My New Reality

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My New Reality

Yesterday I had planned to meet a friend in Cashmere. However when I got up in the morning, the previous night’s rain had frozen over. The sidewalks and streets were glass. It was too treacherous to venture out. We would have to reschedule.

I checked my Facebook groups from Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Blewett was closed due to spinouts. Stevens was closed for avalanche control. These are the two main passes through the mountains to get to Seattle.

Leavenworth got over a foot of snow. Here in Wenatchee we got less than one inch. There were power outages all over Chelan County but not here in Wenatchee. The highway between Wenatchee and Cashmere was icy with lots of spinouts. While freezing rain and snow continued to fall in Cashmere and Leavenworth, here in Wenatchee the sun actually came out and melted the little snow we did get, although more rain is in the forecast.

This is so completely different from the Winnipeg winters I experienced before moving away just over ten years ago. Plummeting temperatures and bitter windchills are just memories now. I think I chose a good place to spend the winter this year although I’d much rather be in Mexico. I miss the sunshine and warmer climate. And even though I don’t need boots yet here in Wenatchee, it isn’t exactly sandals weather either.

A year ago in January I was in Aguascalientes visiting museums and coloring in parks. I met friends for coffee or lunch. I took long walks and browsed through my neighborhood tienguis. I listened to rosters crow and watched children playing in the streets. I call this time the new “BC.” These two letters now stand for “Before Covid.”

Winter in Wenatchee is my new reality.

Even The Geese Are Confused

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Even The Geese Are Confused

While my friends in Leavenworth are wearing boots, here in Wenatchee we have rain and need umbrellas. The geese are back. They haven’t headed south yet although they have left Canada behind. And it’s almost mid January.

In my quest to simplify my life, I eliminated two email addresses and removed What’s App. Only one email address to check now makes it easier. What’s App is useful when I’m in Mexico but not when I’m in the USA.

I was at Dollar Tree yesterday and in one aisle there was Christmas, Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I guess Easter is on the horizon. The garden tools and skipping ropes are already on the shelves.

I’m enjoying my new phone and getting used to the changes. I’m still discovering new features. Cell phones have come a long way since the cumbersome one in a suitcase that I had back in the early 90s.

Renewed my travel health insurance for another month. My body is still complaining that we should be in Mexico in the winter.

Time for Duolingo.

Que tengas un buen dia!

And Yet Another Change

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And Yet Another Change

2020 was a year filled with changes in my life. And 2021 probably won’t be much different. For the first week in January, I decided to get a new cell phone. The one I selected is light years apart from the one I bought in Mexico two years ago.

In some ways it’s similar to my tablet which is also very different from my old phone. But I am determined to master this device and make it my best friend. This is where the Serenity Prayer will really prove to be useful.

I’m a hands on type of person and not a RTFM type. Oh the challenges this presents at times! I also find that as I grow older I’m not as fond of change as I once was.

Of course there are some changes I do enjoy, but those usually involve traveling and moving. When it comes to electronics, not so much.

I wound up getting a Samsung something or other and so far so good. Of course, as I’m writing this, it’s  only day one. The staff at AT&T in Wenatchee  were most helpful this morning. And I’ve been  playing around with it for a while now. Lots of new territory to explore.

One feature I really like is the visual voicemail. I can pick and choose which message to check out first. And speaking of voicemail, I need to go and personalize my greeting.

See you on Sunday!

And So It Begins

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And So It Begins

Just because it is now 2021 does not mean that 2020 is over. The events of 2020 will not be forgotten. Covid-19, race riots and bombings readily come to mind. But while we need to deal with these traumas in some manner, it is important to move beyond these issues in search of the positive in order to remain mentally healthy.

We have all experienced trauma in our lives prior to 2020. We have addressed it and learned how to cope with the anxiety and depression associated with these traumas. I, for one, am not content with remaining stuck in the past.

As I look back on 2020, I look at my extended stay in Mexico as a time of reflection, a time when it was okay to slow down the pace of my life and really live in the moment. I would take long walks and appreciate the beauty of nature. I watched an incredible amount of movies and that gave me the opportunity to practice my Spanish comprehension skills. I began doing video calls instead of just phone calls. I colored, I read, I did word searches and I spent a substantial amount of time playing games on my phone. Unfortunately my laptop chose that time to rebel and disappear into electronic heaven. So now my blog posts were all made from my phone.

And I also was in Mexico for Independence Day, although the celebrations were very low key.

Instead of spending the usual spring and summer in Washington, I am now enjoying the fall and winter seasons. It was interesting shopping for boots and other winter clothing for the first time in over a decade. It’s been a challenge adjusting to the layers of clothing.

But the trees were absolutely glorious in the fall. The leaves turned such spectacular colors. And when they fell from the trees I enjoyed the crunching sound as I walked down the street.

I admired all the scarecrows in Cashmere back in October. This town really goes all out for Scarecrazy.

Cashmere also goes all out for Halloween.

Even the snowfalls are beautiful. The light dusting on the trees has a beauty of its own. Here is my favorite tree in Cashmere after the first snowfall. No brilliant red leaves at this time of year.

The lights in Leavenworth are amazing. This Bavarian village attracts thousands of tourists. The lights are on from Thanksgiving in November until the end of February.

The mountains are snow covered. The only downside is that the passes can be somewhat treacherous.

Here in Wenatchee the snow has fallen and melted away a couple of times. The slush reminds me of Winnipeg in the springtime. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the temperature drops and the snow will remain. But it’s January 3rd, the sun is shining and boots are not needed today.

Happy New Year !!!

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Happy New Year !!!

I’m completely rewriting this post at approximately 10 pm Tuesday night.

At the moment downtown Leavenworth and Highway 2 are shut down. Everyone has been evacuated. The hospital is under lockdown. There is a bomb threat.

Leavenworth is a small town, not a big city like Nashville. Well, just another crazy thing to add to the list of crazy things that have happened in 2020.

I actually was in Leavenworth today. I met my friends for lunch and we went to the library. We dined on the patio at Heidelburger under the overhead heaters.

I was safely on Link and on my way back to Wenatchee a couple of hours before the bomb threat.

This twilight zone we are living in just gets more surreal every day. While everyone says they’re relieved that 2020 is almost over, I wonder just what’s next in 2021.

But let’s try to end this final post of 2020 on a more positive note.

December 21 has come and gone and the days are getting longer. The Covid vaccines are out there. The neverending American election is finally coming to a close.

Thank you to all my readers for taking the time to check out my posts on Wednesdays and Sundays. I wish all of you a Healthy and a Happy New Year filled with only good things.

See you next year.

5 Days Left

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5 Days Left

2020. The neverending year from hell. It didn’t start out that way. Think back to:

January. Rang in the new year with friends. Sunshine and warm weather in Aguascalientes. Coloring in the park. Exploring museums. Considering going to Mexico City and Cuernavaca to see friends.

February. Time has flown by quickly. Culiacán is on the agenda for next month. Enjoying my volunteer work and my private students.

March. A contagious flu bug out of Wuhan, China is classified a pandemic as of the 13th. Travel plans quashed. Will ride this out in Mexico.

I finally arrived in Leavenworth in September instead of in April. No volunteer work, church ministry, bridge games, craft days, exercise classes, book club, memoir writing classes or traveling.

I currently have friends in three countries struggling with Covid. On Thursday I found out that my granddaughter in Canada needs surgery. Yesterday my friend in Winnipeg told me her husband is in the hospital with pneumonia. Read the obituaries in the Winnipeg Free Press and recognized one too many names.

And then a couple of nights ago night we got our first substantial snowfall. Some has melted but not all of it.

My body is tired of wearing long sleeves and jeans, and now boots. It’s begging for shorts and t-shirts. I know this is one Christmas I won’t forget. Although it was enjoyable, I found my heart wandering elsewhere.

I’ve always thought American history was far more colorful than Canadian history. But after all the controversy surrounding the recent election, I just wanted things to calm down. Instead there was a bombing in Nashville that has everyone on red alert rather than on code red for Covid.

And 5 days still remain in 2020….

Twas The Week Before Christmas

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Twas The Week Before Christmas

Today is one day or two days before Christmas. In Mexico, the big celebration is Christmas Eve complete with ponche, tamales and pozole. But I won’t be doing that this year. Instead it will be a traditional turkey dinner on Christmas Day here in the USA.

It doesn’t matter where we are in the world this year. It’s a Covid Christmas. Large family gatherings will be via Zoom rather than in person. There will be only two of us for dinner on Friday.

With temperatures in the 40s and no snow on the ground, I found it even more difficult to get into the festive spirit this year. It also feels strange not to be in Mexico.

We watched an excellent movie on Netflix last night. I highly recommend that you watch The Butler. American history is colorful and seeing old video clips really brought me back in time. I wonder what it would have been like if the internet had been around in the days of Kennedy and LBJ. Instead we had only the 11 o’clock news at night.

A sad event this past week. A writer friend of mine in Texas lost his battle with cancer. He was a retired homicide detective who unfortunately never had the chance to really enjoy his retirement.

I spoke to my son in Winnipeg and was updated on the code red lockdown. There are far more closures there than there are here in Washington.

I’ve gone on several enjoyable walks this week. I’ve been exploring my new neighborhood. The other day I saw a flock of geese take to the skies in a V formation and for a moment was transported back to Manitoba.

I went to Leavenworth one day and had lunch with Karen. Despite the snow and icy sidewalks, I loved all the Christmas lights and decorated trees near the gazebo.

Yesterday Ann and I were at the Wenatchee Valley Mall and Fred Meyer. At the mall, Ross appeared to be the busiest store with people lined up to get in and a strict head count. It was the complete opposite at Fred Meyer.

Please keep me in your prayers. Joyce and I are attacking Walmart today and I’m sure it will be a zoo.

Please mask up and physical distance when you are out and about. Stay safe!

Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Fantasyland

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A Christmas Fantasyland

The snow has arrived in Leavenworth and has not melted away as it has in Wenatchee. Snow and icy sidewalks prevail, creating a nice backdrop for the photos I took of the incredible trees the other night.

Crowds of people throng the downtown streets to gaze at this Christmas Fantasyland. Usually I’m in Mexico viewing photos my friends have posted on Facebook.

This year is different. This year I am here in person to view this spectacular display.

It’s Here!

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It’s Here!

Winter, you are such a tease! This was around 8 yesterday morning on the patio.

Later in the morning we headed out to Lowe’s to buy a shovel. By then it had warmed up although some of the fog still lingered. The streets were a tad slushy.

By noon the streets and sidewalks were completely clear. The sun was even trying to peek through. But up on the mountains the snow and fog were clearly visible.

The forecast is mainly for snow showers or rain for the next few days. I’m glad the snow is coming gradually. It makes it easier to get used to after ten years of Mexican winters.

My friend in Aguascalientes sent me this photo taken the other day at Jardin San Marcos.

I miss Mexico at this time of year. I hope that next year at this time that’s where I’ll be. It feels too strange not to be there now.

Wenatchee Riverfront Park

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Wenatchee Riverfront Park

Saturday was one of the rare sunny days we’ve had recently and was a welcome change from the overcast gray skies. Linda and Gene came in from Leavenworth and we headed out for a walk along the river.

Riverfront Park is home to an asphalt hike/bike trail as well as a miniature railway, a statue garden and a boat launch. In the summer the trees and flowers are alive with color. But on a December winter day these few berries were all that was left.

A number of interesting statues caught my eye, such as this monkey on a skateboard.

The river views and the mountainous terrain really add to the beauty of this park.

Our timing was perfect as the sun had just begun its descent into the mountains as we arrived back at the car. Once the sun disappears the temperature plummets.

A lovely walk with great friends on a winter’s day with no snow on the ground. Life is good.