Archive | July, 2013

Down to Our Skivvies

28 Jul

I have been down to my skivvies two other times in order to seek adventure. Yes, I was a baby Torta long before I knew it. Once I moved halfway across the country and another, halfway around the world. In 1974, I arrived in Austin via Southwest Airlines. They had just celebrated their third year in business. The plane left Love Field in Dallas, propellers spinning with a little curtain between the pilots and the rest of us. I carried two suitcases to start my life as a University of Texas student. Three months prior, I had been in school in Central Mexico and was bemoaning the fact that I had to return to NJ. One of my teachers said, I know just the place for you. The University of Texas at Austin. Me – “ok” and that was that. Long before the days of Google, I knew nothing about my chosen destination. A friend back home flashed this weird hand configuration when I told them my plans and exclaimed, hook ’em horns. Me – “ok”.

On the plane, I quizzed my seat mates as to how far it was to the University from the airport. They gave me a look and a ride to the housing office and bid me good luck. I had almost no money and no idea where I was going to sleep. Ah, those were the days. The sweet woman in the housing office found me a couch in a University co-op. I was a couch surfer before the term was coined. Half of the residents came in at 3am and the other half got up at 5am, but the price was right.

August will be 39 years since that adventurous arrival. The time has been peppered with a two-year stint in Japan and vacations to Belize, Mexico, Thailand, Greece and Turkey. Pulling up roots and moving on is long overdue. The closets are empty as is the attic. My final day at work is Wednesday. In another week we should have a departure date.

SW Airlines Ad 1974

SW Airlines Entices

Hookem

Hookem

Image

Goes to Mexico

21 Jul

All along as we prepared for our life changing move to Mexico, we’ve been dividing possessions into what goes to Mexico and what doesn’t. Books, winter clothing, furniture, photos, children’s report cards, yarn, yarn and more yarn, gone to Craig’s List, Goodwill, Half Price Books, shipped to adult children and sold at garage sales. At the same time, we’ve been wrapping, boxing, labeling, weighing and giving value to the rest of our possessions. Labels must be in English and Spanish and added to a spreadsheet for review by imigre as we cross the border.

So what ARE we taking? yarn (of course) camping equipment, tools, exercise equipment and CDs, casual clothing (I’m going to burn all my work clothes LOL) some furniture, rugs, quilts, art, kitchenware, Lisa’s new TV and my new sewing machine, two kayaks, water skis and assorted prized possessions. All must fit in our 6×10 cargo trailer and in the back of our truck and weigh less than 7K pounds. Once we are all locked and loaded we will take off for our 28 hour drive to San Antonio, Laredo, Monterrey, Puebla, Villahermosa and Bacalar. Photos will be taken and experiences blogged. At this time we have no estimated date of departure. It will be soon, VERY soon. Stay tuned and as always, comments are appreciated.

Packing containers

Packing containers

Goes to Mexico

Goes to Mexico

Cargo Trailer

Cargo Trailer

Route to Bacalar – http://goo.gl/maps/13Xoq

UpDate of the Tortas

14 Jul

As we prepared this week for the FINAL garage sale, it was helpful to be inspired by a TED talk “Get Rid of Your Crap” by Adam Baker. It provided the perfect attitude adjustment that kept me in a mood feliz while watching a steady stream of shoppers haul off our crap for a pittance of what we paid for it.

At noon, we loaded the remaining crap into the back of our truck and headed off to our favorite AIDS services thrift store Top Drawer. On the way we stopped at Texas Truck and Trailer to order the camper shell and tow package for our south of the border adventure. This was a huge CHECK off our to-do list. Next stop Half Price Books, where we waited almost an hour to sell three boxes of books and CDs to net us $12. Woohoo! Lisa spent $3 on a Twilight vampire book, and it was the first time we ever got out of there with $$ in our pocket.

After unloading at Top Drawer we scurried home to meet a potential Craig’s List buyer for my beloved scooter. The man was a federal judge who’s eyes lit up when they saw her. After a spin around the block, we sealed the deal. I’m so happy she’s gone to a good home and I will miss her. Now for the house to sell as easily. Our income for the day covered almost to the penny the cost of the camper shell and tow package. The credit card remains at zero balance. That’s really good.

I was reminded this week by my friend Terry that perhaps the house will not sell when WE want it to, but when we NEED it too. Wise man.

Last Garage Sale

Last Garage Sale

Digging Through Crap

Digging Through Crap

Off to the Thrift Store

Off to the Thrift Store

Gonna Miss Her

Gonna Miss Her

Life is Better When You Play

7 Jul

My youngest son Dylan hated to have his diapers changed when he was little. Before I could fasten them at his hip he would flip over and crawl away from me at the speed of light on chubby little hands and knees. I would grab his ankle in a power struggle that he would loose and we both would hate. One day, I spontaneously grabbed a paper bag mask that my older son had made at school and popped it on my head. My baby lay mesmerized by the eye holes and jagged teeth, while I quickly fastened his diaper. Voila, struggle averted.

Dylan also would talk to puppets. Putting a sock puppet on my hand, I would stand behind the door with arm extended and he would carry on a conversation with my talking hand. Puppet – “Mom just doesn’t understand, right?” Dylan – “Yeah!” in a teary little voice he poured out his heart. We worked out many problems talking to the hand.

But the biggest problem was getting Dylan and his brother out of the community pool on those hot Texas afternoons. They loved to swim and treated each day as if it were their last opportunity ever and held on to the moment for dear life. In an effort to avoid the usual anger, threatening, and arm-tugging style of parenting that I resorted to in those days, I asked them if they wanted to play a game. Little eyes looked up at me with interest. I told them that I was a mama lion and they were my babies and there were hunters that we needed to avoid to get home safely. I took off on the adventure to find them running to keep up. We traversed the neighborhood from bush to stick tree, to the corner of a neighbor’s house, crouched low and whispering…shhh we must be quiet so the hunters don’t see us. We arrived home to snacks in a happy mood and my children didn’t seem to know or care that I’d pulled a fast one. I was the one who learned something important. Life is always more fun when we play.

Yesterday was a day packed with activity. We got up early, cleaned, ran errands, grocery shopped, and showed the house twice to perspective buyers. At seven o’clock, we finally sat to an anticipated quiet evening. Within minutes our friends called to remind us of a dinner invitation that we had completely forgotten. We were thirty minutes late! Oh, well, off we went again, laughing at our oversight. We had a wonderful dinner and appreciated our friends who worked hard to connect with us before we are “outta here”. The day ended with many items checked off our to-do list and a lovely dinner with friends. We played, laughed and avoided the hunters. Mission accomplished.

Dylan still loves the pool.

Dylan still loves the pool.

Dylan and his son Hunter.

Dylan and his son Hunter.

My Son and his family

Our Son and his family

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