Tag Archives: preparing for retirement

Feliz Cinco Ya’ll – Take Two

4 May

Due to a mishap over the last few days, I’ve decided to repost my Cinco de Mayo blog from last year. We sure have come a long way in our relocation to Mexico.  On Friday I  went down hard on my bike and have a hairline tibial fracture behind the right knee. I will be in a brace for three weeks. This morning I’m on pain medication and not thinking too clearly. A handsome traumatologist got me seen, xrayed, diagnosed in and out in two hours for less than $200 Xays, brace and medication.

 

Immobile for three weeks.

Immobile for three weeks.

image


A Repost From 2013

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Austin by waving green, white and red Mexican flags. So much so that I once heard someone point to a Mexican flag and refer to it as a “Cinco de Mayo” flag. It’s a day for family, friends, eating tacos, listening to conjunto and drinking cerveza. Few know what the holiday is really about. When living in Mexico, I visited the Fort de Puebla where a fight for independence took place in 1864. The French, with their highly trained forces thought they had a cake walk in taking over Mexico. A rag-tag militia of about 500 strategically placed Mexican soldiers proved them wrong. Mexico’s independence took years of battles with French, Spanish, US, and British troops. It’s no wonder everyone celebrates a win by the underdogs.

But Cinco is a celebration of much more than the Battle of Puebla. It’s the celebration of a strong, proud, independent people who love to celebrate just about anything. As a youngster from New Jersey, I was wary of a picnic in a cemetery for Day of the Dead. It was a delightful day that allowed me to experience another culture in a very personal way. There are birthdays, saint days, quinceñeras, religious holidays, Sunday picnics, and many more events that I hope to learn about and participate in.

We continue to pack containers, take books to Half Price, have dinner with friends and plan our escape. There are no “final” goodbyes. Just about everyone is invited to visit. So if you think that southern Yucatan may be a vacation destination in your future, get your passport, practice your Spanish and bring a “celebration state-of-mind”, and remember your hammock.

Alex Enjoying a Sunny Lake Bacalar Day

Alex enjoying a sunny Lake Bacalar day

Sunset on the Bay of Chetumal

Sunset on the Bay of Chetumal

Feliz Cinco Ya’ll

5 May

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Austin by waving green, white and red Mexican flags. So much so that I once heard someone point to a Mexican flag and refer to it as a “Cinco de Mayo” flag. It’s a day for family, friends, eating tacos, listening to conjunto and drinking cerveza. Few know what the holiday is really about. When living in Mexico, I visited the Fort de Puebla where a fight for independence took place in 1864. The French, with their highly trained forces thought they had a cake walk in taking over Mexico. A rag-tag militia of about 500 strategically placed Mexican soldiers proved them wrong. Mexico’s independence took years of battles with French, Spanish, US, and British troops. It’s no wonder everyone celebrates a win by the underdogs.

But Cinco is a celebration of much more than the Battle of Puebla. It’s the celebration of a strong, proud, independent people who love to celebrate just about anything. As a youngster from New Jersey, I was wary of a picnic in a cemetery for Day of the Dead. It was a delightful day that allowed me to experience another culture in a very personal way. There are birthdays, saint days, quinceñeras, religious holidays, Sunday picnics, and many more events that I hope to learn about and participate in.

We continue to pack containers, take books to Half Price, have dinner with friends and plan our escape. There are no “final” goodbyes. Just about everyone is invited to visit. So if you think that southern Yucatan may be a vacation destination in your future, get your passport, practice your Spanish and bring a “celebration state-of-mind”, and remember your hammock.

Alex Enjoying a Sunny Lake Bacalar Day

Alex enjoying a sunny Lake Bacalar day

Sunset on the Bay of Chetumal

Sunset on the Bay of Chetumal

So What Exactly Are We Talking About Here?

31 Mar

What is an adventure? When I think about having an adventure, I think of an experience outside of my day-to-day vida loca that is foreign or sometimes a bit scary. The numero uno question that we get when we tell people we’re moving to Mexico is, “Is it safe?” While I admit that everything in life is a risk (when I’m feeling snarky, I’m tempted to say that if I wanted to be safe, I’d stay in bed) some things are riskier than others. When people talk about Mexico and safety in the same sentence, I find that they:

1) don’t really know much about Mexico except what they read in the news.
2) don’t know us very well and don’t consider that we know much about Mexico and have done our homework; and
3) don’t really put risk into perspective.

In 2012 34,767 people died in automobile accidents in the US, almost exactly the number killed in the four year period prior to 2010 in the Mexican drug war. While it’s not a perfect comparison, it’s a bit of perspective. The country of Mexico is big, three times bigger than Texas and the drug war is not targeted at US expats.

In spite of the risk, we still ride in cars everyday and we’re still moving to Mexico.

Dictionary.com states:
ad·ven·ture [ad-ven-cher]
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
Obsolete .
a. peril; danger; risk.
b. chance; fortune; luck.

Memories

18 Feb

Over the years we have gathered memories in the form of photos, journals, high school year books, etc. Some of the photos are in albums but most are totally disorganized in boxes. And in the tradition of my mother, there are no dates, names or identifying information. I stare at the pictures and try to determine the age of my children or siblings and what we were doing. I have pretty much divided the pictures between my three children, with some that I wish to keep. It has been a slow process and I want to stop strangers on the street and tell them to START ORGANIZING YOUR PICTURES NOW, before it’s too late! Or maybe I’m the only person who keeps photos in boxes in the top of my closet, but I don’t think so. I once went to a party and met guys with book shelves full of travel photos, organized in three ring binders by trip, year and clearly labeled. I’m afraid I never got that gene. Sure, I should scan them to CDs or the Cloud, but that’s not gonna happen. I also have a box of hand written journals that I started keeping about age 14 after reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I have made my daughter swear that she will not read them until I am dead. They are boxed and ready for shipment. Pulling up roots has certainly been more of a self discovery process than I imagined. But truthfully, it’s one of the reasons we’re doing it.

Dos Tortas do San Francisco 1996

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