We’ve been back in Canada for 3 weeks now. Most days it has felt we never left Canada – except for the occasional hint, which in that moment we’re retelling / reliving a memory from Costa Rica.

I miss the dry warmth and ever-present sunshine. A LOT. I miss the way I could literally do nothing, and not feel one ounce of guilt about it – that is, if listening to the sounds of CR: monkeys, birds, dogs, people … watching the foliage sway in the breeze … sipping on a cold something-something … munching on freshly picked fruit … dipping my toes in the pool … communicating with friends and family back in Canada … and writing / journaling my thoughts equals doing nothing. I miss the vibrantly coloured oceanic sunsets. I miss the happy pups at the complex – especially those coconut-throwing adventures with Zona the Dog. I miss being ok with a dirty floor! (No matter how hard I kept at it, the floor was always dirty. Blame the pups, the hubby, the wind, ok: blame me too. I learned that it was better to give in than to fight against it.) I miss the fresh fruits and veggies, especially from the mom-and-pop feria down the street. I miss the fish sticks and chicken fingers at Las Brisas, the cheesecake at La Perla’s, and the margaritas and coconut shrimp at Tiki’s. I miss the cheaper-than-here Flor de Caña rum. I miss going for a ride in Jeff G’s 1990-something no-top yellow Jeep. I miss my having clothing choice for the day being which bikini and sarong I’d wear – and then which sundress I’d slip over if/when we’d go out. I sooooooo miss the beach, not necessarily being on the beach, just listening to the surf crash against the sand, which we could hear quite some distance away. I really miss the friends we made there – you know who you are 😉 Some of you became like family. I miss how anything and everything could turn into a celebration with you!

But being back, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with my children, grandbaby, parents and some other dear friends (some of you, we still have to see!). And BERRIES! How I missed my strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries 🙂 Other than that – my wonderful people and my luscious berries (LOL!) – I honestly didn’t miss too much from Canada.

Emilia and me:


Since we’ve been back we went straight into working on the house, getting it ready for listing it this summer. {Read here: LOTS. OF. WORK.} I guess me being away from my house for the better part of the last 2½ years has taken its toll. Yes, my children were living in it, and handling the day-to-day operations well, but some stuff just got not-done. Now when we’re going to sell it, all those things that I thought I’d do “someday” are glaring at us. And having a 100+year old house, we’re careful about what we “fix” – we’ve already learned that one small issue can EASILY turn into a $1000 opening-up-a-can-of-worms project.

Jesse and I working hard at it:



My parents came out yesterday; we worked HARD and accomplished much. Jesse calls my dad Frank the Tank for his strength and stamina. And Sara is like the Energizer Bunny: only stops for a few minutes to re-fuel, then right back at it. We got more done as a quartet in one full day than Jesse and I could have done in 5 days.

It’s been good for Jesse and I to work side-by-side with this common goal, and for me to shed pounds and pounds of stuff that my children and I have accumulated and kept for decades. {Too bad those pounds didn’t come off my waistline 😉 }

It’s been such a hard-work process – not only physically, but emotionally as well. Releasing my “stuff” is not easy, yet it’s oh-so rewarding and empowering. What has helped the most was envisioning a new start, and new life with Jesse. Relishing the past, embracing the memories, crying and laughing, story-telling … and the letting go, with a promise and a hope.

Jesse and I have come a long way in our relationship, and this – the working, the purging, the cleaning, the releasing, the embracing, the dreaming – has been hard, yet so very very good. We have really meshed as a team. We’ve discovered strengths and limitations in each other, some of which have been a true surprise, even though we’ve been together for 2 years now.

When I made some comments to a dear friend about some of our tough-stuff, she responded with: “Thanks for sharing that you’re not ONLY honeymooning all the time, either” … I guess that’s how we’ve come across to some of you, that our life is all sunshine, flowers, and rainbows. The reality is that we’re imperfect people in an imperfect relationship. With our strong personalities, mixed backgrounds, differing life stages, and age gap, we’ve had to intentionally focus on keeping our relationship, and thus our commitment to each other, a priority.

Tomorrow is another huge knot in our life together. MY SURGERY. The unknowns are great: Will they find cancer? How will recovery be? Pain? How long until I feel like myself again? How will my body “work” after recovery? What will my new body look like? Unknowns about the 2nd, albeit much more minor, surgery in 3 months.

Then the unknowns about the house. Unknowns about how long we’ll be in Manitoba. Unknowns about how to keep our financial status in the black. Unknowns about “life” in Ontario – housing, jobs, relationships. Unknowns about the paths my children are/will be taking.

So I look back to when I was living with some pretty great unknowns just a few years ago, and do what I did then. I remind myself of what I know to be true – and to be a seeker of the TRUTH. I remind myself to live a life of gratitude – and to be thankful for every moment and every breath. And I remind myself to leave the unknowns ALONE. Just live each moment as full as I can. The unknowns will become known at the exact moment they are meant to be in this one (un)expected life.


Thanks for reading. Any comments, questions, concerns, encouragement? Send us an email at cdlevair @, or a private message on FaceBook.