humble family, and that two good people like Angela and myself deserved each other.
I went back inside, only to find that Angela was in the bathroom (apparently it took me a while to gain the courage to ask her parents, and one can only hold it so long). When she came out, her parents had by then come inside, and I guess they assumed that I’d already asked her, since we were standing together in the kitchen. In any case, after sweating bullets for about ten more minutes, I finally got a chance to be alone with her, and I asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we were both incredibly happy. We celebrated that night by going to the Carneval procession of the giant Fiesta week in Palmares, where we watched from the side of the road like newly-crowned royalty, being entertained by a parade of dancing groups, giant masked figurines, and a series of tricked-out Honda Civics with gull-wing doors and booming stereos.
The next day, we began to prepare for a visit from my mom, who arrived on the 20th. The evening my mom arrived, Angela and I went to pick her up at the airport with healthy dose of happy anticipation, a rented Nissan Sentra, and a colorful sign reading “Phylis Sitzman!” With all three of those elements in tow, we were assured a wonderful week of traveling and getting to know one another (And let us here give a special thanks to the car, which let us avoid riding on buses radiating the scent of diesel exhaust and old cheese). My mom got to meet Angela and Abuela, as well as many members of both of their families, and all of them treated her to a warm welcome and some wonderful food. I think that she had a great time, from what I can tell…and part of that may be due to the fact that—literally without exception—everyone that met my mom commented on how young she looked.
While she was here, we went to Berlin a few times, we drove to La Fortuna to spend two nights visiting the volcano and engaging in some good tourist fun, and we also went all around San Ramon seeing what there was to see. I was very happy to see that my mom and Angela got along splendidly, and that everything went off pretty much without a hitch. So, here are a few pictures that we took when my mom was here. Some were taken by her, and some by me:
And–for no real good reason–here´s a picture of my family´s dog, The Other Dog, wearing a diaper for some reason. I have no idea what the story is behind this picture, but I came across it when I was getting pictures off of my mom´s memory card.