Friday, October 16, 2009

South of the Border, Again...At Last!

Well, we have finally made it back to Mexico after a long and eventful visit north to Maine. Pixie drove down, with help from our son Eric, to Muncie, Indiana; alone from Muncie to Memphis; and with our friend Trudy from Memphis to Ajijc. They arrived here Sunday evening after a long drive from Saltillo, and I flew down Tuesday.

We are very grateful to be back home again. Our house is still wonderful. Our friends
Lynn and Gary, who were storing some of their stuff here (they will relocate back to Mexico in a few more years), had a yard sale and sold most of their stuff while we were gone. We bought a few pieces of furniture from them and now have a fully-furnished guest room. They generously left us a few unexpected items which we found upon our return. The garden is green and lush. Our young gardener, Horacio, took excellent care of all the plants in our absence, with some help from our maid, Maria Elena. The weather is in the 80's and sunny, and it was especially good to see so many of our friends here.

Pixie and Trudy had a good drive down. They enjoyed some shopping. Trudy used to live in Dallas and was able to show Pixie around a bit. In Texas they stopped at Willie Nelson's place. Here they are:

The first night after I arrived home, we attended a 70th birthday party for our friend Fred Harland. They hosted a French dinner at a local restaurant, and many people "roasted" Fred. He is not that easy to roast since he is such a perfect guy. Here are Fred and his wife, Mardele:

We are now at the end of the rainy season. The mountains are green and the wildflowers are out. This year's season produced less rain than most years. This raises a concern since this area of Mexico depends on the rainfall from June through October for virtually all its rain for the year. We will see how the deficit of rain will play out in terms of the lake and the underground aquifers from which we draw our water. Speaking of the lake, as you can see from the photo above, the invasive hyacinth they call "lirio," is back. For the last year, since the end of the last rainy season in 2008, there has been almost no lirio on the lake. The rain brings it back, to some degree, but we were surprised to see the amount on the lake now. Here is a closer shot which shows the plant better: keep in mind that this entire area was open water when we left:

Another legacy of the rainy season here is a rise in the number of cases of the tropical disease, Dengue Fever. This is a disease many of us northerners are unfamiliar with, but it can potentially be serious, even deadly. It is a mosquito-borne virus which is more rampant during the time mosquitoes are breeding. The rainy season creates standing water which allows them to breed. The majority of cases are mild to moderate and go unreported. A few cases, however, are of the hemorrhagic type, similar to the Ebola virus in Africa. The local paper reported last week that the government has reported that there may have been as many as 20,000 cases of Dengue in our State of Jalisco. Since this disease is preventable with some common-sense precautions, like cleaning up standing water and turning over garbage cans, there is a big public health effort, especially in coastal areas, to get people to take the mosquito threat seriously.

Our son, Eric, came to Maine with his family in late September to help drive Pixie back to Muncie, but also to enable my dad and stepmom, Joy, to see their great grandaughter. Here is a happy photo:

And while I am in the business of providing happy photos, here is a great one of our three children (from left) Cassie, Eric, and Wendy, with Isabelle, posing in front one of their favorite stores, when they were children visiting thier grandparents, the Granite Hall Store, purveyor of many types of"penny" candy.

This morning I was able to finally return to the Ajijic Writers' group. Today was a special day was we celebrated Alejandro Grattan's 75th birthday. I was also awarded this year's literary award for the best poem published in El Ojo del Lago. My photos came out abit blurry, but here''s one of Ken Clark, one of our fellow writers, congratulating Alex.
So. we are getting back to our Mexican life. However, while I was at the Writers' Group this morning, Pixie received word that her brother, Dallas, has suffered a heart attack and received a stent overnight. He seems to be resting comfortably today, as far as we can tell, and should remain in the hospital for several days. This has been a difficult year, as we are reminded once again how precious life is and how quickly things can change. I send Dallas the very best and wish him a speedy recovery!


Leslie Limon said...

So glad to see that you are back in Mexico!

Gingerblymyer said...

Thanks for your post. Even though I don't live there now. I left in February after my husband died, I love to hear about life in Ajijic. I did attend a few writers groups when I first got there and it was great. So much talent. Then I got a virus. It is important to keep up your immune system. Our doctor even gave us gammaglobulin shots after I recovered. Life is precious and your are right to life it to the fullest, each day. Ever since I have begun to recover from my loss, I find the only way is to live in the moment. I make openings not plans and the right things just show up, like new friends, art and yoga class, even the name of a book I couldn't remember. Life is good when lived in the moment and Ajijic is a great place to live it. My friends have just bought a home there so hopefully I will be back to visit.

Gingerblymyer said...

One other thing if you have time, please look at my web page, blog,
for my book, on sale at Diane Pearls.
Flying into the Sun. by Ginger Maryce Blymyer

Bill said...


Thanks for your comments. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope things will work out for you to return to Lake Chapala. Sounds like you have the right approach, like the Buddhists, living mindfully. Living in the present moment is easier to do when we are aware of its importance. I checked out your wonderful website, and I'll look for your book at Diane Pearle's.


Chris Allin said...

I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed yourself. I'm moving to Jalisco in five days, I have to say I'm geting very nervous.

I was also warned about Dengue and told to take spray, hopefully the built up areas do a lot more to treat standing water and the risk is lower.