Archive | December, 2022

The Rare Jungle Siting – A Visitor

25 Dec

We have a guest! It’s been years since any family members or friends have come to see us in Mexico. It’s so fun having someone ooo and aah and run around taking pictures. We get to see everything through fresh eyes and appreciate the beauty of our home.

Stella is always the perfect welcoming committee.

Our friend Mary lived next door when our adult children were little. I have an absolutely favorite memory of her that I’d like to share. I had just adopted a cat named Isis. She was a young calico and absolutely loved kids. We were delighted with this new addition to our family. One day, not long after we got her, Isis got sick and the vet said she wasn’t likely going to make it. They quoted us an intervention that was more money than I had. With no guarantee or even likelihood of survival we decided against treatment.

Roof of the pirate fort, Bacalar.

I sat up with the kitty all night keeping her hydrated. In the early morning hours she died in my arms. I felt a charge of electricity pass through her like nothing I’d even felt. Her little spirit had left.

We had a viewing on the back porch and all the neighborhood children came to see the dead cat and ask questions about death. “Why is she stiff and yet her fur is still soft?” “What if she wakes up and is covered in dirt?”.

Our favorite taco place.

We had just had three big holes dug in the yard to plant shade trees, a perfect final resting place for Isis. As we gathered the next day to lay Isis to rest, it was pouring rain. My kids’ dad had to bail water out of the hole. It was almost a burial at sea!

Mr. Taco 🌮

As children gathered together under umbrellas, Mary pulled up and joined us with a fist full of little white daisies. Each child got a stem. At that point, I pretty much lost it. We each stood in the rain, dropped our flowers into the grave and said what we liked about Isis. It is clearly one of my favorite memories and the children were precious

My youngest in plaid.

Thank you Mary and thanks for coming to visit our home. Next time you must stay longer!

DOS TORTAS

Saying Goodbye For The Last Time

17 Dec

We got a very unexpected message on Monday. Our dear friend Gabriel had died. He was 63. On Sunday,Gabriel had just placed second in the annual Laguna Bacalar kayak marathon when he complained of not feeling well. Two heart attacks later, the doctors could not revive him.

Mexico is our home for ten years and we still have much to learn. One thing that we have learned is that when someone tells you that you are family they mean it. That was certainly the case with Gabriel.

Mexico City 2017

We met about eight years ago when I was out kayaking and saw him and his wife Monica pull up to a dock in their motor boat. Lisa badly wanted to ski and this was my attempt to make friends with someone who had a boat. It is hard to describe but we’ve been family ever since.

From that day on we were included in so many activities, dinners, parties, and assorted family get togethers, including his daughter’s wedding. We know their children, grandchildren and extended family. When Lisa and I married in California in 2014, Monica and Gabriel put on a reception for us at a local restaurant. It was so much fun.

There were even two brides on the cake!

In Mexico, when someone dies, they are laid out at home. A vigil was held and as word got around on Monday, people showed up with food and flowers. Family flew in from all over the world.

His life jacket and paddle rested on the coffin.

Gabriel’s body was cremated and on Tuesday there was the most amazing funeral I’ve ever attended. Boats, kayakers and paddle boarders all gathered on the far side of the Laguna. The wind made it hard to hear but it was clear that Gabriel was beloved by many. His daily Insta sunrise photos will be missed.

Laid to rest in his beloved laguna.
With his beloved Monica. Maya, his chihuahua will miss him terribly.
Picking me up on our dock for a day of sailing.

It has been a hard week. I am still processing. We also celebrated Lisa’s birthday and remembered the death anniversary of my brother. Gabriel had a full and wonderful life. That’s what I want to remember.

DOS TORTAS

It is not important how long your life is but how you live it. Adiós Gabriel.

Feminine Spirit Guadalupe

10 Dec

Tomorrow is the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is such an important Mexican icon, that she gets a bank holiday. For me, she is the feminine expression of God. I was raised Catholic and walked away from that dogma in high school. Somehow I have found a way back.

2018 with Lisa and Frida
This work of art has a predominant place in our house and in our hearts.

As I have aged, I have found my way to a less intellectual God and more to a heartfelt appreciation for creation. Guadalupe is my sister, friend and mother. Her presence adorns my house in every room.

A gift from my sister-in-law who died of Covid. We had this niche created for her when we built our house.

I am reminded of her holiday by the presence of pilgrims along the highway. They mostly ride bicycles adorned with her image and the red, white and green of the Mexican flag. They ride in clusters with matching shirts, often in sandals. Sometimes there is a support vehicle, sometimes not. I’m not sure of their destination, perhaps Tulum which is two hours by automobile.

Tulum

I wonder what the pilgrims’ stories are. Is their motivation a petition or gratitude for a prayer answered? The site of her original apparition is outside of Mexico City. We visited in 2017. Twenty million visit annually with nine million around December 12, her feast day.

Both the new basilica on the right and the older on the left. Mexico City in the background. Lisa and I are standing on the site of the original apparition.
Grotto in front of our house.

DOS TORTAS

This week my dear Aunt Irene died. She was 100 and devout Catholic. Guadalupe surely welcomed her with open arms.

Both my aunt and uncle lived to 100.

Where Oh Where Are The Keys?

4 Dec

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we were heading out to be with family. Hat? check, bathing suit? check, cell phone? check, keys?

Standing in front of our rental car I reached into the end pocket of my purse for the car keys. They weren’t there. I try my best to have a designated place for the keys. Mmmm. No keys.

Key Largo, Florida USA

In the parking lot of our condo, we began digging. Still no keys. Back inside, we searched through all the obvious and not so obvious places, pockets, counter tops, bathroom? Nope.

The conclusion was that they must be locked in the trunk from when we unloaded the car the night before. It didn’t make sense but where else could they be? We tried reaching the car rental company, a local lock smith, and finally a Nissan dealer thirty minutes away. My brother volunteered to come over and call AAA a roadside assistance company, when WE FOUND THEM (ok Lisa found them. Credit where credit is due.)

Drum roll, they were under the dresser in our bedroom. As near as I can figure, I placed them on the bed and when I climbed in, the keys went flying and slid under the dresser.

It was a very stressful hour with a happy ending.

DOS TORTAS

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