Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, January 23, 2017

Journey to Costa Rica

"Last Evening in Costa Rica" ©Olen Sikes
Last summer, when I went to pick up my painting and piece of sculpture from the Chesapeake Bay Pen Women show at the Bay School in Mathews, several women urged me to support the Bay School endeavors by purchasing a raffle ticket. The Bay School Community Arts Center has been a wonderful facility for area artists, providing classes, a gallery for display, and much more, so, of course, I wanted to buy a ticket.

Although I didn't have a pocketbook with me at the time, I remembered the emergency money stashed away with my cell phone. I found a $20 bill there and purchased the ticket, expecting only to make a donation and nothing more. I forgot about it, so you can imagine my surprise when Pam Doss, executive director, called at the end of September with the news that I had won the trip to Costa Rica.

The prize was round trip airfare for two, along with a stay at one of two Marriotts located there. After researching both resorts, we chose Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort at Herradura, partly because it was available in January when Virginia is often cold and dreary.

I was especially excited because the only "Passenger to Paradise" book I have ever written without visiting the location is Jungle Jeopardy which features part of its setting in Costa Rica. Now that I have been there, I can feel most confident about the details I researched.

The Los Suenos Marriott Resort is lovely, situated next to a luxury marina that was hosting a three-leg fishing tournament which appeared to be quite an important event. I know nothing about fishing nor related tournaments, so I could only observe the setting up efforts and imagine what would take place later.

The resort pools were magical. The buffet breakfast (included in our package) each day was outstanding. We were happy to enjoy many of the features at the resort, including a zumba class and Spanish lessons.

I'm happy I found that hidden $20 bill and that Olen and I enjoyed the luxury of Los Suenos Resort. Thank you, Bay School, for a magical and memorable trip to Costa Rica.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Broken Heart Syndrome - Is It Real?

"Broken Heart" ©Mary Montague Sikes
The death of Debbie Reynolds only a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away has stirred discussions about broken heart syndrome. After I started researching this on the Internet, I was surprised by the amount of material I discovered there.

According to many researchers, including a past president of the American Heart Association, broken heart syndrome is real, can be triggered by sudden unexpected emotional stress, and can be fatal. Stress that provokes heart arrhythmia can lead to death.

While I don't believe the actual cause of death has been determined in the case of Debbie Reynolds, her son, Todd Fisher, reported that Reynolds was on the phone with him when she was strickened. 

"I want to be with Carrie," she said.

The two women were very close and, in fact, lived next door to each other. The loss was a shock.

I was interested to read that a Duke University study several years ago suggested that married couples have lower rates of heart disease than singles or those not in long-term relationships.

Perhaps romance novels with happy endings are more than fiction. Perhaps they reflect a bit of heart reality. People can actually die of a broken heart.

What do you think?