Saturday, July 18, 2015

Morning Thoughts--Travel Anxiety

I leave tomorrow afternoon for Sacramento. As soon as the plane arrives I rush to the taxi and go to the bus station. There, I, hopefully, meet up with friends and we take the bus to Reno. We are staying in Reno for three nights. From Reno I fly up to Portland. So today I once again repacked my carry on suitcases. I think this makes the fourth repack. And I am being anxious about all the things that could go wrong before I get to Reno.  I hope the flight isn't delayed. Hope I don´t miss the bus.... Maybe you know how it goes with worries and anxieties. Kind of takes the fun out of traveling but that is my nature. Always has been. (I remember my dad saying to me when I was just in the eighth grade, "If you don't stop worrying so much about your homework I won't LET you go to college.")

I am also staying overnight in Guadalajara instead of getting up in the middle of the night to make the early morning flight. It costs me almost the same to spend the night at the Hotel Tapito and taking the taxi to the airport in the morning as to take the taxi from my house to the airport. I can catch the bus from here to Guadalajara for about two dollars and for another four dollars get the taxi to the airport. From here, it costs me 500 pesos plus tip to get to the airport at the ungodly hour of four am.

Also, in the Guadalajara Reporter this week on the front page, there is an article about a local man who was stopped on that freeway in the night. He thought they wanted his car but they wanted him for ransom. Fortunately, another car came by and he managed to run away. He ran through the fields for a mile and finally got to safety. So I do not relish going on that highway in the dark. There are also cows that stand out on that highway in the night time and the taxi drivers drive very fast.

I am going on a sentimental journey this summer. I am visiting with old friends. People who were central to my life many years ago. I haven't seen any of them for years. It feels like lifetimes ago that they were so important to me . I remember reading that old age is a time to look back on our lives and integrate our life experiences. I don´t know how people can make sense of their lives. Mine has been intense and chaotic.  Lots of things to process.

These last few days have brought into focus all the things that are important to me now. Top of the list is peace. I have a peaceful life here. Okay, there are attempted kidnappings on the highway that I sometimes travel. But I don't know anyplace in the world that doesn't have problems.

It is going to be a very interesting summer for me and I will continue to write on my blog from time to time. Thank you all for your good wishes.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Morning Thoughts-- Travel Planning

I haven't been paying much attention to my blog lately. Not since my computer broke, months ago. It took so long to get it back to working again that I got out of the habit of writing. A blog is like a living thing. It needs to be fed. If it isn't fed, it dies. So here I am, giving it some crumbs before I take off on my trip back to Portland, OR for my annual visit with my family. Dog sitting time with their new puppy. A Queensland Healer. I have heard that he is a real handful.  I hope I can keep up with him. I will be there a month and will be dog sitting for ten days.

My friend is coming down here to dog and house sit for me while I am gone as I no longer can expect my landlord to take care of his dog, Chico. He is getting too old. My landlord, not Chico.  (Okay, both are getting old but my landlord seems to be aging faster than Chico.) And someone needs to be here also for my cat.  After all those years of being a wild cat and following me around and gazing in my window at night, she finally has a home. She sleeps in my arms at night. She is happy. She has taught me a lot about persistence!  I never wanted a cat. I never wanted full time responsibility of Chico either. But things happen. While we make our plans, life makes different ones for us.

Getting ready to travel always makes me anxious. I am spending my last days here cleaning everything I can get my hands on, including all my bedding. Yesterday I spent the entire day watching my bedding dry on my clothesline while reading a book about a man who was in a Bolivian prison for many years.

Now I realize how much work it is for the people who are getting house sitters. I have always been on the house sitter side of things. I am seeing my entire house with critical eyes, so much clutter. So much to do to make it okay for someone else to come in and live here. And are these two little creatures going to behave while I am gone? Will my landlord be okay? And will HE behave?

It was a beautiful balmy day. Perfect for drying clothes. I never realized how peaceful and calming it can be just to watch clothes dry and turn them from time to time. Mexican music came up from the plaza, drumming and brass bands. The church bells rang. A peaceful Sunday in Ajijic. I am only going to be gone one month but I miss Mexico already.

I also miss my family and my friends in Portland. I am looking forward to going to some yard sales. I don't buy things down here. Yard sales are expensive and new stuff is too and usually everything is of poor quality and wears out or breaks quickly.

The first few days will be culture shock for me. They always are-- being driven around in the car half the day, going to the malls and big box stores. The indifference of people up there. No saying hello on the streets or talking to strangers in restaurants or coffee shops. Everyone in a hurry to go someplace else, spending their time on cell phones or i pads talking to someone someplace else, as if distant people were more interesting and important than the the ones nearby.......

It is such a different life. I prefer the simple slow pace of Ajijic where I can spend the day watching my clothes dry and at the end of the day feel that I have accomplished something. I may not write for awhile. I am not taking my computer. I am afraid it won't make the trip.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Morning Thoughts

Another rainy and grey morning in Ajijic. But lately the sun has been coming out around ten am and it has been pretty the rest of the day. Then in the evening it clouds up again. It often rains all night. I am getting used to it now. It took awhile because I was spoiled with the rest of the year being so nice. I do like the low season where the town is quiet and few cars are on the roads.

It is great to have my computer back and working. I don't know how long that will last but I am enjoying it for now. Sometimes that is all we can ask for, FOR NOW.....  For now I am happy. For now I am healthy. For now my computer is working. I think this attitude is very much a part of the Mexican philosophy. Mexican history is fraught with violence and tragedy.

I recently finished reading two books that were written in the 1940s by people living here then. They were neighbors and friends. One was by Dane Chandros titled House in the Sun. He ran an inn in Ajijic. I think it is the Old Posada by the water. The other is by Neill James titled Dust on My Heart. She lived behind the Old Posada where the LSC grounds are now. She actually started the Lake Chapala Society. She lived to be almost a hundred years old. She traveled all over the world and lived in huts with poor people. She even slept in the snow. What an inspiration.

 House in the Sun is about all the problems of running an inn here and Neill James wrote about traveling to the poorest areas in Mexico. One chapter is titled, Ten Dollars A Year. That is how much the people in one area in Mexico, not far from here, made in one year. And the tax man was always there to take his share whenever any money was exchanged.

These books were interesting to me since I live here. Things were so different back then and also the same. The poverty is still here although not as bad. The attitudes of the Mexicans about time and work and money are the same. The beauty of this area is still here.  The heat and humidity during the rainy season is the same. Some things are timeless..........

Reading is a good thing to do on these overcast mornings and rainy nights. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

This is a message for Cathy in Canada

This evening I received a wonderful comment from Cathy in Canada. She read my entire blog. Even I would not attempt to do that. It is too long....  And she wrote such nice things about my blog. And I was flattered and happy. And I erased her comment!  That has happened a couple of other times when I tried to publish a comment from my I Pad. My fingers are too big and the publish and delete words are too close to each other... I ended up pressing delete comment instead of publish comment. And once that is pushed, there is no going back. No Undoing the deleted message.

Please forgive me Cathy. Your comment was important to me.  You asked if I sold my mobile home. Yes, I did sell it after paying rent on it for almost two years.  Now it is water under the bridge.

Thank you Cathy for taking the time to read all of my blog and being so encouraging about it. I had thought about maybe starting at the beginning and writing a short version of it to put on amazon for sale. Then I lost interest. It was too overwhelming. 

I will not try to publish any more comments from my I Pad. My computer is finally back on my desk and for now it is working. All blog work must be done on the computer from now on. Thank you Cathy for your kind words and for spending all that time reading my blog. I am so sorry I deleted your comment.