It is customary to bring a gift to the people who invited you.

But what about a parting gift? Should the guest and the host offer a memento of the time they spent together? As it turned out, the last few days in Costa Rica were memorable for several reasons.

A few days before departure, we lingered over coffee, and our conversation was far-ranging. Our son enjoys introducing topics with the potential to cause rousing discussions. This day was no exception as we talked about Central and South American events involving the United States government.

Our son gleefully pointed out how entwined the U.S. was in those governments and countries, which included invasion of the same. To which his mother replied, “We never invaded Mexico.”:

The moment the words passed her lips, she knew she was wrong., If there was any doubt, the immediate jeering and laughter from the son and his wife made it impossible to defend those thoughtless words. So, his mother apologized and tried her best to save face. An act pretty hard to pull off while one’s face is beet red.

Later that day, the waves were particularly rambunctious, and a couple knocked this writer down. As she struggled to stand, her foot slipped on the reef, and she fell onto her knees. In all the time spent on the beach, this was the first time the waves attacked with total success.

On the day before her departure, her son asked about the bruised knee. “There is no bruise, I just have a bone hurt,” she replied sending her hosts into peals of laughter. In her mind, since there was no laceration or a visible bruise, her reply made a weird kind of sense to the lady.

The moments of embarrassment for this writer kept piling on. But they left a lasting impression

As we mentioned in previous columns, we walked on the beach every morning for a minimum of two miles. Of course, we took the grand dogs, Tug and Zen, along because they sulked and gave us the evil eye if anything interfered with their daily constitutional.

Tug always held off doing her major business until we arrived at the beach. Following her morning deposit, she made sure we knew what a great job she did. In many ways, the two dogs behave like children, even in the way they demanded attention and approval for going potty.

Of the two dogs, Tug is the one who gets territorial with other dogs even when they are on their home turf. If Tug sees another dog, she barks and becomes hard to manage. That is why the drive to and from the beach tends to be hard on the eardrums.

When we drove into town without the dogs in tow, this writer noticed a dog standing on the side of the road. She could not resist the urge to make barking noises. Her son asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m channeling Tug,” his mother replied, which earned her a chuckle and a smile.

No one can explain why Army ants show up, but when they do, the recommendation is to stay out of their way. Sometimes they invade the house. Then, the only solution is to leave for a couple of hours while the critters clean up dead bugs and who knows what else might appeal to their tastebuds.

In spite of all the warnings, this lady managed to step near a conga line of Army ants. As we have noticed in the past, if there is an ant anywhere nearby, a bite or bites is guaranteed. The Army ants were no exception. They bit her middle toe. Her toe burned and itched. The blisters covered the toe and managed to turn it a lovely shade of purple. As of this writing, her toe is still hideous and recovering.

Have you ever had the urge to kiss the ground? Well, this lady did as she drove home from the airport on paved roads.

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