Have you ever been serenaded on your birthday?

The singers approached the bed clapping and singing Happy Birthday. As you would expect, I was smiling, but the ending made me laugh. “Although you are 76, you look 42.” A perfect way to start this lady’s Hatching Day, with a smile and a song.

Since the backstory on the clapping part is cute, we want to share it with you as well.

Acquaintances of our son and daughter-in-law have a baby boy. Whenever the child awakens, he claps his hands. Delighted by the happy child’s behavior, our son and his wife incorporated the clapping ritual into their lives as well, including on this Hatching Day.

The story brought to mind our son when he was a wee tot. The boy always awoke with a smile. It could be morning or the middle of the night, but the smile was on his face. Life would be so much more pleasant if we started our day with a smile and happy clapping, instead of the bloody alarm clock.

Imagine taking the smiling and clapping and incorporating them into our daily commute. Instead of the flying fickle finger of fate, also known as the middle digit, what if we smiled and clapped when a troglodyte exhibited impolite traffic behavior? The preceding is merely a suggestion for an alternative response in stressful situations to see people’s reactions.

Since Costa Rica has twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness, the light tends to be our silent alarm. Following the serenade, we engaged in the usual morning ritual of several cups of amazing Costa Rican coffee. Sometimes we enjoy the aromatic drinks on the upstairs balcony or gathered around the teak coffee table downstairs. Then we load the dogs, Tug and Zen, into the truck and head to the beach for an early morning walk. Depending on the tide, which rules the beach, especially now because it is the rainy season, our walk is anywhere from two, three, and sometimes four miles.

After the invigorating walk, surfing for several hours is next on the agenda. This lady does not surf because she does not know how to swim. It would be fun to recline on the board and float, but the waves do not allow for swimming-challenged folks to lollygag without a guaranteed dunking. Although watching the waves can be relaxing, these waves demand action, which should not include underwater struggles by a non-swimmer.

The raging storms often include thunder and the accompanying light show. Since Tug had a close encounter with a too close for comfort lightning strike when she was a pup, storms cause her serious anxiety. She burrows under the throw pillows on the couch downstairs and climbs in bed with her humans. As long as the storms rage, Tug snuggles and burrows, sometimes ending on the heads of her humans at night.

Between storms, we drove to La Fleur Blanca for a birthday lunch. If you ever visit Santa Teresa, that restaurant and resort ought to be your must-experience destination. We chose the taco bar on the menu and indulged in savory, shredded beef, grilled fish, veggies, and spicy condiments. During our meal, another rainstorm dumped unwanted water on the land, causing the tourists to scurry inside. An entertaining sight since they wore swimsuits.

A minimal sour note to the ambiance of the lunch was a woman sitting at the bar with friends. We entered the restaurant to the discordant sounds of the woman talking in a unique combination Valley Girl and New York accent. She talked non-stop throughout our meal, causing us to wonder if she ever took a breath. She was still going strong when we left.

In spite of the rain, there is plenty of sunshine to bake the oiled skin of anyone so inclined, sometimes to a painful crisp. This writer learned her lesson on her honeymoon. She never sunbathes or ventures outside without a generous slathering of sunscreen on her body.

Butterflies, jungle flora and fauna, including a resident ocelot, and the Howler Monkeys made this a perfect birthday.


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