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In the Book of Life, The Answers Aren’t In the Back
Sep 2nd, 2012 by Les

“You get a strange feeling when you are about to leave a place, I told him, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you will miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”  Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

“We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go we take a little of each other everywhere.”  Tim McGraw

Oh darn, I had so hoped they were in the back of the book!  Sometimes I find keeping my brain focused on a specific subject harder than putting socks on an octopus.  As Tuesday, the day of our leave taking looms my brain functions have become similar to that of the many dancing brooms let loose by the tiny sorcerer’s apprentice.  A lot of activity…most of it too curious to mention.

There is no putting into words how one feels as one nears the day of departure from their home of three years.  It is sort of like sitting in a dark room watching old home movies….a walk down memory lane.

For instance, the word “shit” muttered in disbelief, frustration, etc is an acronym for “ship high in transit” and was once used to mark crates of manure being transported aboard … well…ships.  Might be an urban legend or not..who knows.  Who even knows why I brought this up except I find the word, which I rarely use filtering through my mind often lately.

With my aforementioned mind on…okay I should take this with us….this should go in the lift van….no maybe not…where did I put the…what was it….over here….why did I come into this room….why in the heck did I even bring this here….goodness gracious I’ve turned into a Fruit Loop!

One thing is for sure Mexico is beautiful…the land…the mountains…the desserts…the lush foliage and absolutely beautiful flowers, birds etc.  And the weather…the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere…even during the rainy season.  However, if pushed to say what is Mexico’s biggest draw..charm if you will?  Certainly and without a doubt it’s people.  At least in my experience living in … as I’ve said so often before …a tiny former fishing village of Ajijic on the shores of Lake Chapala.

The people one meets every morning while sweeping the walk in front of our home, for example.  The “hola”, “Buenos Dias” that slip easily, now, from my lips and the lips of people I’ve come to know.  The mother’s holding tightly to their children’s hands.  The children dressed in the school clothes, shiny faces, big smiles and even bigger backpacks.  The daily life…shop keepers opening their doors, preparing their wares for sale and, of course, many observing the customs of closing between the hours of 2 and 4 to relax and have a meal with their families or friends.  Something I’m now so used to but was so surprised at when I first arrived.

The above is just a simple glimpse into the morning lives of my Mexican neighbors.  David and I wanted to live in the village because we wanted to experience Mexican life first hand and we have never regretted it.

The treasure of Mexico is it’s people….in my mind.  They touch your heart with their smiles, their laughter, their sense of family.  They are working hard for the very same thing family’s work hard for in the US, Canada, the UK and on and on…a chance for their children to have the education and opportunities that education can afford in their future.  Their joy of life which is never more apparent then the laughter, music and excitement that accompanies planned and unplanned parades that happen often in our little village.  Proud papas and mama’s marching beside their ninos smiling up a storm.

Life is what you make it.  Everything is within walking distance if you have time.  We did.  We walked, we learned, we experienced and we will never forget.

Vaya con Dios to all of our friends…we shall hold you in our hearts forever….may blessings surround you…happiness be in your hearts…may your homes be full of joy…and may you know that you are loved.

The kitten has found a home two doors down from us…just past the baker’s shop…and it is good!

 

A Garden Next Door

 

Beautiful

 

Vibrant Color

The Path Home

 

Of All The Yards In All The World
Aug 30th, 2012 by Les

So Sweet

Of all the yards in all the world, why did you have to walk into mine?  Our tiny ebony kitten still needs a home.  We are desperate.  We cannot take him with us, though we would surely like to.  The house we leased will accept 2 cats and we already have three.  This little guy turned up here unexpectedly a month ago and has stolen our hearts.  We could not ignore him.  He is playful, funny, sweet and cuddly and would truly be a great addition to anyone’s home.  Won’t you please consider adopting him or taking him and continuing the search for just the right home.  He comes with a carrier, kitty litter box and starter food.  Please email me at leslielynnelawrence@yahoo.co.uk or call us at 33.3484.9554 if you can help.  Thank you.

You never really leave a place you love, you take part of that place with you leaving part of you behind.  Much to our surprise we are, in fact, leaving something behind, the ability to party hardy.  We had lunch with some friends today and they mentioned that our good friends Lana and Steve Coffman have instituted a monthly …remembering David and Les party….with the first get together scheduled for their place next month.  I would venture to say Lana is as far of center as I am and I love her to death for it.  Getting the two of us together makes the absurd sound reasonable and, dear reader, if you are planning on visiting Ajijic you can spend time at Steve and Lana’s wonderful Lolita’s Inn www.LolitasInn.Ajijic.com and, well, continue the fun.  We plan on staying there when we return to visit!

Also, if you are in the mood for pizza “your way” you simply have to visit the Junky Monkey found on the carretera (mountain side) just past the Waffle House…the pizza is fabulous dahling  And, of course David and I want to thank all of those who put our Adios Party together….Ron and Bobbi, Ed and Betty, Michael and Shannon, Brent and Dale and Joe and Jan…what a memory to take with us and cherish for always.  The Junky Monkey is open Sunday through Saturday…from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (closed Thursdays) and their number is 045.33.1038.4129.

Here are some additional tidbits on our journey NOB…we decided to get our car checked out for the journey.  We have found, since moving here…at least for us…the most economical and best service has been rendered by Carlos at Escalera.  They can be found on the lake side of the carretera at Av. Hidalgo No. 448-B Riberas del Pilar….just past the Seven Eleven (yes they have those here).  Two shocks and 3 tires later…all bolts tightened and service completed…we are ready to hit the road.

As we were driving to Escalera the other day and I casually asked David…do we have to take the airport way to Guadalajara?  You see I am going to drive to South Carolina and David is going to navigate.  His response made me laugh out loud, “it’s the only way out of here”.  Now, please don’t take us wrong…its not that we are anxious to get out of here…its just that I’m driving enough said….not by a long shot…you know me better than that!  Let me explain.  We had our cats vaccinated for the trip as required and bought them comfy carriers.  I also asked our vet if he could provide tranquilizers in case they become agitated.  He did.  Why do I mention this, you ask.  Okay, so you didn’t ask … no luck… I’m going to tell you anyway.

I consider myself a rather calm person who has driven in many countries however, for some reason the drive into and out of Guad sets me back a bit (read makes her crazy as a loon).  David has been with me when I’ve been “set back a bit”.  So, dear reader…the comment “it’s the only way out of here” was more for my benefit then his.  Of course, there’s always the tranq alternative for David…I’m sure the cats will share!  But…if he tranqs himself…heaven only knows where we might end up!

Below is a chart David put together of the miles and towns we shall stop in as we travel toward Newberry South Carolina.  He has already booked us in hotels that accept pets and we will be staying in the Dallas area for one night so that David can visit his daughters and I can visit my brother and his family as well as stop and visit David’s sister before we head out in the morning.  We did the same thing coming down and ran into no problems.

Driving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day

Date

From/To

Miles

Hours

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

09.04.12

Ajijic-Matahuala MX

350

7

Wednesday

09.05.12

Matahuala MX -LaredoTX

333

6.5

Thursday

09.06.12

Laredo–DallasTX

432

7.5

Friday

09.07.12

DallasTX–MeridianMS

492

7.5

Saturday

09.08.12

MeridianMS–NewberrySC

500

8

 

 

 

 

 

Our dear friend Emmie, who is waiting for us at the end of our journey, has gone above and beyond to show us what Southern Hospitality is all about and we are and will remain eternally grateful for all of her help.  She is a special lady.

David has secured our state side car insurance and we have been told, though our license plates are not current (lets talk 3 years behind) we have 45 days in which to get the car registered in South Carolina.  If stopped, we have been told to show the officers our passports which will be dated and stamped upon crossing the border and explain our destination and plans to renew in SC.  It pays to have law enforcement in the family when confronted with these types of questions.

Jim Morrison once said: “I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moment.”

I know…no surprise…I can really, really relate to that quote…in fact I’ve used it before.  Life was so much easier when your clothes didn’t have to match and boys simply were too weird to even think about.  Now there is so much twirling around in my less then adequate head … preparation for the move …. hope that our little kitten will find a safe and loving home …. people who we are leaving….so many….so wonderful….so interesting…so…well, often…unusual….so talented…. that we will miss….beauty…of surroundings, culture, people and the list goes on and on and on…my brain…such as it is seems to be turning to mush.  Lots I’d like to say….little I can pinpoint before the thought simply drifts or propels itself out of my range of thought.  I mean folks, moving is kind of like stylized performance art, not unlike Kabuki…you just have to take a look at our house now!  I’ve got rhythm but David is finding my methods challenging…I venture to guess.  The idea is to be there (duh), to act as though you know what you are doing (well we all know that ain’t going to happen) while at the same time not yanking strands of hair out of your already thinning scalp.   By the time this is all over I’ll need to find a good wig maker!!

One more post before we hit the road….just a little warning so you might be prepared!!

 

Beautiful

 

Close Up

 

 

 

The Days Dwindle Down to a Precious Few
Aug 21st, 2012 by Les

Scott Adams the writer of  Dilbert: “Reality is always controlled by the people who are most insane.”

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”  Albert Einstein

Seriously, I’m a realist with a dash of the absurd….what does that tell you?!

Vanish sprayed into a toilet bowl after each use will keep it fresh, clean and sparkling with little effort.  I’m throwing that out now because, if I don’t, I will forget to share that little tidbit of information with you and this blog will have no meaning.  You see folks there is some validity to Montezuma’s Revenge.  The water here is brown…quite often and our Mexican neighbors get their water, just like we do, from the water delivery people who traverse the streets of Ajijic constantly throughout the course of a day.   Consequently, water sitting anywhere for any length of time will turn things brown.  Reality.

For instance I think … again this is me folks … one must be in touch with various parts of one’s psyche.  Dreams, for instance, allow us to be insane…mischievous, diabolical, brave, fearless, courageous, and hilarious etc.  At night as you lay you’re heady down and Morpheus trundles you off the land of possibilities and, depending upon whether we are in REM sleep (rapid eye movement) or NREM (non-rapid eye movement), we may or may not remember all that goes on – it can be a wonderful journey.  Nightmares are another thing.

I had a psych teacher announce to our class in a voice I will never forget…when dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane (lower your voice and push you chin into your chest while pursing your lips…that’s what he sounded like).  Authoritarian comes to mind.  No stretch there…most of us nodded sagely and thought…wow I really did pick the right major.  Jung, oft quoted by many a psych professional, said show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

Where the heck am I going with this….when David and I first announced it was our intention to move to Mexico…the comment: are you insane, became almost a mantra.  I mean really, what sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?  NOT.

The country is beautiful dear reader.  I can speak from experience as I have to merely look out my windows…the Serra Madre Mountains surround our little village resting peacefully on the shores of Lake Chapala.  Blue skies that make you stop what you are doing and simply gaze upward at puffy clouds hovering just above the mountains which are blessed, this time of year, with emerald green foliage and birds of every type flying hither and yon … this way and that.  Color beyond mere thought…seen in not only the flowers but the vibrancy of the clothing worn by many when yet another parade saunters down our street.  Music … making your toes tap even if you have no rhythm what-so-ever.  The list goes on….

Is it any wonder people from all over the world find themselves enjoying this area of Mexico?  There is a very large artist’s colony here – artists of every make and model.  So much to paint, photograph, sculpt…color lending itself to expressive fabric or jeweled art.  Gentle breezes, sunshine to warm you, a culture that is vibrant and alive to inspire you and words simply fall of the page.

Anthony Newly was heard to exclaim..Stop the world, I want to get off.  Yes, get off right here and have a grand time immersing yourself in the less hectic aspects of life on this planet.

Okay, these are my feelings on life in Mexico as I prepare to leave this place.  Let’s face it, no one is going to do a variorum, like some have done on the Bible or Shakespeare’s written texts, because what I have to say…what I’ve said…carries no depth of meaning…it is simply the ramblings of an askew of center, absurd person living in Mexico and observing life around her.  The very same woman who would spend time trying to find out why her cats won’t go near the ficus.  Or, waking up one morning to find everything so weirdly quiet I find myself wondering if I’ve been left behind by the rapture.

As we leave, we take with us David’s marvelous photography.  Photographs that capture our time here and will, no doubt, feed our memories with sighs, smiles, and reminiscence of a time well spend in a land of beauty, culture, intensity, warmth and so very  much more.

Ebony Kitten Looking for a Home

And again I say….our little ebony kitten needs a home.  We are desperate to find him a place of safety, love and warmth.  He is beyond sweet.  Healthy and active.  Interacts well with our other cats.  Has an Egyptian bearing…not a single speck of white on him and, when his golden eyes shut, you simply can’t find him as he disappears.  Won’t you find it in your heart to give him a home?  Please email me at leslielynnelawrence@yahoo.co.uk and time and I will answer all of your questions.  Please think about it.

(BTW, the book Two Americans in Mexico – the Humorous Chronicles is now in this huge and unwieldy manuscript form and, hopefully. will find its way to print/ebook some day soon…be prepared!)

Below are pictures David has taken of flowers in our yard.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 


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