Monday, June 22, 2020

A New Home

6/22/20 21:19 N New St. Bethlehem

Last week, I made an offer on a house and it was accepted.  It is exciting.  For years I thought I would never own another home.  It’s a long story and if you’re really curious, please let me know.  I will be closing on July 17th, which is almost three years to the day when Ali and I split.  It’s amazing to think it has been three years. Three years later, I am married to the love of my life.  Moved into a new house in a new state and starting over.  As you know, Meli and I are working on the visa and I will provide updates; but for now it’s one of those entries.  The heat is stifling in the room and the only break is the tapping of the keys.  You ask, where is your house?  It is in Bethlehem, it is a single and it has a yard.  It is on a dead end street, so to speak.  It has a driveway and a garage and basement and three bedrooms, so the kids can come up and visit.  There is work to do, like pulling up the carpet, throwing out some furniture, painting, floor finishing and tackling the outside.  Looking forward to the project and thinking about what needs to get done.  One room at a time.  Start in the living room.  Order a new mattress.  I will write down a list or maybe not since a list may be too much for me.  I need structure and I like projects.  I need to buy a lawn mower.  I will buy a lawn mower.  Tomorrow an inspector is heading over at 4 PM and it will take two hours for the inspection.  I think it will be less time.  Like I said, it is hot.   I just finished a beer in seconds and I may have another.

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Spousal Visa Process, Part II

6/6/20 18:00

Updates on the Visa, I ordered a copy of the birth certificate and received it this week.  The two passport photos with a white background, also done.  The hurdle will be the divorce paperwork which means I need to go to a UPS store to notarize my signature and send a check to the country government on Long Island – through the mail.  My wife is working on her items, but it is more challenging since she is in Mexico and needs to process her order in Costa Rica.  So, that it is where we are.  We need to make time to accomplish what is pending.  With the current events and the global crisis, there is a feeling that perhaps this will take even longer.  As long as we take action, any action towards our goals it is better than another day - another week - slipping by.

Looking at homes in the area that I can afford.  I am not that confident that this is the right time to distract myself with another home, instead I need to focus.  The real estate agent sent a new listing for Nazareth which is a competitive market, a two bedroom that looks promising.  There are a couple of houses in the area that look intriguing, but there’s not a rush to jump into an empty house.  This house is empty enough and can’t imagine what it will be like buying furniture, a bed and the rest. 

Spoke with the publisher and they are reviewing my manuscript.

I may travel back to Mexico this August.

This is an opportunity to rise, to express our good angels, to share our faith in each other and speak in unity and compassion.  God bless the peace makers and courageous protesters!

Maybe it’s time to get outside and get in a game of basketball?

Thank you for reading this

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Immigration Process, my wife is a Costa Rican citizen

5/28/20 22:11

My wife and I have been using ZOOM at night.  We start with WhatsApp, and soon switch to Zoom.  It gives us the ability to work and see one another.  The last time we were together was on March 7.  Covid was starting to take hold in different parts of the world.  I wore a mask at the airport in Mexico City, and yet it seemed the virus was a distant threat.  The same attitude some world leaders regrettably took.  I have permission to work in Mexico City, to be with my wife, but the hospitals in Mexico are not prepared for this crisis.  It may not be a good time to travel there.   Do I want to risk it? There are travel restrictions, essential personal is allowed entry, not tourists.  After checking more details on-line, the restrictions are meant to curtail land entry, but not air.  Maybe in a couple of weeks?  I’ll talk with Meli about this tonight.
The visa process has been on-hold.  Due in part to the government agencies had been closed. 
But honestly, it has been difficult to dedicate time to this process.  One factor may be the way we have led our long distant relationship for these past two years. Things are not that different, although we are married.  It’s the same.  Each day, we wait; it’s another day longer in the process.  It’s that simple. 
Last night, Meli and I discussed structuring our time more effectively.  Which includes making time for the visa process.
Taking action has been my theme for the last few weeks.  Whatever action that may include, family, work, visa, exercise, program, meditation.  I need to take the time.  If I take the time and accomplish my tasks, I will meet my goals.  Sounds simple. 
So, how about it?  I am going to keep a record of what we need to do to accomplish this.  The first task has been completed, contacting Catholic Charities in Allentown who are assisting in the process, check.  Completed.  They asked if I obtained the necessary documents. No check there.  Not yet.  So we are back to square one.
Order my birth certificate from the town, which I was told is easy enough.  I will do this today.
Order proof of my divorce, I tried to go through Suffolk Country offices web site, but the offices were closed and there was not a link to process this request.  In the past, I needed to go to office in Riverhead, which is at the end of Long Island.  I needed the same official paperwork to get married in Costa Rica, and last November I drove out to the offices. I obtained and submitted – all originals to the lawyer who conducted our civil ceremony, my paperwork – our paperwork is stored in a government office in Costa Rica.  I am not getting them back.
Take a passport photo with a blue background?  I will double check on the blue.  I will take care of it this weekend at the local CVS. 
Both my wife and I have been busy at work and we are blessed to have our jobs.  We are both hard workers and now with this blog entry, it will serve as a record keeper, I will record our progress.  And this includes the effects of the Covid-19 virus.

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Blue skies, snow flakes in May

5/9/20 16:39 Bethlehem, PA

The loneliness is kicking in.  I can give into and feel the misery or I can make healthy choices.  What can I do at this moment instead of self-pity and stirring the pot of fear? Exercise, clean the house, make a healthy meal.  Write for my blog.  Foe the past few weeks, Meli and I have been watching movies, at least one night of the week on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  I am grateful for these moments with mi esposa, since we are not sure when we will get together.  My heart is going out to the families who are on-line for food, who are unemployed, suffering and wake up in desperation.  The first responders and those who are heading to work in supermarkets, the essential workers, I am in awe.  The bus drivers and postal workers, those who are in factories, production at our plants.  Those who are working at Sharp, Thank you.  May God bless you and your families.  I’ve noticed the media’s penchant for bad news, the black hole which is thousands and thousands of light years away is getting closer.  A killer wasp that can wipe out the bee population, the untold deaths from Covid-19 to name a few.  There are many times when I feel frightened.  I was looking forward to a sunny Spring day, but it is chilly and even saw snow flurries.  Yes, it is May.  It is not the end of the world.  This will pass and we will come out all of this closer and stronger and perhaps take into consideration all the good in each of us. Even if we are wearing masks and follow lines in supermarkets to keep us aligned.  Find the good.  Patient endurance. 

Some good news?  I am in negotiations with a publisher for the last novel I completed, Bombastic Adventures in the Arizona Desert.  Better news?  I can see the blue sky over Bethlehem.  Focus on gratitude and let it blossom, like the leaves.

Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

This too shall pass, let go and let God

4/2/20 22:17 Bethlehem, PA

This too shall pass and yet the question begs to be asked; when?  I feel sorry for the families stuck inside their homes, dogs and cats as well.  I have the serenity of a quiet house.  I live with two other guys, each of us has a bedroom and we share the rest of the house.  Not too bad of a place, but it can use some work.  Be grateful.  I am trying to be grateful at this time of uncertainty and yet I cherish the changes in nature.  The trees are blooming, flowers are spouting and yet the silence looms in the streets.  As if no one is outside to take in the rush of scents and colors.  It’s young and fresh.  The season.  No more winter.  I noticed a neighbor hanging their bed sheets out on the line and was envious, what a great day to let the sheets take in the sun and the breeze. I can find gratitude for seeing that or the other neighbor next to us, the one who I can see inside their house when the Venetian blinds are open or up, the one with the piano, TV and lamps, and their bird feeder which is attached with suction cups to their window.  A pair of cardinals and many sparrows come to feed from it.  Once a squirrel hopped up and the feeder crashed to the ground.  They fixed it.  Their cat watches the birds from the warmth of the room, his head darts back and forth till he accepts the fact, the birds are outside and he is still in the warmth of his room.  And that has been my days so far.  I miss hanging with the kids and watching something, popcorn and their laughter and yet if I was with them – their insanity - there is a good chance I will be off in another room.  That is the fact of my life when we were all together, I was off in my room or in the den reading and trying to gain some serenity.  What does the future hold?  Possibilities and the living a clean and sober life, but it is one day at a time for me.  I am not sure how long the visa process will take, but as long as Meli and I maintain our communication and humor, there is little we cannot get through.  There are people dying, More than 5,000 in the US.  Families are devastated, emotionally and financially.  More than 6 million filed for unemployment and what would it be like for most if they were working?  Living paycheck to paycheck and all of a sudden, they are hit with hardship, pain, fear.  Bare down and consider who is around you and be grateful. “But we’re hungry.”  Grateful for who is in your life and what they bring to you.  Open a book and read, this is the time we waited for, we can discover ourselves for the first time and appreciate who we are.  Let hope reign and fear ride in the back seat like a pain in the ass who wants to know when we’re going to get there.  Let it pass.

Thank you for reading this and God bless you and your families.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Breathe in and let in God

3/18/20 23:06 Bethlehem, PA

Leaving my parent’s house was sad.  There was the sense that it could be the last time I saw my mother alive.  She came outside to see me off, blowing me a kiss and a God bless.  I love you.  Maybe she was trying to ask me to stay another night?  There was not the usual handshake from my father, no hug for Ma.  I drove off in my car with some groceries I had bought and intended to eat while staying there.  But I was done.  I spent two nights and their day to day activities and banal conversations were making me irritable.  I was working in a room upstairs and they’re yelling to one another – not fighting about some bullshit in plain English.  There is enough stress in the world, I reminded my son of this in a text.  He can read it here and so can you. There is enough unease and panic that erupts with each sneeze or dry cough and I can hear my roommate upstairs hacking.  The good news, I am away from my parents and the idea that I am a carrier or that one of us is sick in their house was too much.  Get out.  Before leaving, I made sure my sister, Eileen would buy them groceries, I did not want Dad out in the world and especially in a crowded supermarket, searching for a way to save a dime.   He is very frugal.  He did not balk or try to interfere when I said I spoke with Eileen who will take care of the shopping.  Yes.  Good idea.  That is done.  My other sister is holed up in her house for fear of the virus.  They have enough food and toilet paper for a couple of weeks.  I think she is alright.  I can call her.  I will call her.  I will call my brother and cousins as well.  This is a time to share our isolations and our vulnerabilities.  This will pass like a long wind which dissipates over the ocean.

Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

39,900 feet above Athens, Ga

3/7/20 17:38 39,826 above Georgia

I miss her already.  Yesterday, we went for a walk in a national park in Mexico City.  The squirrels are tame.  They approached us looking for a snack, but Meli and I kept on moving, eventually she became scared of the little critters who looked innocent enough, but like any real terror they play the part of the cute creatures, taunting us, a horde of violent rodents, till we ran for our lives.  I miss her.  We bought flowers and plants for her apartment, and planted the new flowers in the bed outside her living room window, hovering four stories over the street.  She appreciated all I did, but we worked together on the project. We are a team and by the end of the night, we were exhausted.  I don’t want to fly back and yesterday I thought, what would it be like for both of us if we lived in Mexico?  We could go for walks in the parks and share meals together, and just be together all of the time, but I won’t make such a decision since my children are back in the States.  Meli and I have come to the conclusion that having children is not a good idea.  And that is that.  It’s based on a couple of things, I already have four children and my age.  It’s a fact.  From the flight map is appears we are approaching Athens, GA.  The memories of the town.  Athens is calling you.  I bought a promo poster for REM’s album Reckoning on Ebay for $30, it’s something I wanted for my collection for decades, Letter Never Sent…I can share this town (Athens) with Meli and we will share Yellowstone and Vegas and jazz concerts and classical concerts.  On our last night in Oaxaca, we went to a classical concert together, sat in the front row and walked back to the hotel with some secret fears that it was night in the strange, colorful city and yet we didn’t know what the ominous shadows may contain.  Nothing.  We made it back to the hotel and shared a drink before falling asleep.  This trip was different compared to the rest.  I worked yesterday and Thursday, actually we both did.  She was upset that her manager was asking for assistance while she was on vacation, and both of us stirred the pot of resentment.  There is a baby crying a few rows back.  I recall those days and don’t really want them again.  I loved my children when they were younger, cute and little who were very curious and funny, and the baby falls back to sleep for a few seconds.  Tell us a story Dad.  And I would make up a story on the fly and share something that involved them.  Tell us a story.  I am grateful since Bella and I are texting.  Joe does not want me to mention him in this blog, so I will respect his wishes.  Emma and I are talking and I was thinking of heading back to Long Island tonight, but will not.  Turbulence as we approach North Carolina, maybe next week I will get back to Long Island.
Let the music carry me away.  When I get my car and drive back to Bethlehem, I will put on REM.  There’s a few songs I would like to listen to.  It’s getting darker and after 1800, 39,350 feet above Charlotte.  Maybe it’s time to have another glass of wine.  Meli is expecting some friends to come over, they can look over the bed of flowers we planted and get a feeling that being a part from one another is never easy.  Yeah, flying above these Southern states and the lights in the cabin are dimmed.  I released again and feel much better thank you for your concerns.  I feel like watching The Joker again which I took in on the way down to Mexico.  The flight is close to a sellout; we took our chances for various reasons to risk the exposure to the Coronavirus. The desire to venture into the States, to get back home, to escape from home or to see what Freedom appeared like from the other side of a TV screen.  Who can say that?  We are hitting turbulence, but I don’t care.  My love is in Mexico and each second I am flying miles away from her.

Thank you for reading this

A New Home

6/22/20 21:19 N New St. Bethlehem Last week, I made an offer on a house and it was accepted.   It is exciting.   For years I thought ...