Mi Casa Es Su Casa

morguefile

morguefile

It is never a good sign when a flight attendant asks if there are any doctors or nurses on the plane.  It is even worse when the attendants are running up and down the aisle with a look of panic, getting the airplane first aid kit, frantically calling the pilot via a special phone and ignoring the other passengers. I kept looking  back to see if I could see the passenger in need but there were so many people hovering over them that I could not see.  This went on for 45 minutes.  More running up and down, each time with more urgency.  I actually began to shake in my seat with worry for this mystery passenger and had accepted the likelihood that we would have to land at the nearest airport. Thankfully, the passenger was stabilized and we were able to resume our flight to Puerto Rico. As it turns out it was a little baby about six months old who was in distress.  I got to look at his little face as they carted him out to an awaiting ambulance when we landed.  Poor little guy!  It made it for a very stressful flight.

Once on the Island of Enchantment, things got significantly better.  You see, I go visit my mother and her husband during the winter months so that I can escape the cluster fuck that is winter (did I just say that?)  And what a CF it’s been!  Mr. B. tells me it will get below 30 this evening.  No, Gracias.  I may have to extend my trip.

Even though I left PR at the age of 9 to live in the States, as soon as that plane lands and I step foot on the Island, I feel at home.  Mi casa. Mi Hogar. The humid breeze on my now frizzy hair , the smells, the sounds, the feel.  Nothing like it.  It’s like my heart and soul are doing a happy salsa dance knowing that I am back.

My mother is the MOTHER of mothers.  She wrote the book on how to spoil your children and make them feel loved.  The spoiling begins when she picks me up at the airport and drives directly to one of my favorite restaurants.  Her and her wonderful husband urge me (it doesn’t take much) to order all my favorite dishes including tostones (fried plantains), arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans) and bistec encebollado  (steak and onions) along with a tall glass of Sangria.  And then there’s flan.  I’m pretty sure I inhaled my piece of flan through my nose.

9230bacf6fb37141a485a1ea6ca93a28

As we walk through the busy streets of Condado (a great area in San Juan where she lives), I take in the night life, the sounds of the car horns, the smells of the many restaurants and the rhythm of the live bands.  That first night, I literally hugged a tree.  It was my way of thanking the heavens above that I had landed safely and that I was now marinating in the 80 degree temperatures.  Ahhh….

The thing about being here is that you have to come with a completely different mind-set.  You have to leave behind your worries, your habit to rush through things, to hurry up and get somewhere and to try to accomplish things at reasonable time frames.  Just like in many other islands, Puerto Rico functions on Island time.  You take it slow (otherwise you will sweat like a pig) , you relax and most importantly, you let things go.  Elsa from Frozen needs to get the hell out of the cold and move to PR where she can make some awesome sand castles, rapido!

Elsa goes to the beach playdora.com

Elsa goes to the beach/ playdora.com

Never do I feel more feminine than when I am here.  Puerto Rican women are the Bosses of femininity .  This femininity is not to be confused with fragility of meekness.  No Señor.  We Puerto Rican women own our femininity like there is no mañana.  We have five Miss Universe titles to show for it. We dress to a T, nails always groomed, impeccable clothing with badass heels and lustrous colors on our plump lips.  You do not leave the house unless you are dressed to kill.  Yet, we are strong, intelligent and know how to succeed.

What makes women feel even more feminine is the way PR men treat us.  There is a lot of talk about machismo and how latin men rule and have the final say.  This is not necessarily true. They may think they are in charge but we all know that we women are the ones  who rule.  Puerto Rican men are some of the most chivalrous men I have ever encountered.  Be it the valet parking attendant, the hairdresser, waiter or friend, they know how to treat a lady.  Umbrellas are held up quickly for us when it rains,  doors open from every direction when we enter a room, chairs are moved back, packages are carried and compliments are a flyin’, in a respectful way (ok, not always but you get what I’m saying.)  I feel like royalty when I am here.

distractionmagazine.com

distractionmagazine.com

Family is what matters the most for Puerto Ricans.  So much so, that we see each other as often as possible.  Even if we were all together on a Saturday (I’m talking aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, fourth cousins and more cousins), we do it all over again on Sunday.  And Monday.  And Tuesday.  Don’t even think about saying anything negative about any member of our family.  We WILL eat you, alive.

funny-pictures.picphotos.net

funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Before I visit, it is imperative that I gargle with salt water, exercise my vocal chords and pack a couple of ear plugs.  You see, there is a lot of yelling that goes on when together.  Not yelling like at each other, it is more like setting the volume of your iPod at its maximum, while wearing ear buds.  The louder Tia Maria speaks, the louder you have to speak.  The key is to talk over everyone else so that your voice is the loudest and may have a chance to actually be heard.

We live for our next meal.  While having breakfast, we plan our lunch and dinner menus.  Our days revolve around meal times and everything is planned accordingly.  While here, my schedule has been as follows:

Wake, Eat, Drink, Rest, Eat, Drink, Rest, Eat, Drink, Rest, Sleep.  

Every couple of days,  I visit my favorite resort nearby that has a wonderful beach, pools, pool bar, hammocks, palm trees and killer pina coladas.  My parents drop me off in the morning and pick me up before dinner time.  Many Puerto Ricans on the island want nothing to do with the hot sun.  They avoid it like the dengue and only enjoy the beaches during the early mornings or early evenings, if at all.  I am not one of those Puerto Ricans.  When my time comes, I would like to be buried in the sand of a beautiful beach – hot sun and all.

Sensationalism is our pastime.  We love the drama, the Novelas and are prone to pull a Brian Williams when telling stories.  What’s a little mis-remembering here and there.  As part of this sensationalism, we think we experience things more intensely than others (cough-cough).  If we experience a hurricane, it was THE WORST one in the history of hurricanes.  If there is a mosquito-bourne illness, like the Chikungunya (the latest),  WE ALL get it and WE ALL DIE.  If your mother is ill, mine is MORE ill.  We feed off of tragedy.  The more tragic, the better the story.

You want to meet a more PROUD group of people?  You won’t.  That would be, us.  We are still raving about Roberto Clemente, we think the group Menudo was bigger than The Beatles.  Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony are obviously  the best singers.   There is no one greater than Jose Feliciano and the first Hispanic to win an Oscar, Rita Moreno.  José Gautier Benítez  was the greatest Romantic-era poet that ever lived (duh).  

But, the one thing I can tell you with certainty, is that Puerto Ricans are kind and  hospitable.  

You need your whole family fed?  Come on over.  You don’t have a place to stay?  Sleep with us.  You need a ride? Hop on my back.  You are thirsty?  Here’s the bar.  You need a new kidney?  Take one of mine.  

This is what truly defines us and what we are most proud of.

 Mi Casa Es Su Casa

   

63 thoughts on “Mi Casa Es Su Casa

  1. I love your family. But this “We dress to a T, nails always groomed, impeccable clothing with badass heels and lustrous colors on our plump lips. You do not leave the house unless you are dressed to kill.” I would have to get some guidance on! 🙂

    Like

  2. 🙂 I’m smiling, thinking how we were talking about tostones just the other day on Twitter. *sigh* But, diabetes. I have to keep track of carbs. When I make arroz con leche (sometimes with Thai black sticky rice & coconut milk for Cimmy), most just goes to Cimmy and the kids.

    I think I’ve said I cook Mex and Tex-Mex from time to time. I am a foodie, though, because I aim at learning more Asian dishes, too. Maybe I’ll think about doing Filipino sometime, since their cuisine is essentially Latino/Asian fusion.

    The beach… I would be back hardcore into my kiting hobby if I was there. Not fighting kites– just big kites with a lot of “line laundry”. Probably some power/traction kites, too (if and when I can afford them)… kiteboarding has superceded windsurfing a lot of places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, those deadly carbs. 😦 Why the hell are they so damn good? Mmmm on the arroz con leche and the asian touches to your cuisine.

      That’s cool about your kiting hobby. I hope you get to do that again in your near future. It’s good for the soul, right? I am back in my own casa now and trying very hard to remain positive until Spring decides to show it’s pretty face around here! NO MAS FRIO!

      Like

      1. Aqui (pero no ya ahorita) el sol sonríe con tantito más calor. It’s not very warm yet, but it’s getting there, and I’m just grateful for that sunshiney goodness. (Light boxes just aren’t the same, y’know?)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Maria, my dear, where have you been ??? Haven’t seen or heard from you for sooo long !!! This was such a great post. Loved all the family stuff and the beach…, yeah, the beach. Like you, I don’t think winter is over til the temp hits 75. Spent January in Florida and did my best not to go back home. Still questioning my sanity as it’s 9deg today & will be -6 tonight !!! Sounds like you had, or are still having a great time. Wish I could join you. …..Big Hug !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Papa Bear! Como estas?? I have been in paradise for three weeks but return to the Ice age tomorrow. 😂😂. Glad you enjoyed the post and I encourage you to visit The Island Of Enchantment pronto!! 😀😀

      Like

    1. Thank you, Brittany. Sad to report that I returned last night. *weeps unconsolably*. I am happy to see my husband, and my daughter will be home for Spring Break tonight. Spring is right around the corner, right? 🙂

      Like

  4. I love, love, love your family, and the men sound like my beloved Holmes. Reading your post is like taking a wonderful vacation of my own . . . sort of. Thank you for the vicarious trip to your beautiful island and for sharing your warm and loving family with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks again, Piper. I returned to Alaska-chusetts just last night. 😦 😦 I did miss Mr. Brickhouse though so it’s nice to see him. My daughter comes home tonight for her spring break so that makes returning not so bad. I got so spoiled in PR, it’s not even funny. I am blessed to have such a wonderful family.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to see you here, hope you are doing well. It most certainly is a marvelous place and an amazing family. I just got home last night (sniff,sniff), but I am grateful for the time I had and now look forward to SPRING showing up around here PRONTO! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Get the spare room ready, I’m booking my flight right now 😀 Oh Maria, what a glorious life and family and everything. My first husband, the one I’m writing about in my memoir, was half Puerto-Rican. I understand so much now 😛 And I had to laugh at you wanting to hug a tree and loving the sun because it was the complete opposite for me when I returned home to England in the summers with my kids for 4 weeks. I was so sick of the blistering heat of California and endless blue skies…yes, it’s all true!…that I literally did a rain-dance when I returned, such was my delight at the stuff 😀 Mind you, only a little rain you understand…I’m all for a glorious summer’s day 🙂 And I love how your mom spoils you. My mum did just the same, and still does. Have a beautiful time mi amiga 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sherri. I wish I had known you back when you were first married, I could have “counseled” you on the PR culture and the ins and outs. Though, everything happens for a reason and I am glad you found happiness.

      I just arrived home last night and I am trying to maintain the positive vibes and feelings of my wonderful two and a half weeks in Puerto Rico. It was so incredibly wonderful, relaxing and great for my joints. I am blessed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh….thanks Maria. And so glad you had such a wonderful time and keep those positive vibes going for as long as possible. You are blessed indeed 🙂

        Like

    1. Settling in back in the frigid temperatures, as I arrived back home last night. I am still on a high from the amazing time I had and how much better my body felt. Let’s hope SPRING gets its butt here soon. 🙂 🙂

      Like

  6. Get back to me when you really start having a good time, Maria. This is just the warm up, right? 🙂

    Holy guacamole, Mrs. B! Wonderful life in Puerto Rico for you. Your family sounds like the warmest, happiest, loudest, food-and-drink filled cocoon ever! Muy bueno!

    By the way, I open doors for women, always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course you open doors for women. That is quite obvious that you would be a man of chivalry. I am sure Mrs. B appreciates that very much. Heck, you even open the door for Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle. 🙂

      I have a week and a day left in paradise. I feel very blessed. Oh, could you do something about the cold temps before I head back? I would appreciate it greatly.

      Like

    1. Susie, my mom would welcome you with open arms, for sure. She loves to spoil everyone and enjoys doing for others. Get your cold butt over here, rapido! 🙂 I actually have a friend who arrives Thursday night until Monday night. She basically invited herself here and we are excited that she is coming. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ay, Darla. I am so sending you warm thoughts and sunny skies, as we speak. I understand how fortunate I am and am savoring every single second of it (and drinking). I might have to handcuff myself to a palm tree so that I don’t have to go back. 🙂

      Like

        1. Easy peasy, I already do all that stuff for my harem anyway…and so do my sons…chivalry was the first casualty of the femi-nazi movement (unlike the true feminine equality movement) but I’m not about to let it die while I’ve breath and heirs. So problemo, Senora, it’s be my pleasure.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. He and I are gonna save the world one son at a time! Nice to know I’m not alone in the world, I like him already. You know my biggest concern though MrsB? My daughter…so little real men out there. And even our sons are going to struggle to find real women deserving of their honour…sigh…

          Liked by 1 person

        3. So very true. I actually did most of the teaching to my son. Whenever I would go anywhere I would stand still waiting for him to open the door for me. I did it enough that he caught on. My daughter watches how my husband treats me and hopefully she will learn to expect the same, though like you said, it will be tough to find a real man. I know. Let’s arrange the marriage of your son to my daughter! Problem solved. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I like the way you think Lady…hmm, maybe my Queen and I are going to have to make a little detour to pop in on Mr & Mrs BHC when we ride Route 66 next year…purely for research purposes, of course.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. As I sit inside my warm enough home with all the blinds and curtains drawn over the windows to keep the cold out, I am delighted to read that somewhere in the world there’s warmth and light– and even that there’s humidity. I miss them all right now. Glad to know that you’re enjoying them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Ally. Believe me, I pinch myself everyday to ensure that I am in fact here in paradise. I so appreciate my time here and I know it will come to an end in the near future. I am sending lot’s of sunshine your way. Keep warm, amiga!

      Like

    1. I pressed LIKE, but what a horrible experience for everyone involved. It was so upsetting knowing that someone was in distress and watching the flight attendant’s faces with a look of sheer panic. I am glad he seemed to be okay after a while. I am also glad that things got better once I landed. 🙂

      Like

  8. I’m booking my flight now, Maria. You can privately email your address. 🙂 We had an ice storm last night, so I understand your need to escape the elements. I’m so happy you’re enjoying time with your family and soaking up the sunshine. I sent you an email to see if you were one of the three recent Powerball winners. A winning ticket was sold in Puerto Rico. 🙂 Enjoy you trip and RELAX! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hola, mi amiga!! My internet has not been great here so I’m sorry I did not respond to your message. Believe me, if I had won the Powerball, you and the rest of the world would have known about it by now. That would have been some blog post, huh? I am so enjoying the time with my mom and her husband. I feel like an only child who is spoiled and who gets what she wants, even when she didn’t ask for it. I feel horrible for Mr. B and everyone else having to endure this ridiculous weather. I’ve got a week and a half left, I better continue enjoying it before it’s time to head back. xoxo

      Like

Let it all hang out...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s