Friday, August 2, 2013

Morning Thoughts--FInding our PLACE

It is another overcast morning in Portland. Yesterday the sun didn't come out at all. It was wet. This is Portland's summer? Oh well, when the sun does come out, it is glorious. Maybe summer will come back this week end. I hope so. Forecast is for a hot Sunday, in the low 90s. I love it. My son hates it. He likes these cold, dreary days. Good thing, since Portland is mostly like this. And colder. This is a place that he has chosen. His place.

I have said this many times, we all have to find our PLACE in the world. Some people never find it. They are the constant travelers. Sometimes I envy them. I wish I had more of an adventurous spirit. But I like to get to know one place. I guess I am considered a long term expat in Ajijic, even though I have only lived there six or seven years. I haven't been counting so I don't know for sure when I arrived there. In New England, I bet people would laugh at hearing that phrase attached to a six or seven year resident.

Rentals in Ajijic often say, long term price, and short term price. They consider long term to be six months to a year. Rental contracts usually are one or the other. Landlords feel lucky to have renters through the low seasons.

There is a lot of turnover in Ajijic.  Besides being an escape place in the winter for people to get warm, especially for the Canadians, it is also filled with older people. We get sick. Many of us decide to go back to our home towns for medical care or to be near family.  Canadians have to return to Canada so many months of the year in order to maintain their free medical care up there. And people die. Ajijic is constantly in flux.

Maybe not so much for the Mexicans. Some Mexican families have been living in the Lakeside area for generations. Sometimes when I am on the bus bench, I watch the Mexican sitting next to me, waving at almost every passing car. Cars with Mexicans in them. It can be difficult to cross that language barrier so that expats and Mexicans can become friends.

I have heard of Mexicans living in the Lakeside area who have never even been to Guadalajara. That is less than an hour bus ride away. We all get stuck in ruts. Mexicans and Expats. Or maybe just happy.  Happy to be in our own PLACE in the world. That is a gift.


  1. I sent this to a friend who arrives for his first visit from Arizona today. Recently retired and trying to figure out what he will do when he grows up.

    1. Hi Stacey, Hope he enjoys it. I gave your e mail address to someone about dog sitting. Did you get a call? P

    2. Patricia, I wrote in a reply to one of your postings and I can't remember which one it was but this spot I'll remember because I'm feeling very drawn to Lake Chapala, can't even explain why but I just know it's the next and final destination for me to make in my life. To find my place to spend the rest of my life. I'm not that much of an adventurous person really...I think deep down I am but have been hibernating since my divorce on to just focusing on raising my kids to this point trying to survive still as a single woman. It's crazy cause I've never even been to this part of Mexico, don't speak Spanish, but in trying to strategize for my future I landed on information that Lake Chapala is a number one top place for US/Canadians to retire. The rest is history! Reading your blog has really confirmed my fixation on getting myself there. The hardest part is having to wait until I can afford to a couple of years yet before I'm eligible. I live in Oregon, Portland area actually close enough to where your son lives. I would love to chat more with you about your experiences and how safe you feel there now that things are settling down some. My kids are nervous about me moving there because of safety but I keep telling my son who lives in LA that he's more at risk than I would be in MX with the gangs and whacky people walking that huge city! My daughter advises against it because of friends of hers from MX saying this area isn't safe too much drug cartel issues in the areas between Guadalarja and Lake Chapala. What do you think is it all that bad? Are many Expats fleeing this area now? You sound very happy there. Would love to hear from you.

    3. Hi Pam, Yes I remember you. I think I made a mistake and erased your other e mail. I am glad you wrote again. I haven't been back for three months but I sincerely doubt if people are fleeing the area. Unfortunately I am very busy from now until I leave for Ajijic this coming Tuesday. But please keep in touch. Don't worry so much. It is beautiful down there. P