There are lots of ways to celebrate loving relationships in this valentine month of February, and, as they used to say in the old television series, ‘Naked City’ this is just one of them!

Our little ‘fam gang’, made up of my daughter, niece, sister and brother-in-law and varying assorted others, travel to the steamy climates of Costa Rica every January to escape the out sized cold of Canadian winters.

As fellow members of the RA club, shut your eyes for a few seconds and imagine the joy of shedding a heavy, hooded winter coat, boots and gloves as you hop out of the car at the airport, and wave an energetic Bye Bye! to a very sad looking stay-at-home-friend. And while it is a mission to get to the remote village that we go to- a big plane, a small plane, a taxi, a boat ride, and a truck ride at the other end, walking the plane aisles, hydrating and taking a medication, all helps the journey’s end.

Day adventures are always a part of our schedule and one of my favourites is going to Pavones, an hour’s drive away, where we walk for an hour upstream in the River Claro, while the iridescent macaws shriek, black and green butterflies amaze and assorted pequeno (small) furry animals run through the brush.

This year I walked farther than I ever have- two years ago I walked the river with a new hip, last year I was recovering from hand surgery- a result of broken tendons from RA inflammation- so I was grooving and feeling enthusiastically well.

My daughter and niece- both fit and daring- thought it would be great fun to make some excitement by flowing downstream with the current. It all looked like amazing fun until they encouraged me to do likewise. For a split second the squirmy little voice of RA dominated- ‘your hip, Cece; your fingers, Cece; your swollen knee, Cece.’ But then the motto that I have adopted since being diagnosed with this challenging condition kicked in…’Never give in; never give up!’ Besides, I had taken my medication the night before, that morning, and was packing extra pain medication in my handy backpack. What could possibly go wrong!

And this is where the loving relationships part comes in:

My niece getting me set to ‘take’ the current.

Me enjoying the ride.








And….the most important relationship of the day….

My daughter helping me out…ok – literally lifting me out!

RA may have changed the WAY I can do things…but with a little bit of ‘help from my friends’ it doesn’t change the fact that I CAN still do FUN things! And you can too.