Let me first begin with the advantages of visiting in California.
#1. I get to see all of my children and grandchildren and even have a few brief moments of individual time with each of them which I treasure more than they know. Since Cole’s death this past May, I want to have a sense of who these growing grandchildren are and what they are currently up to in their lives, as well as hear how my children are coping with the daily opportunities and challenges of life. I am happy to report that everyone is surviving quite well.
Greg and family are last on my visit schedule so I am not quite sure how each of them is doing but from my conversations with them, all is well and everyone is thriving.
Leah will be starting a new job with the Yolo County School Administration office on January 6th, a job that is meant for her and SO MUCH closer to her Dixon home. The other members of the Smith Family are doing very well. Tim loves teaching and is such a good teacher. He was able to update me on my Apple iPhone and my Apple laptop without causing loss of data files. Hannah is in the last half of her junior year at Chico State and I am the proud recipient of “Chico State Grandma” coffee cup and T-shirt. Isaiah, a junior at Dixon High, is the owner of a 1999 Chevy truck that boasts a new stereo system and is kept pristine; fit for grandma travel as a passenger.
Aaron’s family is constantly active. Aaron is still employed by Horizon/Pool Corp. as a regional warehouse manager. Jennifer continues teaching at East Avenue Middle School in Livermore, coaching girl’s soccer, very active with the family geneology–thankfully someone is taking the time to do this–and pursing art projects. The boys, John and James, are both working and going to school. John is interested in police science, James graduates from high school this year. Jessica is a beautiful high school freshman, already active as a soccer referee for the younger teams.
The Bent Family is struggling with recovery after Cole’s untimely death. However, I have to acknowledge the three of them. They are looking much better during the two days I had with them upon my return to CA. Rivka loves working as the administrative assistant for the Head of School at Our Lady of Peace (OLP) a Catholic all girls high school in San Diego, although the trip from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego everyday isn’t much fun. Brian has opened his own eclectic shop, “The Hot Rod Garage Sale”, in San Diego and is doing his custom clothing manufacturing, sculpture, and painting all out of the shop which is so much fun to see. Esther is working as a barrista at Zebra Coffee Shop in San Clemente and playing drums for Brian’s bands. She will start back to college again in 2014 and has been sending all necessary paperwork to Pepperdine, Loma Alta, and UC Santa Barbara. Since she is tri-lingual, I hope she gets the best school that she wants for international marketing.
#2. One of the purposes of this trip was to evaluate the need for maintaining health care coverage in the US that is costing a lot versus giving up my MediCare and HMO to obtain health insurance in Nicaragua. I decided to eliminate MediCare at this time. I will, however, keep my Longterm Care insurance active. You can tell, I plan on living at least as long as my Mom and my Aunts–99, 103, and 93–who died within the past two years.
#3. I signed papers to sell my West Sacramento home. Yes, the frontyard farm is up for sale. When the WS house sells, I will start building my house on the Guasacate property I have in Nicaragua. Think positive thoughts and prayers that the house sells soon for the price that I want. If I can’t get my price, I won’t sell at this time.
Thankfully Leah stores my winter clothes in a suitcase so that I can bundle up when I am in CA. Believe me, I have layers of shirts, flannel lined pants, and long socks on everyday. The news says that CA is having a warm spell now. I’m glad that someone thinks it is warm. I don’t complain that it is too hot in Nicaragua where I live. When there isn’t a breeze, I go to the ocean.
Christmas gifts came early for me in 2013. I received my Nicaragua residency (cedula) on December 15th, three days before I flew out of the country. Thanks to my NI attorney, Jaime Hernandez, and his staff, Agnes Lopez Joaquin, who changed my immigration interview date from two days after my scheduled flight to five days before and made sure that all the previously submitted paperwork was in my documents folder. The US could take some notes about immigration processes, although it is not a piece of cake process in Nicaragua either. Bottom line is that I am a grateful resident of Nicaragua and don’t have to leave every 90 days to keep my US passport updated. I do have a scheduled flight back to CA in mid-July 2014. Since my US family is dynamic, I want to see them at least a couple of times a year. Someday, I hope they will see fit to come to my Nicaragua paradise.
I will be leaving the US on Jan. 18th to fly home and will report the news from my Nica Life in 2014.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Healthy, Prosperous, and Exciting New Year.