These are my golden years. These are my retirement years. These are times meant to be spent with family. These are times meant to be spent pursuing interests that never fit in with working years. The reality is that these are now Covid years instead.
A year ago the madness had just begun. There was a frenzy of tourists flocking back to their native countries. There was fear among those who found themselves stranded in foreign countries. Cancelled flights and border closings became the norm.
I was in Mexico when all this started. And I still haven’t made it back to Canada yet. I wonder if I ever will. I never thought I’d say that I feel safer in the USA but I feel that way now. I also enjoy a lot more freedom and have a better quality of life.
Canada can best be described as a complete gong show in terms of the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inefficiency of the distribution of vaccines. The ambiguities surrounding the quarantine and subsequent restrictions serve to only increase confusion and promote unnecessary fear. And don’t even get me started on the mental health issues associated with all the negativity resulting from shutting the economy down.
The CDC issued a Level 4 travel advisory this week. DO NOT TRAVEL TO CANADA. Is this merely a retaliatory tactic against Trudeau’s policy of protecting Canadians from being infected by their southern neighbors by keeping the land borders closed?
The way things are right now, the Americans are doing amazingly better in terms of vaccinations. Perhaps the Americans should be concerned that the Canadians are the ones who pose the real danger until Canada gets its act together.
If it were up to me, I’d open up the borders and eliminate the quarantine. I want to travel to Canada to see my family who live in two different provinces. My Canadian friends accuse me of becoming a rebel like the Americans. But this Canadian prefers to be a rebel living in the USA right now rather than a sheep up in Canada.
Ann and I went on a two day whirlwind road trip. We left Leavenworth Monday morning and our first stop was Cle Elum, where we checked out a bakery and a thrift shop.
When we left Cle Elum, we headed for Roslyn, a former mining town. I was quite surprised to see all the quaint wooden buildings on the main street, quite the fire hazard as I see it.
I also noticed this statue of a coal miner.
Then it was off to Ronald, another small town.
We also discovered this beautiful area just outside of Ronald called Speelyi Beach Park.
Our next stop was overnight at a hotel in Ellensburg.
Tuesday morning we headed for Yakima where yours truly was fingerprinted at the USCIS Field Office. Afterwards we went for a drive admiring the spring foliage.
We then drove through Selah as we made our way back to Ellensburg and then home to Leavenworth.
My last post was about how gorgeous the weather is here in Washington state. Of course the day after I published that post I awoke to a winter wonderland out there.
The snow didn’t last, not here in Leavenworth. The mountain passes were a different story, covered in snow and ice.
That afternoon I ventured into Wenatchee where there was no snow at all. Thankfully the wind warnings didn’t materialize into much and the sun shone in all its glory.
On my way back home I stopped in Cashmere to go for a walk. I was delighted to capture these shots of spring flowers.
Even my favorite tree, a red maple, was beginning to bud.
Although it was cool yesterday, today we’re back up into the 60s. I guess Mother Nature was just toying with us on Monday. After all, spring has sprung.
Spring has definitely arrived in Leavenworth. Although it’s been weeks since I’ve worn boots, the temperatures have now risen into the 60s the past few days. The sunshine is an added bonus.
On Saturday Linda and I went out to Sleeping Lady. We picked up drinks at O’Grady’s and sat outside on the patio.
We then walked around the grounds, admiring some of the sculptures and stonework.
The Chihuly glass sculpture is definitely my favorite.
The snow covered mountains create a stunning background.
The beauty of these mountains never ceases to impress this girl from the flat Canadian prairies.
It’s been a crazy week. And today is only Wednesday. Can’t wait to see what lies ahead in the next few days. This is definitely not a typical week. But then again nothing has been typical for a year now.
Monday Monday. What? Google, Chrome and Gmail aren’t working on my phone. Yikes! Neither is WordPress. Of course I take all my pics on my phone and use them in my blog posts. Apparently Android has a glitch and they haven’t stated when it will be repaired. Time to switch back to an IPhone?
Tuesday. A call from my attorney. I have an appointment for fingerprinting next month. At the Immigration office in Yakima. At least they’re taking my appeal seriously. And that is encouraging.
My son forwarded my new credit card to me and it arrived on Tuesday, well ahead of the end of the month expiry date. Unlike Mexico, the postal system here in the USA is reliable. And a lot cheaper than FedEx.
A delightful video call from my grandson in Mexico was Tuesday’s highlight. Juan Carlos told me all about his weekend and what he’s studying in his internet classes. I feel for him. Fifth grade is a lot more fun in a classroom.
Joyce and I have been working on routines for the SAIL fitness classes we teach. We exercise together three times a week and hope to resume classes again next month. Washington state has now reached Phase 3 so we will be able to have five participants.
Karen and I hung out in Wenatchee for a day and enjoyed the warm weather. A mere twenty minutes away and the sun shines brightly and jackets weren’t really required at all. A lower altitude does make a difference.
Time to get busy on Duolingo. Don’t want to forget my Spanish. I still plan to return to Mexico at some point.
I hope Android fixes their glitch soon. I still haven’t figured out the tags or featured image settings on my Kindle. So no pics on this post. 😦
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth has captured my heart. Plop it down in Mexico and it would be called a pueblo magico, a magic town.
The downtown area along Front Street is especially charming. It’s easy to forget you’re in the USA. Instead it’s like being transported to a quaint Bavarian village with an incredible mountain view as a backdrop.
The gazebo. Fond memories of hearing amazing musicians such as Alpenfolk. During the accordion festival the parade of accordionists ended here with a gala performance. Maifest and Octoberfest celebrations. And so much more. But it now stands eerily quiet as though it too were infected with Covid.
Bears are everywhere here. I admit I prefer these ones to the real ones whose favorite pastimes seem to be coming into the town to raid the trash cans.
This sign in front of one of the many restaurants caught my eye.
What appeals most to me is small town life. It’s more relaxing and people are friendlier. If Leavenworth were in Canada this nomad would seriously consider settling down permanently.
This morning I tackled the tedious task of “sorting through stuff.” The last time I moved I was rather rushed for time and packed the easy way of cramming papers and books chaotically into book bags. It was finally time to get organized.
I have a medical folder that travels with me. Details of past surgeries and medications are here. I even found my old IMSS book from Guadalajara from years ago. I also still have copies of my physio exercises post knee replacement surgery dating back to 2012. Other than two knee replacements, cataract and Lasik surgery, and peripheral neuropathy, the past 11 years have been uneventful.
Documents. I have way too many of these. Birth certificates, marriage certificates and divorce decrees in English, French and Spanish. Original university degrees and professional development certificates. Paperwork involving Immigration and IRS in the USA and INM and SAT in Mexico, as well as CRA in Canada.
There’s also a small handful of photos and cards. Also the odd hard copy of some of my writing. I also found an outdated holographic will. Definitely time to update that one.
I’ve kept a few books, some in Spanish. Copies of the books I’ve published. A copy of Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever. But books tend to be heavy.
The biggest bag is my art supplies. Coloring books and sketch pads. Gel pens and colored pencils. Pastels. Art projects such as snowflakes, Christmas ornaments and fridge magnets. Painted rocks. A glass candle holder. A handpainted coffee mug and coaster.
Then I found a bag with external hard drives, thumb drives and batteries. Also a collection of computer and phone chargers. And a few other unidentifiable things all related to some type of technology.
There’s more I still need to go through, like old credit card receipts. But that will have to wait. You see, I found my favorite nail polish in the technology bag. No idea how it got there. But now that it’s surfaced, I’m off to paint my nails. 🙂
The word “dream” usually conjures up images and sensations felt while sleeping. Good or bad, some of these dreams are more memorable than others. We often delve into them to find a deeper meaning in our lives.
Years ago I took courses in interpreting dreams. I recall vividly waking myself so that I could scribble down a few words in the middle of the night in the hope that I could achieve further vision into the somewhat meaningful experience of a particular dream.
But I stopped after several months. While it was interesting to reflect upon these nocturnal visitations in an attempt to analyze them, it was also detrimental to fully focusing on the present and appreciating what was right there in front of me. Another benefit was avoiding being stuck in the past. Memories triggered by dreams are not always pleasant.
The older I get, the more I prefer to focus on other dreams. By this, I refer to my wishes and hopes for the future. Combining these with my present circumstances provides for a fascinating and challenging walk through life.
Fifteen years ago I was trapped in a boring and unfulfilling life. Ten years ago I was just beginning to timidly crawl out of that mundane but comfortable life. Five years ago my confidence had grown substantially and this made pursuing new dreams more positive and exciting.
Today there are no end to the dreams that come to mind. But there is only one dream that truly stands out from all the others in this crazy Covid world we live in. I only hope that this dream will come true sooner than later. It’s been merely a virtual reality for far too long.
My dream is to hug my kids and grandkids again, in person.
Yesterday I had my second dose of the vaccine. Now to wait another couple of weeks until it’s fully effective.
A year ago today I was in Aguascalientes. Masks were not yet mandatory. Restaurants and parks were open. There were no temperature checks or health survey forms. Schools were open.
I wonder what life will be like one year from now. Will masks still be part of our wardrobe?
We went to Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee on Sunday. It reminds me of Church of the Rock in Winnipeg. But Washingtonians are rebels so no masks or physical distancing in this huge sanctuary.
Costco was a zoo on Sunday. However masks are required. Limited menu in the food area and no sauerkraut or onions for the hot dogs.
Now that I’ve been vaccinated I feel more comfortable about traveling again. I’m not used to staying in one place for such a long period of time. Last year I was in Aguascalientes for 11 months with only one side trip to Culiacan. In another week I’ll have been in Washington state for 6 months.
It’s a wait and see game as to when I’ll leave here and where I’ll go. I’d like to go to Canada before returning to Mexico in the fall. But with all the quarantine and other restrictions it doesn’t really appeal.
My Canadian friends envy me because I have been vaccinated already. They still have a long wait ahead of them.
I remember when the vaccines first came out. I was reluctant to be vaccinated. But I travel a lot, and it’s only a matter of time before airlines will require proof of vaccination for international travel.
Two down and done.