Friday, May 23, 2008

Isabelle: Who Wouldn't Love This Baby?

Well, we're back from our US adventure, and although I know this blog is about Mexico, I will devote this posting to photos of our trip. This is probably the posting that has the most photos, but since our trip was about the people we love and care about, what better way to document our trip than showing their faces! Since I know the entire world must be waiting, with baited breath, for more photos of Isabelle, our one and only grandaughter, I'll start with her:

I have included a photo of Eric, Pixie and I with Isabelle, but you will note, no photo of Crystal. I only had one photo available of Crystal lying down with Isabelle, but Crystal hated it so I did not include it. I promise to include photos of Crystal and Isabelle when we visit for Christmas.

Here is a photo of the mural Eric painted for Isabelle's nursery:

The other big news from Muncie was that Eric landed a professional position as a Student Support Counselor at Ivy Tech Community College. He is grateful to be using his Master's Degree and enjoy is working with this population, as Pixie and I did for many years in Maine. Here he poses in his new office.

Once we left Muncie, after three weeks for Pixie and one week for me, we stopped in Philadelphia. We spent most of the time with my Dad, and my stepmom Joy. We had a wonderful chance to visit with Joy's daughters as well when their neighbor Mary hosted a wonderful dinner for us all. Unfortunately, I took no photos of this event, but here are one year-old photos of Dad and Joy. We had a great visit. I had the chance to see Dad deliver a lecture on the history of Ophthalmology at Penn to the residents, and Pixie particularly enjoyed some Philadelphia sticky buns!

We had a chance for a visit with my brother Fred, his wife, Heidi, and their children, Alex and Nora. We all went to a Phillies game at the new ballpark in Philadelphia. Here are Fred, Pixie, and Heidi at the game, and Alex posing in his new Phillies hat.

Next stop was my old stomping ground, Providence, where Cassie and Alana are living. I enjoyed visiting Brown again, and we took a train into Boston to visit Cassie's studio at the Art Institute of Boston:

Here are Cassie and Alana preparing dinner for us, and Cassie with her new friend, Gertie. Cassie is considering whether to continue her pursuit of a certificate in professional illustration or to change her path to go for an MFA. More decisions!

While we were in Providence, we were able to stay in Jim Edwards' apartment. Jim is a very special person for us, because he was the one to introduce us to the concept of retiring in Mexico. When we were at the gym one day, I was talking about retiring in a warmer climate, and Jim asked if we'd considered Mexico. We hadn't, but, at his suggestion, we considered Ajijic, where he'd spent a winter. And, of course, the rest is history! Jim has moved to Providence to be near his grand daughter, Lucy. He just bought a small house near the bay in Pawtuxet, where he posed here on his new front porch.

Wendy and Cassie both were in Maine with us for Mother's Day weekend, and we had the opportunity to spend some great time together. We also got to see Wendy's new apartment. She is glad to have a place of her own for her and Boo! Wendy is planning to return to USM in the fall, full time, to finish her degree in Recreational Therapy.

We were also glad to see all our friends from Maine as well. We crashed the after graduation party at CMCC and saw many of our long-time colleagues. We had a reunion of our wonderful dinner group: Kathy and Doug and Gene and Betty; alas no Marlene and Elliott this time!)We were welcomed back warmly at the Auburn UU church. Mary Kay and Claire, below, hosted a wonderful open house for us.
Kevin and Judy Simpson, having just returned from India, invited us for lunch with Pearl Sawyer, the poet laureate of the Auburn UU Church!

Here are some of the wonderful friends who joined us at the open house:

Karen, PJ and Lil

Pixie, Mary-Lou and Bonnie

Claire and Charlotte; Erland and Esther

Ellie; Pat and Andie

Bonnie and Robin; Beth, Ron, Tom, and Al
Mark, Toby, and Al

While we were in Maine we were graciously hosted for ten days by Pixie's sister, Liana, her husband, Marc, their children, Jen and Nathaniel, and Pixie's mom, Corinne. (We also enjoyed a dinner in Bath with Pixie's brother, Vance, his wife, Sherry, her son Philip, Pixie's brother Tex and his daughter Jan. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a camera.) Here Pixie, Liana, and Corinne get special facial masks from Jen, and Nathaniel and I pose in our Hawaiian shirts before our final night dinner, where we were graciously joined by Wendy, exhausted after a long shift at Pat's.

So, our first trip back to the United States since moving to Mexico a year ago was bittersweet. We loved seeing our family and friends, and it reminded us how important they all are to us. Fortunately, with modern transportation, living in Mexico is not any further away in terms of travel time from living, say, on the west coast. We plan to return for another extended trip next spring, and are looking forward to having the family gather in Muncie for Christmas. Curt and Judy Webber are planning a return visit this fall, and we are hoping Wendy and Cassie will make it down over the winter, on their breaks from school.

So, now we have returned to our still in-progress home in Mexico. We are looking forward to getting back into our activities here and working on the house, but we have been warmed by the love of many people we reconnected with in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Maine! The next posting will be back on the subject of Mexico.

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