Tag Archives: gratitude

Let’s Go To Thailand Part 1

14 Aug

The tsunami along the coast of Thailand and India shook the world on Boxing Day 2004. Like everyone else, we were riveted to the news and videos showing mammoth waves devouring everything in sight. For me the difference was my friends had just gotten married in Thailand and were likely in the wave’s path.

We went to this museum before the monuments were included.

Joe’s blog described plans for the engaged couple and both sets of parents to travel to northern Thailand for a Buddhist wedding ceremony. They had a fabulous bed and breakfast reserved and beautiful Thai wedding attire.

I checked his blog site multiple times a day after the tsunami, hoping for an update. As the number of dead and missing soared and time passed I became more and more frantic. What had happened to them? Would I ever know?

Then one day, a week or so later, a post appeared. Joe had been on his honeymoon and oblivious to the rest of the world. Apparently he’d been scammed by a travel agency and lost his hotel reservations and money! His post didn’t even mention one of the world’s largest natural disasters. He dodged a bullet.

I eventually lost track of Joe after his blog fizzled. I guess married life trumped the blog. One day I heard on the radio, “if you want to help Thailand, bring your tourist dollars back.” It sounded like as good a reason as any to go. Plans for Thailand began!

DOS TORTAS

I Hate Scary

17 Jul

My mother-in-law loves scary movies. If you walk past her house in the afternoon, it sounds like someone is being murdered. Well, they are, only on Netflix.

Alice’s little house.

First off, the volume is so loud, due to her hearing, or lack thereof. It’s a good thing we live out in the jungle. Mexicans really crank their music anyway so I think most of the country is already deaf. She fits right in.

Stop in and sit a spell.

We have headphones for Alice when she comes down the hill to watch movies with us. She can adjust her personal volume so our ears don’t bleed.

Alice on her way to vacation in California June 29. Puerto Morelos, Mx.

This week Alice almost died of Covid. She is in California with Lisa. She contracted the virus after a family 4th of July (American Independence Day) picnic. The doctor at Urgent Care declined to prescribe antivirals for this petite seventy-eight year old. Why? We have no idea.

Alice and me during lockdown.

Alice had severe diarrhea which shut down her kidneys. She became septic and critical. I’ve always said that medicine in the US is crappy at prevention but at its best in an emergency. She went from critical to discharged in two days. She is up and able to walk unassisted with a walker and feeling much better.

Lisa cheerleading her mom.

Alice is an amazing, resilient woman. All those trips to the gym paid off! I look forward to hearing screaming coming from her house again soon. Gratitude gratitude gratitude.

DOS TORTAS

Please, please WEAR A MASK

Tropical Storms, Mosquitoes And Mud

5 Jun

What a week, what a week filled with windy downpours and cooler temps. Walking the dogs meant wading through a river of potholes in inappropriate footwear.

After leaving us, hurricane Alex headed to Florida.

Back-to-back tropical storms threatening to become hurricanes provided a welcome reprieve from the heat. We hunkered down and mostly enjoyed the sound of rain and the peace.

A second wave of storms finally moved off providing a beautiful weekend.

When finally venturing out, the mosquitoes made an unwelcome appearance. You must either stay moving, cover up or completely douse yourself in poison, or all three.

Sitting on the dock o the laguna.

Saturday evening saw the first rays filtering through the clouds to provide a stellar sunset. Life is good even in a squall.

DOS TORTAS

Shopping, Eating And Kid’s Parties

8 May

Whenever I visit the States, there’s a list of items to bring home to Mexico. They are things we can’t get where we live, or they are exorbitantly priced. All the corners of my suitcase get filled.

There’s also been a couple of trips to local eateries, Japanese and Middle Eastern. When I raise my eyes at the prices, my daughter reports, “that’s just the way it is”. I guess that’s why we live in Mexico.

Heaven on earth.

There have been three kid’s parties this weekend and today is Mother’s Day. That’s a lot of socializing for this introvert.

Friday afternoon was my grandson’s school talent show. From kindergarteners to eighth graders, children danced, tumbled, sang and played drums, piano and guitar. I was moved by their fearlessness. There wasn’t a savant among them, but I loved it anyway.

DOS TORTAS

We all have the mother we have. For some it is a happy relationship, for others it is a sadness. For some it is a blessed memory, for others a painful reminder. Motherhood itself is as we experience it. For some a vocation, for others a choice intentionally untaken. Today I want to invite us all to gather around these mixed truths of our mothers, celebrating the joy it means to so many, acknowledging the reserved response of many others. We all have the mother we have. We are all siblings of that reality, however we encounter it. May the Spirit bless us, with love or healing, as we embrace this day in our own way. And may the mothers we have be a door: to our thanksgiving and to our wisdom. Rev. Stephen Charleston

Embarrassed To Be Happy

17 Apr

With so much pain and suffering in the world, is it super privileged to be content? There are no broken bones, the car is running, we have food and shelter.

I am grateful, and I don’t want to jinx things. I’m not saying that life is perfect. I still struggle with not sleeping. It’s just the way it is. My body hurts from gym work outs, but it’s a good hurt and I’m thrilled with the muscles. Lisa and I have been having date-night once a week. Sometimes it’s the little things.

Moon over Laguna Bacalar.

I’m leaving for California a week from Tuesday and I’m actually excited. Not much really excites me these days. Soon I will be checking the weather, hauling out the suitcase and getting a Covid test. Hi ho hi ho.

Going for a swim.

Until then, I will try to keep the bubble from bursting, however I did buy travel insurance.

DOS TORTAS

Grief And Gratitude

27 Feb

Two years ago we adopted Stela, a blind pug. I had never been around a pug and had a lot to learn about their quirky nature. One skill she has is to be asleep on the couch, snoring loudly and on her feet a moment later when someone says one of the magic words, outside, potty, snacks, or walk. She’s a zero to a hundred in the blink of an eye kind of gal. Sometimes life is like that too.

Stela loves her pillow.

Last weekend I was blissfully returning from kayaking on Lake Bacalar, Mexico,where we live. I was anticipating the week leading up to my seventieth birthday, and in one misstep, I was sailing off the dock, landing on a pile of rocks, and screaming for my life. No bones were broken but doctor’s orders has me off my feet for 2-4 weeks. Zero to a hundred, but not in a good way.

I fell to the left of the kayak.

On Tuesday, our housekeeper of six years announced that she is pregnant with baby number five and could no longer work for us. While we completely understand it is the loss of a relationship that we were totally unprepared for. As much as I think that the people who work for us are not friends, the flood of tears said something different.

The husband of a friend and former neighbor from Texas lost his battle with cancer on top of the loss of our dear friend Suze the week before (Death Knocks) also to cancer.

On Sunday Lisa went to a celebration of life for her dear poker buddy Steve who died suddenly from Hepatitis C two years ago. He was a good guy.

Steve, Lisa’s Bacalar poker buddy and our friend.

I guess the only way we can be prepared for loss is to live every day fully. Many people don’t make it to seventy. I have a feeling that sadness and gratitude are a part of the aging process no one much talks about. I think fondly of Delmy, Troy, Suze and Steve as I grieve their loss. As for me, I think youth is vastly overrated. My bruised body will heal. None of us will ever be younger than we are right this minute, so enjoy today, live life to the fullest and above all be grateful.

DOS TORTAS

AFTER YOU DIE
Just so you know
after you die
I will not wonder
why you didn’t do
your dishes or
how long it’s been
since you
cleaned your
oven or microwave or
mopped your floors
or why there were
dust bunnies under
the bed and
behind the door

After you’re gone
I will not wonder
how you could
have allowed the
piles of old mail to
accumulate or
why you saved so
many bits and pieces
of this and that or
why you weren’t
more goal-oriented and
well-organized or
why your refrigerator
contained so many
expired condiments

When you are
absent from all your
familiar places
I vow to avoid wondering
why you didn’t
eat less and
exercise more or
why you waited so
long to stop smoking
or drinking or
whatever else was
simultaneously
soothing and
deadly or
why you took
whatever risk may
seem to have hastened
your exit or why
you left so much unsaid
unfinished or
unresolved

I will only wonder
if you knew how much
you mattered to me
just as you are
as you were when we
met in our temporary
human disguises and
laughed in the
dressing room of the
world at how funkily
our skin suits fit
at times

I will wonder and
hope you knew
you were beloved

I will wonder when
we last hugged
and whether you
felt how our
heartbeats
converged
and our bellies
bumped like boats
and then we
both sighed

Marva Lee Weigelt


Stela The Blind Pug’s Big Escape

29 Jan

In 2019 we lost our dog, Frida. Frida had had distemper and was given a 50/50 chance to live. We fed her by hand for weeks and persisted and she survived. I adored her. She was hit by a car and I cried for weeks.

My friend Carla picked her up off the street.
I could never be in the hammock alone. I still miss her.

Several months after Frida died, I saw a picture of a little sad-looking pug that was rescued off the street in Chetumal about forty minutes away. I’d never been around pugs, but I couldn’t imagine this little dog rummaging around the street looking for food. What is it with me and disabled dogs?

Her eye could not be saved. She had been used for backyard breeding and then dumped.

Stela is quite independent and nothing slows her down. She knows every inch of our property and roams freely in the big fenced yard. She runs the house, but on to the story of her “big escape”.

After my weekly massage and while my MIL was getting her’s, I slipped out the front door leaving Stela asleep in the sun, or so I thought. I was off to a meeting in Bacalar a few miles away. What I didn’t know was that Stela slipped out behind me, followed the car and exited our gate before it closed. She trotted down our road and out onto the same highway where Frida was killed!

Carmen our massage therapist and guardian angel.
Her mug shot posted to Facebook.

I returned home from my meeting to see Carmen (our massage therapist) sitting under a tree waiting for her husband to pick her up. He is always late. For some reason, I rolled down my window to ask her if she was ok. She scurried to the car asking if Stela was with me. My face was the answer, as I was very confused. She then frantically told me that Stela escapó and someone had her.

Some dear people scooped her off the highway and posted her picture to a Bacalar Facebook Group. The trouble is, I’m not a member and would never have seen it if not for Carmen. I made a quick phone call to their number and met up with them on the side of the highway. They handed her to my shaking hands. My poor mother-in-law was a wreck looking for her.

She thinks she’s a cat.

From now on, no one will leave the property without eyes or hands on Stela. Damn dog.

Everything was in perfect alignment that day. So many dogs get snatched, killed or just disappear. I give thanks even as she lays next to me snoring. And she has no idea.

DOS TORTAS

Even a little dog.

As Thoughts Turn Home Toward Mexico

21 Nov

As my time to return to Mexico from Austin, Texas looms on the horizon, I have such mixed emotions. I wish I could be in two places at once, which always happens when I have to leave my dear wife. My departure requires her to be more independent, fixing her own meals, arranging transportation and most of all, finding support that is not me. All of it while juggling medication and healing from major surgery. She’s a trooper, I’m the one who’s nervous.

How I’ve been passing the time in Austin.

I do get the bennies of returning home to the jungle of Southern Mexico, seeing the dogs, returning to daily swims and sleeping in our bed. There is also much to be done. We have been navigating a lot from the US, including my mother-in-law’s care and clogged toilet. Daily messages from our workers, house sitter and MIL do not make for peace and quiet.

Home sweet Bacalar.

This week we will celebrate the US holiday of Thanksgiving. It will be a lovely visit with family and a delicious meal round a large table. A day devoted to gratitude while gazing on the faces of those we love is a good thing. We haven’t been in Austin for Thanksgiving since 2012.

February 2012 My 60 birthday.

Whether you’re in the US or somewhere else on the planet, take a whole day to devote to being grateful. I find that listing things I’m grateful for and WHY helps me to connect more to my heart.

Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to write, connect and hear from followers around the world. I appreciate each of you. So Happy Thanksgiving and catch my socially distanced hug.

DOS TORTAS

Could You Lend A Hand?

16 Oct

I think we are not good at asking for help. Is it women? Men? US’ers or everyone? It is certainly not just me. In a recent conversation with my daughter, she mentioned an App for organizing meals for anyone who needs help. Her aunt and uncle were recently in a car accident, and a friend stepped up to organize meal delivery. MEAL TRAIN is quite popular, especially for moms with new babies. What a fabulous idea!

What struck me right between the eyes is that it never occurred to me to ask for help. My partner is scheduled for major surgery in less than two weeks and I am the chief cook and bottle washer. While I would love someone to step in and organize the whole thing for me, it hadn’t occurred to me until this minute that I could even ask someone to do that!

This week the sunrises were amazing in Bacalar.

I remember when my now 38 year old son was born. Two friends brought food for which I was supremely grateful. We visited for awhile as I sat on the couch nursing my newborn. After some time they made moves to leave, putting on their coats and standing at the front door. Before exiting one woman casually said, “is there anything else you need?” The dishes piled in the sink flashed before my eyes and I took a deep breath. “Could you do the dishes?” They looked at each other, took off their coats and a few minutes later, the kitchen was spotless. It was a tiny kitchen and they had four hands. It meant so much to me, and all I had to do was ask.

Perfect swimming days.

It has been eight years since we left Austin to retire to Mexico, yet I had no trouble listing twenty people who would probably be quite willing to lend a hand. I need to look into the whole thing and see how it works. One thing for certain is that I can use the help and if I don’t ask, I certainly won’t get it.

DOS TORTAS

My Life Goes Better With Yoga

2 Oct

I was first introduced to yoga about 1972. I was studying at The University of The America’s in Cholula, Mexico where there was a young teacher who did asanas (yoga postures) out on the commons. He piqued my curiosity and I joined his weekly class.

1973 That’s me on the right celebrating my 21st birthday in Mexico.

Over the years, yoga has come in and out of my life. Before we left Austin for the wilds of Southern Mexico, I paid $99 a month and walked daily to the Yoga Yoga Studio for unlimited classes.

Downward Facing Dog variation with bone. Stela supervises.

Having scoliosis, the bones in my spine have realigned themselves and moved internal organs to places they wouldn’t ordinarily be. I am blessed to have been able to carry and birth three babies and live most of my life pain free. I believe that yoga has helped.

Stela waits for class to start.

I have lately returned to morning yoga practice. My body feels better for it. I’ve long given up having to prove anything. While structured class with a teacher would challenge and improve my flexibility, the times we live in don’t lend themselves to group practice. Online classes require watching a small screen and interferes with my peace. Since I am not a newbie I have a routine that works for me.

Stela masters child’s pose.

Yoga keeps my body flexible, relaxed and focused. It is something that makes a difference in my day to day life. I can see and feel the benefits which is motivation enough.

OMmmmmm. *dog yoga pictures taken by our lovely house sitter Lei Chen

Yoga is not for everyone but if you are so inclined I recommend it as a gift to your body and soul that will last a lifetime.

DOS TORTAS

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