Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

As we prepare to spend our first Thanksgiving in Mexico, we are indeed grateful to be here in this beautiful country among new friends, and also grateful that all of our children and their respective partners will be joining us over the next couple of months. It is hard to be away from our family for Thanksgiving. We have already decided that next year we will plan to come home for the holidays.

We are actually also planning a trip back to the US in April and May. Since our first grandchild is scheduled to arrive in early April, Pixie is panning to fly to Muncie to help Eric and Crystal with the new baby the second well in April. After two weeks, I will join her in Muncie and we will spend another week with the new family. We will then fly to Phildelphia to visit some of my extended family there, including my dad and stepmom. Then, we'll probably fly into Providence to visit Cassie and Alana, then drive north to spend some time in Maine, returning to Mexico around May 20. That's how it looks now. We are looking forward to seeing everyone!

Life here has been fairly uneventful. Pixie's leg is healing well, and she is hoping to have the cast removed this week, just in time for the San Andreas fiesta scheduled in Ajijic for November 22-29. This is a 10-day event, of mixed religious and secular celebrations to celebrate the patron saint of Ajijic, St. Andrew. From what I hear, fireworks go off every morning at 5AM to awaken people for mass, religious processions weave throughout the village, and every night, music, foood, and fireworks fill the plaza. I have canceled my English classes during this period because because I am told no one tends to show up. This is apparently a BIG event in Ajijic.

Another event we are looking forward to is our first Quinceneria. This ia an event which is celebrated with a mass and a fiesta when a girl turns 15. It's kind of a cross between a coming out party and a Bas-Mitzfah, as far as I can tell. Daniel and Dora's oldest son's girlfriend is having her Quinceniera on December 8, and Dora and Daniel have asked us to accompany them as guests. I guess the party is similar to a big wedding: mariachi or banda music, dancing, food, tequila, etc. We may be the only gringos there, and we are looking forward to another authentic Mexican experience!

Pixie led our harvest communion service at our UU fellowship this morning with a sermon about Thanksgiving. She discussed how the pilgrims learned how to survive by the Native Americans who were already in the New World. To our congregation of expats living in Mexico she discussed how each of us are, in some ways pilgrims ourselves, and we find ourselves in a foreign land learning important lessons from the wonderful Mexican people we found here. She also talked about what our definition of "home" is. Is it where we came from, where we are now, or where our spirit is? Ultimately she concluded that home is where we are: not a particular place. We each need to bring a sense of "home" with us. The service was warmly received by everyone, as we broke bread together (Pixie's pumpkin bread and grape juice) in our typical UU fashion.

This year, we are going to share a big Thanksgiving dinner with our UU friends at Lew and Trudy's house. We're bringing fresh cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries are NOT easy to find in Mexico, but Pixie, an intrepid New Englander, found them, albeit for a price. We will definitely enjoy our cranberry sauce this year!

We are thinking of everyone who we cannot be with this year, but please remember you are in our thoughts.

The photograph at the top was taken on the lake right behind our house. This fisherman who fishes every evening and morning uses the traditional method of casting a net for fish in Lake Chapala. This photograph is a bit grainy, but you can see his net if you look closely. (You can click on the image to enlarge it.) I love the photo because it captures, for me, the spirit of abundance we have found here and reflects the simple culture in which we are blessed to live.

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