HI From San Luis, Costa Rica! December must be the busiest month of the year; between shoppers in the big malls and business preparing for the masses from book promoters to restaurants and the fabulous internet. Amazon is cranking in millions and coordinating with all the logistics people to get their products out on time.
Travel is hectic as millions are looking for the best flights to anywhere for the cheapest prices. I sit lazily in my reclining chair writing and reading and hoping the rain stops soon. Crazy isn’t it? I bought a new Apple computer and proceeded to lose my files on the front page and cannot find my files. Anyone know how to find them? I tried to contact Apple and they do not give you support unless you pay for AppleCare. Crazy isn’t? You pay $1500.00 for a computer and they do not give you support for your expense. Crazy isn’t it? Makes me want to give it back to Apple. If I did not own two I pads and and I phone I would tell them to go get… Opps! I got a little carried away for a minute,SORRY!
This afternoon San Luis is beautifully green and my garden looks great. I feel good and I am ready for the holidays. Peace, harmony and goodwill is my wishes for everyone. I hope you get a chance to purchase one of my books to read on the holiday vacations. A list of my books below:
I always thought that a family that stayed together, played together, ate together, loved together, was a happy family, but through they years the fabric of a family can tear. Dissolve into selfishness and uncaring in our stubbornness. One incident can tear a once loving family into two or three unwanted factions of disappointment and hate. Coming into the Holidays is supposed to be a period to be thankful you have the family to fall back on to enjoy life. Instead the splintered group falls into what the individuals call harmony.
I remember the holidays when brothers and sisters took the time to visit Mom and Dad for thanksgiving and everyone pitched in to help by bringing a dish for accompanying the stuffed turkey and everyone helped clean up as we watched the Cowboy and the Lions host an NFL game. This is my favorite day of touch football which turned into tackle football as the game progressed or maybe a soft ball game with the gang from work. Beer always accompanied all sports activities. TheFamily would change the house that invited the family for turkey day. One year it was a sister, next year it is a brother, but we all got together even if we lived hundreds of miles away.
Christmas breakfast was at the in-laws and dinner at Mom’s. Christmas Eve was at my best friends house to exchange Christmas ornaments and have egg nog and conversation. It is funny how things change into disharmony such as cancer, death in the family, and attitudes change because of difference of opinion. Family becomes estranged from each other and hearts are broken and stupid verses come out of members mouths that for some reason cannot be forgiven.
Another Holiday Season is upon us; a time to reflect, forgive, and thank people who stay in your life and fond wishes to those who do not want to be in your life. Those people I forgive for their transactions for my life is good, prosperous with those who wish to be part of my life. I have no time for anger, hate, jealousy or animosity’s. Only for tranquility, harmony and love. Thank you for being part of my existence. Pura Vida!
“Family How do you measure a family The arguments and acrimony Or their forgiveness and charity Or their coming together in harmony Is it the everyday being together Helping each other when it matters Coming together in times of need Always willing to please
Timothy M. Nugent: A Collection of Poems
Timothy M. Nugent
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Time to plant, according to all the knowledgeable gardeners out there. Always plant during a full moon 🌕 and watch your garden grow. I like a lot of color.
My garden has doubled and we made a stone walkway, but the picture is not available at this time. Flowers makes my grumpy personality happier to be around. It makes it easier to have a vivid imagination in your writing.
How can you not be happy with such beauty around you? Today was an awesome day. The threatening storms rolled right on by San Luis, Costa Rica. I worked on the garden and my pig BBQ. Time seemed to fly by as I enjoyed the weather. Can you imagine the different flower-aromas that the garden gives out. Humming birds, bees, butterflies visit my garden. Life is good! Pura Vida!
Rains are coming over the eastern mountains as a beautiful rainbow 🌈 appears over the lake. Have a great life and read a book during the cold months. Sit by a hot fireplace and enjoy Poems From Costa Rica. See the excerpt below:
The Forest Behind the B&B A forest you must see Chalet Nicholas is beautiful with natures design It has a forest which is Devine
Howler Monkeys and exotic birds Cicada beetles hold you speechless, no words Screeching their melody louder than the monkeys The birds singing their own melody
Up the trail climbing over roots Thank God we have walking sticks to keep us afoot The owner John leading the trail Seventy two years young, he is not frail We get to the final hill; A difficult climb
Our legs are wobbly but our feet are fine John says a little further to the summit,it is sublime Or you can turn back and do it another time
We decide to head to the barn So we can do it again and tell a different yarn John continued upward and down to the river Headed back home like the adventurer McGiver
Having a great time at Chalet Nicholas B&B Able to achieve a personal Qi Come to Lake Arenal, Costa Rica to rest or play Maybe you may want to stay”
Poems from Costa Rica
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San Luis amazes me at times around this time of the month when the moon is full. The lake appears as the reflection of the moonlight appears on the land. Normally I cannot View the lake in the midnight darkness as the clouds cover our beautiful moon. I lay in my bed facing the sliding glass doors and view Lake Arenal. The lights of the streets in Nuevo Arenal reflect on the surface of the lake as the moonlight shows it’s brilliance.
Colors of red, yellow, and green show brightly on the lake. My side walk, shaded from the moon shows partly outside the overhang of the roof as if a yellow carpet was laid down to guide the way. A slight breeze keeps the humidity down as I lay comfortably in the seventy degree weather. The clouds over the eastern mountains show a ring around their edges as the moon is temporarily sheeted by clouds and my lake slightly disappears as if a great magician is showing a disappearing act to the people of San Luis, Costa Rica.
I fall asleep and awaken at four in the morning. It is my usual time to get up and wait for my sunrise to arrive. I love the sunrises and wonder why I waited so long to rise and shine and visualize God’s great artistry. When I was young it was more important to wine and dine and stay up late parting my fool life away. Thank You Lord for showing me your brilliance as life seems much more impressive now. I write in the early mornings and search for the inspiration to develop fun intriguing characters and plots. Always a story in chapter as if life is a short story. I hope you enjoy my writing and my accounts of Costa Rica and it’s people. Pura Vida. Thank you 🙏
T M NUGENT An old man wearing a black Giants’ hat, gray hair down to his shoulders, with a gray mustache and gray beard down to his chest, is seen walking away from a crime scene. He uses a cane to balance an injured leg. An abusive husband attacked his wife, and the old man intervened and disappeared into thin air. On the husband’s chest is a note. Leave your ex alone or deal with the Chameleon. CHAPteR tHRee tHe CAse oF tHe ACCIDentAL PoIsonInG
It is a quiet winter’s morning. The snow is falling, and the temperature is two degrees Fahrenheit. Lucky tells Carla, “Let’s spend a couple of months in Costa Rica. It is too cold here in DC!” Carla agrees, and Lucky and Carla searches the internet and finds a beautiful house in El Cielo, Costa Rica. It is a road off the main highway overlooking Lake Arenal; you can see the whole lake from the living room. It has every amenity for a thousand dollars a month. Maybe the kids will visit, and we can make it a family affair, thinks Carla. The house is quiet. Mom and Dad are gone for three months. enjoying Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Charlie’s phone rings. “Charlie, Claire here, I was going through my emails and received a strange message. It says, ‘Help me please. My family wants me dead.’ Should I track it down?” “Yes, if you can get a complete name and address,” says Charlie. “I found this obituary in the Barstow newspaper,” says Claire.
Ida Clemens, the last of the oil baron Clemens whose husband dug a well for water in 1932 in Barstow, California, and struck oil, dies at the age of one hundred and ten years old. Her husband, Ira, and son, Joe, were digging with a pick and shovel one hundred and fifty feet down. They hit one of the most productive oil fields in California. Her survivors are Ida Mae Clemens and granddaughter Mary Anne Clemens Stow. Funeral will be January 12, 2018, at twelve in the morning. The services will be at St Joseph Catholic Church, 505 E Mountain View St. Barstow, California. “Mary Anne Clemens Stow believes her husband is trying to kill her and her mother. Several incidents involving a broken step ladder, flat tires near a river where the car almost went into the river, and a late-night break-in where shots were fired by Mary Anne to chase off the intruder,” says Claire. “Is she asking for protection?” asks Charlie. “She wants you to find her killer?” says Claire. “What? We need to help her out and find the mischief maker,” says Charlie. “Mary Anne is sixty-eight years old, and Mom is ninety years old,” says an interested Claire. Charlie, Claire, and Harry arrive in Barstow a few days later. The trip in the Albatross was comfortable. The vehicle was overhauled before, and the air conditioning is working great. They drive into the long gravel entrance of Clemens Cattle Ranch and Oil Company, home of ten thousand head of cattle. You could smell the ranch five miles down the road. It is a large ranch, some one hundred and fifty thousand acres of trees, grass built into the desert some one hundred years earlier. Almost two hundred and fifty square acres, it is a modern ranch with helicopters, ATVs, and four-wheel trucks. It is a billion-dollar industry that helps feed a nation. The ranch also has two farms that raise chickens and hogs and grow large crops. Because of its age and size, the ranch does not worry about California water laws. The family owns California politics, which has had a Stow as a California senator for twenty years. Marshall Stow is also the family lawyer; he took over his father’s practice before becoming a senator. As they pull in front of a magnificent one-story ranch house with a sizeable gabled frontage, a tall man is waiting. “I am Senator Marshal Stow. Welcome to Clemens Ranch. My mother is in the parlor with Grandma. I must warn you, Mom is a spitfire!” says the senator. “Mrs. Clemens, Mrs. Stow, I am Charlie McLaughlin, and these are my associates Claire and Harry. What can we do for you?” “Did you get my letter, young lady? I want you to find out who is trying to kill me!” says the feisty Mary Anne. “Easy, daughter, you are coming off two strong. They are not your hired help!” Grandma is working to calm her daughter. “Well, I want answers, not questions!” demands Mary Anne. “Ma’am, you might as well get used to our questions, or we can leave. We cannot be held back because you have a lot of money and a sour disposition,” says an eager Charlie. “Mrs. Stow, asking questions will help us solve your problem,” suggests Claire. “Okay! I’m on edge because I believe someone is trying to poison us,” says a frightened woman. Marian hands a cup of tea to Charlie and asks her to smell it. It has a faint scent of arsenic. “Can you and your mom trust us alone in your house for three hours?” asks Charlie. “Yes, we can visit our friends down the road,” says Mary Anne. “We will call a laboratory to inspect your well for arsenic and lead. Did you have new piping replaced in your home? I imagine it was originally lead pipe, correct?” asks Claire.
What is more peaceful and serene than a beautiful garden? The Canon is my favorite flower in my garden. Rain or shine the garden is serenity. Bees, wasps, hummingbirds all live peacefully in my garden in Costa Rica. Can the population of the United States say they are at peace, serene?
My girlfriend is in the USA visiting her sick Mother and she called me saying she is getting depressed. She misses Lake Arenal and her garden. “ It is Peaceful in San Luis Costa Rica. Most people are smiling, happy, living the good life,Pura Vida. No one seems to be happy in Las Vegas. I cannot wait to be back home 🏡.”
There is a lot more tension in the states because there is a fight, a civil war between parties. One party over the years has become socialistic and is trying to change our constitution. The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The middle class is slowly disappearing and the people are not responding to the situation. Communism steps in when good people are complacent and do nothing. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev said,
“Support by the United States Rulers is rather in the nature of support that the rope gives to a hanged man.” *
The Premier also noted that Socialism begins with your leaders. That is the process we see today. Someone explain to me how Members in Congress became millionaires after being elected to office and professes socialism. I do not see them Donating money to the poor and the disadvantage. Why is it city government can vote in tax changes without first bring it to the public for a vote. Do we not pay them their salaries?
One of my relatives told me I ran away from the problems in the USA because I did not like what was happening politically. When I asked what they were doing to fight for their rights, they said nothing. Negative change happens when good people do nothing.
I see positive things happening by our President and he is being lamb basted by the press and the far left. People wake up before the rope tightens. States like California and New York are giving money to homeless and bus tickets out of town to make them another States problem and calling themselves a sanctuary city. Las Vegas passed an ordinance to give homeless money and a bus ticket out of town. What is being solved with this problem- nothing.
The Canon looks so beautiful and reminds me what people can be.
“We must locate the enemy and capture the drone, there is a family in the barn probably tied up we need to rescue. If the drone leaves the barn, our drone will intercept it; be careful of explosive
traps, check the ground as you walk along, good luck men! ”
Each squad Sargent gives the signal to proceed. Two units will cover the back of the house, one unit the back of the barn, the rest of the squads will purge forward. One hundred yards from the house a terrorist sees the front line and sounds an alert. A sniper shoots him off the roof of the house. An engine start, and the barn door flies open, and a car with Mustafa charges forward as the drone powers over the cars head. Two French drones fire at the single drone, and it explodes. Mustafa guns the engine as machine gun fire riddle the car. Slowly the car stops and an injured Mustafa climbs out wearing a bomb vest.
Mustafa sees Lucky and walks towards him;
“I guess we die together my friend,” reaching for his button, Jack
shoots him in the head, and he falls to the ground dead. Mustafa’s crew is apparently not suicidal. The farm family is alive; this experience will be talked about for years. A terrorist plot was foiled on their property, and they lived through it.
Seventeen terrorists are under arrest today, and they will go on trial in France for murder, theft of Government property and terrorism against the Government of France. A soldier with sympathy for Isis is under arrest for treason. He gave Mustafa the drone for five million dollars. Jack, Lucky, Carla and Jazz will go home in two days. First, they want to visit France and go to Disneyland. Lucky says he has never been there. Tonight they will celebrate a job well done.
“Anyone for Pierre’s?” Ask Jack.
“No other place we would rather go Jack,” says Lucky and the girls chime their agreement.
The group heads to the house to shower and have an early dinner. At Pierre’s they meet Sean to say their goodbyes.
“I am so proud to be part of your group, the President wants to meet you tomorrow before you go vacationing, Is that all right with you?”
Today’s political climate is at war! Where are the voices of American youth? I am a product of the sixties Where mistakes where made by college students while protesting; The youth wanting to be heard by the adults of our country to stand up for what is right at any cost. Where is the silent majority? Complacent?
I remember the Black Panthers standing up for inequality. Making mistakes, but standing up for what they felt was right. College kids protesting about the Vietnam war; voicing their opinions on the campuses of Berkeley, Stanford, Kent as the Government mishandled the voices of freedom.
Has the me generation become quiet because they are spoon fed or is it because they do not know what their rights are? Bill Of Rights ? Pledge of Allegiance? The Constitution? Are they aware that the rights of democracy are being stomped upon by the rich in congress, who became rich by voting in bills that the people were not aware of. Socialism looks like a guise of comfort, freedom from oppression, but it is the oppression that will enslave the country into slavery to the state.
Give me free medical, free living expenses, but at what cost? Seventy percent taxes, long waiting lines for surgery, Doctors who refuse to work because their incomes are not worth the cost of their education. I remember the mistakes of the sixties as students robbed banks, killed innocence in the name of their cause. Martin Luther King had the right voice: protest positively by the thousands, millions, on the streets of the capital. Hear me roar my discontent!
Now our President is under attack by left wing socialist wanting to change our constitution. Our way of life is under attack. Cries of changing our flag from ideologists who do not like our immigration policies. Have any Americans ask Mexico what their immigration policy is? Costa Rica? Why is it America’s responsibility to care for another countries people? Follow the law and you are welcome is the cry of foreign countries. Why should we be any different?
I love America, the USA, I am proud of what our flag represents: freedom of choice, freedom of religion, freedom of voice, but slowly women’s right to choose is being taken away and freedom to go to college is being given to only the rich. Our country was founded by a wing and a pray as we entrusted our choice to be free through revolution and the voice of faith in God we trust and the founding Father’s were smart enough to separate religion from state.
Our revolution today is to stop socialism from capturing our country being promoted by the cunning rich in congress. It is a fighting process over two hundred years old as the country always fought off the rich trying to hold us down. Stand up and notice what is going around in politics. Do not believe everything you hear from the media?Look at what is being accomplished that has not been done for forty years. Make an astute calculation, why is impeachment in a closed door agenda? What are they hiding? Who is crooked? What is congress doing for the American people? I love The USA, good or bad it is for the people. Do not let Congress change our way of life. Let your voice be heard!
I went to the memorial of my friend’s nephew, Of a hundred people that the young man knew. He died at thirty, way before his time. They celebrated him with choruses and rhymes. Father, daughter, aunts, uncle, and friends, To him in heaven their love they would send. Joys of laughter and fun they would tell About the young man who would leave them for a spell. Not too many tears were fallen this day. Only happiness and good cheer; he would want it this way. Grandma would tell a story about the balloons.
Every one brought one; they were floating in the room. It was about a dad and his two boys who went to the zoo To escape sadness that afternoon. They had lost a brother two and half weeks old, A hardship that was hard to hold. Walking in the zoo, they came upon a balloon stand. The boys pestered the father for a balloon for their hand. Again and again, they pestered dear dad Until he relinquished instead of thinking them bad. He smiled and patted their heads and turned to pay. The boys released the balloons upward to their
heavenly way. The father turned and saw the balloons head to the blue skies. He was angry and wanted to know why They released the balloons to the sky. The boys calmly said it was for their brother, Who would never have a father or a mother, Who could never go to the zoo And have father buy him a balloon. But on this day, in their loving way, They showed the balloons were the right price to pay To show the brother that they lost The love they give at any cost. We released our balloons and sent them on their way.
“Brother, nephew, cousin, friend—we love you!”
Timothy M. Nugent
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Miravalles Volcano off in the distance is clear as a sound of a bell as the weather clears. Heavy rain and thunderstorms give way to beautiful skies of gray, white and deep blue. The air is minty fresh as the mint, basil, oregano give a great fragrance after a soaking of rain. San Luis has a mild climate this morning as I woke to Stars and a crescent moon.
It will take three hours to get to Richmond, Virginia from the Cherry Farm. Joe and Beth are staying at the farm; Joe will monitor the computer and help Thomas who will contact him from Thomas’s I Pad. Charlie’s Harley is being pulled by a trailer with Jack, Junior, and Lucky’s Harley’s; they will get around Richmond with the bikes and Thomas will drive the Albatross. Thomas found an RV Park in Pocahontas State Park, thirty-two miles from Richmond and close to the crime scene. Warehouse Company is thirty miles from the park, and the group will meet Paul at the warehouses at eleven a.m., it gives Lucky time to unload the bikes and head over there after some chow. Thomas, Carla, and Jazz will organize the material sent by Phil to learn about this American based cartel. What went wrong at this warehouse? How did the cartel know the FBI was raiding the facility? Lucky, Jack, and Junior will meet Harry and Paul at the warehouses. The motorcycles purr along the curves of the forest. It is a warm, humid day, but the ride is comfortable and relaxing. A light sprinkle in the early morning seemed to freshen the day for a beautiful trip. Too bad it is only a half hour to the warehouses, thinks Lucky as he rides. Harry and Paul are standing in the front of the warehouse with another man. He is John Templeton, the manager of the four large warehouses. Lucky rides to Harry’s Harley and Junior, Charlie, Jack, follows and parks. “My name is John Templeton; these are my warehouses, I am sorry for your loss.” “Thank you, what can you tell about this incident at you warehouses? Are drugs being manufactured here?”
The Chameleon Returns
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It is a work in progress, The Girlfriend supervised the project making changes when needed. It was her way or no way. She was persistent that it was her Pergola. Sometimes she made mistakes as the contractor softly and persistently showed her. Arguments were given until a solution was found. The floor is made Of gravel and sand compacted hard and homemade red bricks are made for the pergola. A BBQ is built of concrete and small red bricks and a steel liner. We made the small red bricks for the BBQ. The cost was a fraction of what we would pay at the hardware stores.
The Girlfriend designed the Planters in the Pergola and the design of the floor from pictures on the Internet. The mason is meticulous and followed the girlfriends instructions as he cut the large bricks weighing approximately ten pounds each. We went through four concrete blades in the process and it took four months to complete this project. The floor took two months alone to accomplish.
Metal tubing, welding, plastic roofing, block, brick, wooden forms for the bricks were used in the project. It took two days for the concrete bricks to cure in our rainy weather. One time we started laying and cutting the bricks after a day of waiting and it was a mistake as the bricks crumbled as they were cut. Some seven hundred -ten pound bricks were fabricated and one hundred small bricks 🧱. The pergola is a labor of love; love between a man and a woman and love of nature and flowers 🌸.
A few little adjustments to satisfy the Girl friend and the project will be completed. A BBQ in November with the builders of the project to celebrate our artistic achievement. It is a picture of beauty and tranquility. I sit on the steps and look at the flowers 💐 and the greenery and I am amazed that the pergola is our piece of paradise. We are blessed! Pura Vida! Search my bookstores below for some good reads:
CHAPTER 10 Mustafa Mohammed Kassab It is a beautiful day; crispy air,. A good start for a Saturday brunch of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, and homemade croissants. Lucky is well enough to start running again and get back to his work. The group is at Pierre’s Cafe and are enjoying an early afternoon brunch. In front of Lucky is an investigation report given to him by Charles. A new figure in terrorism has appeared, Mustafa Mohammed Kassab. Mustafa stands six feet-three inches tall. He has long brown hair, brown eyes and a scar across his neck. An enemy attacked him while he was asleep; he killed his attacker before the attacker finished the job. It was an attempt to take over the cell. No one has ever heard of such an action before. A leader is picked by Isis to do a job, and everyone follows his lead. CIA is happy to see this dysfunction in a terrorist cell, but the service is a bit confused because they know the ruthlessness of Mustafa. He is big, powerful and demands loyalty or death. He is a perfect leader for Isis. “I do not want to sound prejudiced, but he looks immaculate for a terrorist.” Says Jack. “It says here he graduated from Harvard with a law degree in international affairs. Mustafa is clean shaven, intelligent and ruthless. He led an Isis group to five towns and massacred the people for not
following Isis. He is going to be hard to find and stop.” Says Lucky. Charles Dawson speaks up; “Curt wants me to take the lead In this investigation along with the Captain. We are the experts in finding the cell. We value your advice but wish to keep you from harm’s way. You have developed a consciousness in Paris with the kidnap attempt on your wife, Lucky. No one knows who I am and the Captain is a known terrorist investigator for France. I have a team flying in today and will gather information and ask for your help. We will work from the house here, and you will command the post here. Do you agree?” Jack and Lucky explain they would like to help in any way possible. Carla will remain with Lucky, Jack, and Jazz to form the information as it comes in. Before the group from the States arrive, Carla, Jazz, Lucky and Jack want to visit Paris. The first place is the Eiffel Tower. Dawson sends Patrick with the group to go site seeing. Patrick takes the group to the Eiffel Tower. It is a chilly September night, and because of their status in Paris, the word was given to the tour people to give them first class treatment. A man will be with the group, and they are taken up to the dining room for a dinner. It is seven-thirty and the sun is beginning to set. Late September is beautiful and tonight is no exception. The city is aglow with lights. The Eiffel Tower is so bright you could wear sunglasses. Jazz and Carla are radiant as they shine in the light. Jack goes to order Champagne and Patrick says, “It is on the way, sir. France appreciates what you are doing for them and wishes to take care of the bill.” Jack explains that it is not necessary and Patrick says, “We insist!” The evening is beautiful, and the group walks out to the balcony to look at the grand city. Beautifully lit and gorgeous, it is an unusual sight. As they look over the city, there is a massive explosion. Half the lights of the city go out. A large cloud overcomes the city. Jack and Lucky turn to leave as a large man in a turban stop them. Surrounded by people with hand machine guns they stop. “My name is Mustafa Mohammed Kassab, do you believe you can stop me? Lucky looks up at his face, and he flashes back to Iraq.
I love the fact that I am still breathing and traversing this planet called Earth. There was a time when life felt unfair. I kept making mistakes and living a hard existence. I was on the verge of losing everything I worked so hard to achieve. My quest for my first million dollars came to an abrupt end. Almost losing my house, cars, motorcycles, and filing bankruptcy. I thought this would never happen to me. A hard working individual is always supposed to be in the top five percent of his profession, right?
Has this happened to you? When you are down in the dumps, working for someone else,( which was a hard to change one’s attitude) and struggle to survive? Then the impossible happens and your beautiful wife, the foundation of your being dies of cancer, leaving only memories of a forty-two year relationship. Yes guilt followed, tons of guilt, What did I do Lord to have you take her from me?
My wife was a wonderful human being whose last words to me was, “ Find someone else, do not feel sorry for yourself; I love you!” I lost seven family members in a course of seven years. I began to write poetry, short stories, novels; fourteen books to date and never looked back at the difficulties in life. I stopped my heavy drinking and found a new life partner. I quess the old cliches are true, never give up and be happy.
The sun still rises and sets everyday and my life is good. I live in Costa Rica and take a deep breath every day and recite, “ Thank you Lord! You give me reason to love life. Pura Vida!
Below are links to my books and an except, Thank You!
Lucky walks five miles to a convenience store and hails a cab to his private airstrip where John is patiently waiting. He flies to a friend’s house in Iraq, General Michael Stevenson, who has a secret airstrip. The General is retired and does clandestine work for the US Government. “Hi Mike, how are you?” “I got your fax from Thomas, and I understand what needs to be down. I found out there is a meeting of the Mustafa Family tomorrow night at eight in the evening. How do you want to do this?” Ask the General. “I will walk in the house and kill them all. If I do not succeed, I will be dead. It must be done to save my family. I understand there is a Mother, Father and three boys, correct? Do you know the size of the house and number of rooms?” Ask Lucky. “Yes, it is two floors, Mother and Father live downstairs and the boys upstairs. The boys live elsewhere, but they stay overnight on meeting nights. They are devoted terrorist like Mustafa, and his Sister was,” Says the General. “Nobody knows I arrived today?” Ask Lucky.”
The Chameleon Returns
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I love living in San Luis, Costa Rica. I love Google Translate. I have difficult hearing and it is a drawback for learning Spanish. I use that app more than any I have. My tico friends love the fact that I try to speak Spanish with them. Ticos are a proud people; sometimes to the detriment. An example is one worker quit because he did not like the size of our chicken coup. He refused to work on it and because it was the project of the month he did not work .I must admit I wS flabbergasted that it bothered him we spent so much on chicken when Ticos let them roam and have no shelter.
I made the mistake of raising my voice to an architect and he said he did not like the way I treated him. I told him he was listening to me and I got frustrated and said it is because you did not respect me. He wanted to do it one way and would not listen to what I wanted. He went out of his way to make things difficult and I found other ways to get the construction to continue. Was I wrong? Yes and so was he . I told him no one wins in this instance but his pride was damaged and he did not appreciate the exchange, but what about my pride. Am I to let him do what he wanted and listen to him talk down to me? Lesson learned and I moved on to another architect and a promising new year.
I had another worker tell the crew that he was going to take a break and if I said anything he would walkout. He was late for work; he was always-fifteen minutes late. He came in at 7:15 am and was on a break at 7:30 Am as the crew sat with him. I asked everyone why they were not working and no one said a word. I told them to go to work. When I told the instigator to go to work he got angry, grabbed his helmet and walked off making a big scene. I did something the day before that angered him and it rolled over to that particular morning. To this day I do not know what I did, but does it matter if there is no room for discussion. I made it known to the contractor it was not my position to run his crew. You will be here to get them doing their work and supervising them or I will find a new contractor. Things always seemed to work out with this contractor because he became particular about who he hires.
I work at being a good individual and realize I live in a poor country and I do not throw myself around as the rich American; which I am not according to American standards. The Tico sees you as spoiled and rich when they try to live off of five hundred to eight hundred dollars a month, making three dollars an hour. The government makes it easy for them not to work and live the good life (Pura Vida). When an employee works three months and quits; The government doesn’t care who is at fault, you must pay the Tico three months pay for not working and he finds another job. It makes you wonder; why bother?
I have learned to swallow my pride, treat people kindly , no matter what the circumstances are and roll with the punches. I live in an area where there is little or no traffic. No jet planes landing at an airport and a loud truck once or twice a day. I have few American friends and a few Tico friends I associate with. I have a great view and love the wild life and the vegetation. Little or no crime and never hear of a murder. For me it is paradise and I would not change a thing. Slowly I am learning Spanish and have no problem communicating with the workers. I explain to them what I want and if it is not to their liking you can leave. I tell them let’s have fun working together. Pura Vida!
Excerpt from Charlie
Lucky is proud of the new school he built on the airstrip. He wishes to have one hundred students at the school. The parents will run the school with CJ’s guidance. CJ couldn’t make up his mind about college. First, he wanted to do police work, then it was a lawyer; he went back to school at Stanford and came back to Cherry Farm when his father thought of the new school concept. CJ has a master in education and is working on his doctorate and will use the new school concept for his thesis, “Educating the Troubled Genius.” The school receives a government grant of ten million dollars a year to help run the school. The students support the school with a small farm of fruits and vegetables, which they sell in the DC area. It includes a mechanic shop to tune cars and small trucks. It has an art studio for extracurricular activity, which is always full of students. Once a year the students sell their art craft at an autumn fair with music, food, and fun. It is a unique setting for those students who are of low income and brilliant. It is called the Sunrise School of Developing Minds. Lucky is proud of this independent school and the families that work at keeping it cleaned, painted, maintained, and a happy
environment. After graduation, the students are given scholarships to colleges of their choice. The students’ national test scores are above average. The students have no problem with awards to the school of their choice. The parents have lived at the school for four years and can save a hundred thousand dollars because they have had no expenses, under the watchful eye of Claire, who managed their money. Most parents went back to school with the help of CJ and found jobs when their children graduated. How many high schools can brag about having 100 percent graduation rate? Mark Hanson from the FBI is visiting the school to talk about computer technology and is overwhelmed with the school. “CJ, I would like to come to teach your students. I wish to leave the FBI. I have twenty-five years with the FBI and can retire if I wish. I do not see an extensive program, only a few classes developed by Claire. She is busy, and I believe I can produce a great tech school for this school,” says Mark. Claire walks in the middle of the conversation and adds, “Absolutely! CJ, Mark and I closed many cases together, and he is a genius. How about we bring it to the board meeting tonight? Mark can be there to introduce himself,” says Claire. “That sounds great! Can you and Claire develop a course starting in our freshman class and continue the courses through advanced college courses in their senior year? Maybe include the professor and his team,” suggests CJ. CJ cannot fathom the reach of his father. He is so lucky to run a high school of this caliber. The faculty is amazing: Dr. Michelle Barstow, a physicist, is Professor Lazlow’s assistant and lover. She has an exceptional IQ and was his calming influence. Albert Manning is the mechanic. He helped put the designs into action. His PhD in mechanical and electrical engineering went beyond the norm. It is a great team whose minds meld into great processes. Lucky gave the professor a large lab and Albert a substantial mechanical lab with hydraulics, welding, and electronics. These people could work anywhere for significant money, but instead they teach and invent. All proceeds go to the school, except 30 percent to the scientist. The scientist gets credit for the patents and educates students in the process. They love the school. Because of his father, CJ was able to get the brightest minds in education to teach English, literature, math, science, and economics. The only sports taught are Kenpo Karate and Jujitsu. Meditation is the very first class at five in the morning, and self-defense follows. It is outside, no matter how awful the weather. One hundred students toughen up for a long life as Charlie, Lucky, or Junior instruct the class. No student has ever missed a class, rain or snow; they learn to balance and self-control. Lucky calls the board meeting to order as CJ introduces Mark to the board. He passes out a ten-page summary he and Claire put together. It combines Claire’s classes with his new proposals. The board members are Lucky, Carla, CJ, Jazz, Claire, Charlie, Professor Lazlow, and Sonny, who is the school’s attorney. They approve the new curriculum, and CJ will present it to the state board. Lucky sees that some refinements need to be made to make it challenging to the students. He and Sonny see no barriers to the state board for accepting the new curriculum. The school is the showcase for education. There is a list of potential students but nowhere to put them. Lucky refuses to expand for fear of losing the intimacy of the student-to-teacher ratio. It is a private school and asks for no state money. Lucky built the school near the airstrip on the other side of the hangar. The hangar is an additional classroom for Albert’s mechanics class. Lucky is pleased with the school having one hundred children of intelligence. He tries to keep class size to thirty kids by rotating teachers. School classes end at 6:00 p.m. for a 6:30 p.m. dinner call. It is a regimented day, with breakfast at seven in the morning after showers because of the physical activity first in the morning. At eight o’clock, the classes begin, and they go on for ten hours. It is a long day, but it is exciting for the students. In six months, sunrise will have their first graduating class. The seniors order their gowns and sent out the scholarships packages with the help of the front office. Every student category is possible for job descriptions: scientist, lawyer, writer, teacher, mathematician,
etc. The first class is twenty-five students, the smallest type that will ever graduate.
Samuel Moss is ready for college and wants to study science and get a PhD. He told Professor Lazlow he intends to continue the professor’s work. He wants to go to Stanford and study robotics. The school is getting a lot of attention, especially from the wealthy who wish their kids an opportunity for a better education. Lucky will not accept any affluent students because he began the school for impoverished students, students who work hard but cannot afford a quality education. The school is a mixture of white, black, Latino, Asian. Lawsuits wealthy parents file are thrown out of court. Lucky has a large following of approval for the way he developed the school.
It is five in the morning on Saturday as Lucky is walking the schoolyard. There is no school on Saturday, and Lucky is surprised to see kids in the meditation yard. A van pulls up, asking for directions, when a dart hits Lucky’s neck. Lucky falls immediately; he is dragged into the truck a driven away.