Tag Archives: neighbors

Musings

24 Sep

The continuation of the glowing account of our recent month-long journey to central Mexico needs to be put on hold in light of the recent earthquakes. Many of the places we visited are damaged, destroyed or at the very least suffering. 

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The two bell towers of the 16th century church in Cholula that sits on top of the world’s largest pyramid toppled.  Our Lady of the Remedies.

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We visited here three weeks ago.

We are blessed to have a roof over our heads and food on the table. The need is so great and overwhelming in the world that some days I must turn off the news and simply be kind to the person in front of me. It’s all I have. Other days I have more.

IMG_0580We were robbed again this week. While we are certain of the culprit, there is little definite proof. We have increased the security with bars on my MIL’s house and two of our vulnerable windows. Sad, but necessary.

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Security for Alice.

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Enjoy your week. Connect with your neighbor (unless they are the ones robbing you).  Get outdoors. Be grateful, no complaints.

DOS TORTAS 

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Go With God Sandy

23 Apr

The recent visit to our hometown of Austin, Texas included a drive through the old neighborhood. You could tell which houses had had a facelift or complete makeover and likely changed hands. One house stood out with its overgrown yard and clunker parked in the driveway. It looked absolutely the same as when we left almost four years ago. We laughed and wondered aloud how Sandy was doing.

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Pulling out of our driveway August 2013

Leaving Austin after having lived there forty years for me and more than twenty for Lisa meant lots of goodbyes. We visited with friends, some of which we hadn’t seen in years, but who wanted to connect before we took off for the wilds of Southern Mexico. We even threw a party in our yard, complete with live music. There were many opportunities for folks who wanted it. But we never saw Sandy.

She was our neighbor a few doors down. She played softball with Lisa’s team for a few years. I remember hanging out in her hot tub with a group of women naked and laughing. It was a first for me but lots of fun.

Over the years, Sandy became more and more of a recluse. I stopped by her house more than once to invite her to some event and she was clearly uncomfortable and did not invite me in. The house reeked of cigarette smoke. She promised to show, but never did.

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Sandy’s trusty little white truck.

I knew Sandy had retired from her job as a surgical assistant to an eye doctor. She also volunteered with children. I wonder what happened. Lisa and I had dinner last week with some mutual friends who informed us that Sandy had died. When she didn’t show for a cancer treatment, the clinic sent the police for a wellness checkup. They found her in her recliner.

I believe a lifelong struggle with depression and alcohol contributed. She only died the first of March and it makes me so sad. I just came from the grocery store and saw someone who looked like her and did a double take. Then I remembered.

Adiós means “go with God”, so adiós Sandy. I know that you are at peace. We just never know when we say goodbye if we’ll ever see anyone again. So hug them tight and tell them you love them, even if they’re your neighbor.

DOS TORTAS

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A Blast From the Past

6 Nov

Inspiration for a weekly blog can show up in the most unexpected places. Yesterday I found a 2014 Facebook message from a childhood friend I hadn’t seen in fifty-five years. What followed surprised even me!

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Carolyn and I were best friends, attached at the hip so to speak. We had sleepovers and ate at each other’s houses. Her family gave me perspective on life. They were different from us, more relaxed. We were a large Catholic family with lots of rules, restrictions and guilt. They were not.

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The day I received Holy Communion.

I remember Carolyn’s family had an in-ground swimming pool. There was a sign that said, Don’t Pee in the Pool. I felt very uncomfortable looking at that sign. We did not say the word pee in our house.

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Two of my siblings and myself in front of our childhood home.

Just this past week I had told a story that included a memory of Carolyn’s home. When the original version of King Kong (Fay Wray 1933) came on television, my father decreed it too scary and not for young children, at least not his children.

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Anything forbidden is all the more desirable. I remember surreptitiously watching King Kong in Carolyn’s living room, sure that I would go to hell and willing to take the risk.

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I had to do some digging to find these old photos. None of Carolyn.

Last night, we messaged each other, back and forth, fingers flying, updates on our lives, pictures of the grandchildren, and forgotten memories. It truly was a blast from the past.

I love how life can surprise. It makes us get out of bed in anticipation of what is in store today. A lovely way to live. DOS TORTAS

“Life has had its share of ups and downs, some BIG, some small, but I can say I have never even been happier than I am now.” Carolyn

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Nana’s Visit To California

9 Oct

Visiting friends, children and grandchildren in the States is a bittersweet part of retirement life in Mexico. Please enjoy a few pictures while I head out this morning to car shop with my daughter and her husband during my vacation to Northern California.

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Taking selfies with dear friends.

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Riding in the back seat with Maxwell.

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A fun time taking pictures at the pumpkin patch.

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The children’s museum.

Max is a great one handed walker who took seven steps to Grandma Lisa on Skype last night. Lisa is holding down the fort in Bacalar. We have a new fence going up while I’m gone.

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A grainy photo of the new privacy fence between us and the neighbors.

In an effort to settle the ongoing conflict with our neighbors, we have put up a fence to keep Luna in and curious eyes out. We now have a small stretch of privacy fence that will have a planter with lovely vines along it. (See Standoff With The Neighbors-How It’s Done In Mexico)

DOS TORTAS

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It’s Noisy In The Jungle

17 Apr

Living forty feet from beautiful Laguna Bacalar, thirty minutes from the southern-most border of Mexico and Belize has its disadvantages, not many, but one in particular. It’s noisy, with screechy birds, and the neighbors.

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Neighbors To The South

Sound travels without buffer over the water. We can hear the conversation on a boat out on the lake from quite a far distance. Strange voices make the dogs go ballistic, barking and being the guard dogs that they think they are. The music from the neighbors can also seem like it’s in our bedroom. Thank God for earplugs.

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Princesa Luna, Intrepid Guard Dog with a Big Voice

It doesn’t help that we live in a concrete bunker and sound bounces and echoes throughout the house. It’s beautiful but a bunker. Rugs help, but not much.

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The Hammock – My Favorite Spot

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Large Windows and Doors for Air-Circulation (no air conditioning)

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The View From the Laguna

For three days this week we’ve been listening to the roar of chainsaws. They seemed close, but it’s hard to approximate with just sound. Yesterday we were in a near panic. Who is tearing up the jungle to pave paradise and put up a parking lot?

I finally walked to the end of our dock with my binoculars. To my surprise and relief there were guys making repairs to the dock that belongs to our neighbor two lots south of us. Such relief.

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Checking Out the New Dock With Neighbor and Fellow Kayaker Teresa

The inconvenience of birds, a party to which we were not invited, barking dogs and the rare sound of chainsaws is not unique to living in Mexico. We bump into each other as humans in so many ways. For the most part, I’m just fine with it. Thank God for earplugs. DOS TORTAS

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