Monday, September 21, 2009

Preparing to Return to Mexico

These are the Webbers. Curt and Judy have graciously opened their home to us for what has turned out to be three months, much longer than our original plans. We are staying upstairs in their Auburn home and feel welcome and loved. When our plans to return to Mexico became derailed in August because of my medical problem, they immediately made it clear we could stay until it was appropriate to travel back to Mexico. We have enjoyed cooking and sharing meals with them, meeting their family, chatting over Red Sox games, upgrading Judy's computer, and most of all, being in a supportive and welcoming environment while we gathered our wits after our abrupt change in plans and the painful loss our our little companion, Maggie.

Judy and I had known each other for many years while we both worked for Literacy Volunteers, first as tutors and later as trainers. When we joined the Auburn Unitarian Universalist church in 2003, they were both long-time members. They have been to visit us twice in Mexico and plan to return again this year. Pixie and I value their ongoing friendship and will miss them when we finally do leave for Mexico!

Our son, Eric, and his wife, Crystal, and Isabelle will be flying into Portland on Saturday. We will all be visiting my Dad and Step-mom, Joy, in Waldoboro for Saturday and Sunday, joined by our daughters Wendy and Cassie. Dad and Joy will be able to meet their great grandaughter Isabelle for the first time. Then, on Tuesday, I will take Crystal and Isabelle to the airport to return to Indiana, and Pixie and Eric will set out in our car, for Muncie. Pixie will visit for a few days in Indiana, then head out for Memphis where she will meet up with our good friend Trudy, from Ajijic, who will drive with her back to Mexico. They should arrive home around October 11 or 12, and I will be flying down on October 13.

I am doing well, as all of my treatment for my blood clot has been successful and stable. I am taking Coumadin, probably for good, since I have a genetic factor for clotting and a vena cava filter to stop any pesky clots that might try to cause trouble by finding their way into my lungs. So, that's all good news, and I am "good to go. " I have been cleared to fly, which should not be a problem because I am on anticoagulants. Many friends have come forward to welcome me to their exclusive "Coumadin Club!"

Pixie has had a rough year, and is looking forward to getting the long drive home over with. We are grateful to Eric and Trudy for helping her with the drive. We are looking forward to being home, in our own house, finally. Our next-door neighbors, Ron and Pat have been just wonderful, checking on our house and even arranging for a new satellite provider for our TV since our last one suddenly went out of business. What wonderful neighbors. Our friend Antonio, who has done all the work on our house, has also been watching the house and fixed a gas leak and water leak while we were gone. Our friend Fred, gave him money for parts to do the repairs. Trudy and Lew have been paying our bills. Maria Elena and Horacio, our maid and gardener have been working without pay until we return. And many of our friends have been sending us encouraging emails while we have been gone to let us know that we are not forgotten just because we are not there. Our friends here in Maine have also been wonderful, inviting us to dinner, letting us use their cars, and giving us such emotional support. We are bathed in ABUNDANCE! We feel such gratitude for all the love that surrounds us.

I have a few remaining Maine photos to share:

Here's a photo of me with my dad on a recent visit to Waldoboro.

Now a couple of photos to clarify some facts about Maine cuisine. We really do have bright red hotdogs and, this year, very inexpensive lobster!

And, so, I will next be posting on this blog sometime after October 13, from Mexico. Pixie will be taking the camera to take photos on way back to Mexico. I will be here, cameraless, Pixieless, but with good friends until I can return. So, for now, I'll sign off from Maine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maggie 1998-2009

Our little 9 pound Shi Tzu, Maggie, died on Monday. She had been through so much with us for the last eleven years, and her loss, so suddenly, has been devastating.

For those of you who knew Maggie, you can understand her loving way and her ability to worm her way into everyone's heart. She greeted us every morning with her wet kisses. She protected us from "big" dogs by fiercely asserting herself and never backed down from a confrontation. When I walked her, she never learned to walk calmly, but always pulled on the leash, at least until she got tired. She hated being alone, and would follow me from room to room when we were alone in the house. She was a good traveler, always watching to see what was interesting outside and, when nothing was going on, preferred to nap in the backseat. She was a good listener, cocking her little head and looking intently at you, even when she probably understood nothing you were saying. She loved going on walks, and would watch me intently every morning to see if I was heading towards her blue leash, which meant "walk!" In other words, she was a wonderful dog and companion for us. She made the trip from Maine to Mexico (she hated the snow!) and, finally back to Maine. There is now a big hole in our lives that will accompany us home to Mexico.

Here is a poem I wrote which, I think, captures her spirit:

How My Dog Loves a Walk

She lives for the moment.

When I lace my shoes

She stares, intent,

On the possiblilty

That this time

I will take her

When I open the door

And walk out, into the sun.

To her, nothing else matters.

Even on the leash

She is jubilant,

Nose to the ground

For excretory smells,

Overlooked morsels.

She’s consumed with potential.

She’s older, yet

She tugs at the leash

Hoping I will speed up

And really let her

Into the brush

Into the possibility

Of something she can catch.

Upon meeting another

Canine friend, she immediately

Whiffs his private parts,

Which gives her some

Prehistoric satisfaction.

She know where each lives

And pulls me toward each

Place where there once

Was a dog.

And she’s unconcerned

With mud, seed pods,

Vehicles and hazards,

I try to avoid

For me and for her.

She would be muddy, smelly,

And dead

Were it not for my

Wisdom and caution.

But I wish I could

Live with such

Single-minded enthusiasm

And unspoiled love.

So, we are still in Maine. I am doing well, anticoagulated, and anxious to return to Mexico. Pixie will head down the 29th of September with our so, Eric, and go to Muncie, Indiana where she will visit for a few days. Then she'll drive to Memphis and meet our friend Trudy, from Ajijic, who will drive with her down to Mexico. I will fly down to join her about October 14. We will be grateful to be home again, in nuestra casa!