Back in the Dominican Republic

I am back in the Dominican Republic. I left with mixed emotions Wednesday, March 30th. I have been gone for two and a half months. It was difficult to say so-long to Dad. It has been such a wonderful gift to spend such quality time with him. I mean no disrespect to my stepmother but the whole atmosphere in the house was so totally different now that she is no longer with us. Plus, without the responsibility of her care, Dad and I were able to go out together. Before I left, I had Dad apply for a passport. He may never use it but next winter, if he would like, I would love to have him come for a visit. I am not certain if the Dominican Republic would be the best “world experience” for him. He doesn’t really care for the ocean or the beach. Plus, I think he would experience culture shock with the noise, language, etc. We are suppose to be here until December and then onto a new adventure. Although we don’t know where that might be, hopefully, it will be a better place for him to visit.

He has made the adjustment from care giver to being single very well. He had a year to prepare for the fact that someday, Bea would no longer be with him. Plus, I think have the days get longer and eventually warmer…it has been a tough spring season this year, has been a help. Dad and his buddy, Roy, whose wife passed away a year ago from kidney failure (the same as Bea) go Monday through Fridays for lunch at the Senior Center in Hallowell. It is a great bargain…$4.00 for lunch and a time to get out of the house and socialize. Plus, with the warmer weather, he has been going over to get my brother’s, Mike, dog. (Is that punctuated correctly?) He and Molly walk around the neighborhood and then, for the rest of the afternoon, Molly keeps him company until Mike comes over for his daily visit after work. It is really the best of both worlds for him. He has access to a dog but not the responsibilities of owning a pet!

The other reason it was bitter-sweet to leave is because of Leanne and Jason. Jason, David’s cousin, is our house sitter. He had a beautiful rescued greyhound, Leanne. I am not certain how long he had her but she was 12 years old. For the two weeks before I was to leave, Leanne was having health issues with her left, hind leg. Jason had her back and forth to the vets trying to get a diagnosis. It was discovered that she had a tumor and the day after I left, he made the difficult decision to have her put down. I feel so badly that I was not able to be there for him during this difficult time. I offered to postpone coming back, but he wouldn’t hear of it. Leanne was a lovely, sweet dog and as Jason says, she is no longer in pain and happily chasing rabbits in heaven. It was a tough good-bye to her as I kind of knew that I wouldn’t see her again. It is going to be sad walking into the house and not having her there. She was always so happy to see me no matter how long I was away for.

Now, all of that said, it has been wonderful seeing my amazing, sweet husband again!!! He came home a day early and we have a long weekend to be together. He even brought me flowers! The staff was excited to see me. It was such a warm homecoming….lots of hugs and exclamations for how long I was gone. All of my Dominican friends think I look so healthy because I am so white. Funny how the cultures differ…we gingos think that having a tan exudes health, while the Dominicans think the whiter the better!

It is also nice to wake up and go to sleep to the sounds of the waves lapping on the beach. The temperatures are in the mid-80s and the beach is lovely.

Speaking of beach….the beach dogs look great and were well cared for while I was gone. I am pleased to say that they have been “adopted” by the staff and owners of our condo Beach Palace. It is possible that the condo association may pay for their food when we are gone. However, if this doesn’t happen David and I are prepared to leave a bank account open for them so there is money to feed them.

A project that I did while at home for dad was to paint his kitchen. I had never really painted a room before. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into….my gosh, what a job! I learned two very valuable lessons….1). Ignorance is bliss and 2). The next time I want a room painted, hire a professional!!! It was definitely a great sense of accomplishment when I was finished and I got the ultimate compliment from Dad when he said that it was better than what a professional could have done because a professional would have cut corners and he knew that I hadn’t! Thanks, Dad. I think that he is really enjoying the fresh paint job.

David and I just handed out LL Bean caps to the staff at our condo down here. They are really neat! On the visor are little lights and we figured they would come in handy for the guards…especially the night guards. They all loved them.

We took a morning dip in the ocean. The water is really cool but it was refreshing. Right now, the beach is very quiet. Just the way I like it. That will all change the week before Easter…the 17th to the 24th. It is called Semana Santa or Holy Week. It is like Mardi Gras, minus the parades….lots of partying, loud music on the beach, Dominicans leaving trash everywhere. I want no part of it. David and I are looking into taking a cruise during that time. We just learned that there might be one out of Santo Domingo. If not, we have found one out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. So, stay tuned for our next adventure!

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