Click on photos to enlarge.
The latest excursion for this BBC show on retirement spots all over the world is Guadalajara and Ajijic, including the fraccionamiento where I live–the Raquet Club! There are several people featured that I know.The first woman shown in the pool at the start of the video is my friend Lety. She is also shown at the end of the video. The pool they are in is two blocks from my house and the view you see is my view. If you are viewing this from elsewhere, wanna come visit?
February in La Manzanilla, Mexico:
click on photos to enlarge.
Here’s the link for this prompt: https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/the-changing-seasons-february-2019/
This is a story of an amazing sixteen year old girl in Mexico and the school for the gifted that she promotes.
Yolanda claims Grimmer’s ghost was here the morning she died and that it rang the bell over the door and when she and Pasiano went to see who it was, there was no one there. Yolanda said her spirit rang the bell and walked out the door to go for a walk… That is what spirits do in Mexico.
Then I remembered 15 years ago when my neighbor Celia said she had seen my husband’s ghost walk up the steps to her house in a blue flame. Why didn’t she tell me at the time, I asked, and she replied that she hadn’t wanted to upset me.
I asked Yolanda if she remembered the time she stood with her arms out and wouldn’t let Grimmer go out the door until she let her press her very wrinkled shorts. We decided maybe this time Grimmer had escaped Yolanda’s exacting standards
Later on Monday, when I had spent hours looking for my credit card, Yolanda suggested I light a candle for the little triptych of San Antonio that I bought at the feria this year. (San Antonio is the finder of lost objects.) I did so and the candle burned away completely to nothing, yet I never found my credit card.
If not the spirits themselves, at least the thoughts of spirits have been with us this week.
I finally whittled my thousand photos taken in Guanajuato down to 135. Both my grand nephew Ryan and I had a fabulous time. We really didn’t know each other as he was born when I was 49, and by that time, I’d been married for 10 years and had inherited 8 stepchildren. We were doing arts and crafts shows which kept us on the road 278 days of the year one year, before we found our niche and settled down into it. In our 13th year of doing shows, we were doing 4 to 7 shows a year and doing better than that year when we were almost constantly on the road. I’ve strayed away from the point, that being that Ryan was in Iowa, we were in California, so when we did see his folks, the visit was fleeting and he was a little boy playing with his brother in the basement. Then later, when I went to visit my sister (his grandmother) he was in college or away doing apprenticeships. So, when he graduated from college, I gave him this trip to Mexico as a present. It was really a present for myself as he turned out to be a charming, enthusiastic, smart young man with a penchant for travel. This was his first trip out of the States and he was thrilled with everything. The fact that he is vegan turned out, in his words, to be less of a problem than in the states. More about that later. Here are the photos of our 4 days in Guanajuato. We were on a fabulous tour with nine others and luckily Ryan found a couple of “playmates” in the group…one the 28-year-old son of the tour director and the other a seventy-something trickster named John. You’ll see him in a hard hat next to Ryan. You can click on the first photo to enlarge all photos and see them as a slide series. Click on the arrow to go on to the next photo. Some will have captions. Go get a coffee or a martini, settle down, and share our trip:
Please note you have to click on the first photo and then the arrows to see captions: (If your wifi speed is slow as mine is, give them a few minutes to download and then all the images will be clear. I didn’t and had to wait for individual photos to clear up as they appeared fuzzy at first. I’ll be interested in hearing if any of you had this problem. I published them at a high resolution so they could be increased in size but made for a big file, I’m sure.)
Click on the first photo to enlarge and see all of the captions.
My friend Margaret Ann Porter wrote this tribute to her friend and gardener, Valentin Paredes, and has generously allowed me to share it with you. Other than just being a heartfelt and beautiful piece, I think it is important that people in the U.S. get a true view of what one Mexican man is like rather than depending on the stereotype portrayed by some of our “leaders.” People are people, no matter where they live. One reason I so strongly support travel at a young age is to make young people see that we are part of a world community made up of all sorts of people–good and bad–sprinkled pretty evenly over the globe. Here are two of the lovely ones… both the portrayed and the portrayer. Margaret and I both live on Lake Chapala in Mexico. It is the largest lake in Mexico surrounded by a number of little towns and villages. (Because she doesn’t have a blog, I am including the entire text and photos of her tribute here.)
My gardener Valentin Paredes died today from cancer. He was only 50. There are people who come along in your life who change you for having known them. Valentin was one of those for me. He was a simple man from a tiny lake village called Mezcala, born in a mud house and sent to work in Chapala when he was only 14. He learned gardening on a hotel crew and found joy in the work, and was so proud to be included in the gardener culture here at Lakeside. He taught me that those guys walking down the street with machetes and rakes and water hoses in their hands all know each other, and they know what’s going on in this town.
Valentin became our gardener 12 years ago when we bought our house. He’d already been working here for four years for a Mexican lady before we Americanos showed up and at first, he was timid with us. Later I learned it was because, in the hotel business in Mexico, Americanos don’t always send their best people, often they send their mean and rude people. After a few weeks, though, we understood each other and he became a terrific employee. He just couldn’t do enough for us, and even acted as handyman whenever we needed it. Sometimes after his shift, he’d leave me a flower arrangement for my table.
Vale had a tender heart about living things. He rescued baby birds and possums, and even took pity on the leaf-cutter ants, showing me how if we let them strip the rose bushes, they’d come back beautifully and without rust. (It works!) He was pals with our dogs and cats, and he’d even prune plants and I’d find the clippings taking root in a series of pots that he’d planted on the back patio. “But … they have life in them, Señora,” he’d explain when I complained about the crowds.
Most of all, he enjoyed new ideas, and whenever I’d give him one, he’d embrace it fully and, if it was actually bad idea, which it often was, he’d come around with a different plan, always approaching me in full deference. “Señora, I understand your plan, but what if we did this instead?” I’d heartily agree — relieved, really, because I am not a natural gardener — and then he’d create something wild and beautiful. I often felt uncomfortable with the whole “Señora” thing, but early on I learned that in his culture, a friendly distance from the ‘patrones’ was good policy.
How I will miss hearing the gate slam at 8 a.m., knowing that Valentin is arriving to do his work. It was one of the most comforting sounds I know because, for 12 years, that man was a dependable, committed and generous part of our life. His very presence taught me what those words really meant.
I will miss you, Valentin, and I’ll never forget you. I’m so sorry you lost your life too soon. You were a better man than most.