Community Bike Party

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The Chelan County Fire District 3 in Leavenworth was the place to be yesterday morning for the Community Bike Party. The sponsors of this event were Cascade Hospital and Cascade Medical Foundation.

My friend Linda is a board member and I volunteered to come along and help fit kids with helmets.

Both parents and children were most appreciative and excited. Over 200 helmets were given away, a huge increase over the 60 that were given away last year.

Children could also register for a raffle with bicycles as prizes. An outdoor hot dog barbecue was also popular.

This is a wonderful project that will greatly enhance the safety of cyclists in the area.

Another Mother’s Day

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Another Mother’s Day

Today is a bridge between two Mother’s Days. In Mexico Mother’s Day is always celebrated on May 10th, no matter what day of the week it falls on. The rest of North America celebrates on the second Sunday of May. Truthfully I feel that mothers should be celebrated every single day of the year, and not just on one day in particular.

It will be twenty-three years ago next month that my own mother passed away. I think of her often. She never got to see her grandchildren grow up. She missed their graduations. She wasn’t around when my daughter got married or when my granddaughter was born. And I really wish she had been there for me when I was going through an ugly divorce. I think she’d approve of what I’ve done with my life in the last decade and how I have become alive again.Image may contain: 1 person

I think of others who are dreading Mother’s Day this year as it’s their first time without their mothers. I lost a friend in Winnipeg to cancer this spring. Her daughter is an only child. Another friend from Mexico passed away suddenly last week and her daughter is struggling right now. Another friend in Mexico is mourning the death of her month old baby, her first child, after enduring a difficult pregnancy. Her mother is a friend of mine who had just lost her own mother this year.

The last time I celebrated Mother’s Day with both my children was in 2009 when I was still in Winnipeg. My daughter was living in Oak Bluff and made a beautiful brunch that day. Two years ago I flew back to Winnipeg and spent Mother’s Day with my son. He barbecued and we watched a movie together. 

 

I never envisioned a life with my family where we are all geographically scattered. After living in Ontario for a number of years, my daughter has recently moved to B.C. While she is now closer to me both in Washington and Mexico, my son is still back in Winnipeg. Many of my friends are also grappling with similar situations. Things have sure changed since I was a child with everyone living in close proximity to each other.

Needless to say, I have spent most Mother’s Days in the last decade in Mexico or the USA, without my children. And I wonder if I will ever be with both of my kids together again on that day. For those of you who have your mothers or your children close by, hug them tight and treasure those times. In the blink of an eye they can disappear forever.

Happy Mother’s Day, and please celebrate mothers EVERY day of your life.

Adios Aguascalientes Hola Leavenworth

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Adios Aguascalientes Hola Leavenworth

The three months in Aguascalientes flew by. The Feria had just begun when I found myself on an overnight bus bound for Puerto Vallarta, home of my favorite airport in Mexico. Interesting how I now consider this city to be a commute to an airport rather than a beach destination.

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My direct flight to Seattle was uneventful other than we arrived an hour early, I breezed through Immigration and my bag was the first off the carousel. The drive through the pass to Leavenworth was snow-free with minimal fog.

Wednesday was my first day back. My friend Ann and I ventured into Wenatchee to do some shopping. We stopped back at her home on the river where I snagged this photo of the view from her deck.

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After a fitness class and lunch at the senior center on Thursday, my friend Karen and I spent the afternoon together. First stop was the Sure To Rise Bakery in Cashmere for an apple fritter. J C Penney in Wenatchee was next where I found a new pair of New Balance track shoes. Then off to AT&T to get a phone chip.

On Friday Jessie picked me up and we drove out to Ingalls Creek Enrichment Centre for Camp Heartbeat. 31 4th-6th graders attended this event hosted by Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. It was an amazing weekend bustling with activity. In addition to the chapel sessions, the kids did everything from zip line to cookie decorating. The first photo is the group of girls who were in my cabin. The second photo gives you an idea of the beauty that surrounded us. The third photo is the chalet where we stayed.

My friend Christina and I went out for dinner on Sunday when I returned from camp. Monday morning Karen and I were back in Wenatchee doing a CPR refresher course. This morning I taught a fitness class and had lunch after at the senior center. Then I was off to the library to pick up a book for book club.

Here are some photos of the trees in their spring glory.

Of course there is still snow up on the mountains………

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Dumbo……..Oh No!

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Dumbo……..Oh No!

I was a child back in the 50s. I grew up watching Disney movies which at that time portrayed all these fanciful characters whose home was Fantasyland. Dumbo was one of these. Originally released in 1941, Disney studios created a more modern film that was recently released in 2019.

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To my dismay, this new movie has a sinister twist to it and I would classify it in the Children’s Horror category.  Gone is the innocence and purity of portraying evil in a simple, animated manner. While at the end of the movie Dumbo and his mother are reunited, the black drama that precedes this event is definitely unsuitable for a young audience. In fact, the day I saw Dumbo here in Aguascalientes, the audience was all adults. There wasn’t a single child in the theater.

Years ago, on one of our visits to Disneyworld in Florida, my children and I were enchanted with Fantasyland. I can still see their smiling faces as we excitedly clambered into an elephant and were soon airborne on the Dumbo ride. In fact, it was one of their favorites and we rode it several times. I can still envision my daughter clutching that precious Dumbo stuffed elephant sold in the many kiosks on the Disney properties.

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Taking a young child to see the 2019 remake of Dumbo is not my recommendation. Some of the scenes are gruesome and more than scary and likely to cause nightmares. As an adult, I was disappointed and I wonder what Walt Disney’s feelings would be were he still alive.

On the plus side, I saw this film in Spanish with no English subtitles. I was delighted at how much my Spanish has improved over the years. 

One Church Aguascalientes

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One Church Aguascalientes

Finding a Christian church in Mexico is difficult enough as this is definitely Catholic country. Finding a Christian church where I feel comfortable and welcome is another hurdle. Finding a church where I am able to become involved is a blessing. I’ve lived in several places in Mexico and have attended a few Christian churches. The gringo churches were not my favorites. While I am still not completely fluent in Spanish, I still prefer the Mexican churches over the gringo churches.

Here in Aguascalientes I have discovered a gem of a church, and it’s only two blocks away from where I am staying. One Church is only two years old and has only fifty congregants. A husband and wife, both pastors, not only spearhead this church but they also financially support this church with outside jobs. Although One Church is affiliated with Redime (Redeemed Church), it receives no funding from this organization. Additional funding is provided by contributions from the congregants at the services. Tax receipts? Not in Mexico.

Services are held Sunday mornings at 11 am and Thursday evenings at 7 pm. The worship team lead the congregation in prayer and praise followed by a short coffee break. A nursery as well as a children’s program are available when the pastor next gives a sermon. The service concludes with more prayer and praise.

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The church has an active group for young adults that meets on Saturday afternoons. A time of prayer and bible study is often augmented by going out into the community and evangelizing. The church also sponsors a radio program on Saturday afternoons where the pastors and congregants participate. The pastors were also instrumental in establishing a drug rehabilitation center in Aguascalientes. Many of the congregants volunteer their time at this facility.

The pastors themselves come from very different backgrounds. Martin attended Ana Sanders Seminary in Mexico City and received a doctorate from Vida Nueva Para El Mundo. Elizabeth had traveled around the world with profeta Yalile Diaz, Interestingly enough, Martin and Elizabeth met on Facebook. They have been married for three years and have an adorable two-year-old son.

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If you ever find yourself in Aguascalientes, I highly encourage you to seek out this church in Las Flores. I’ve been in Aguascalientes for only three months, and I truly feel that I belong to this church family. The pastors and the congregants have been most welcoming to this gringa, and I know that I will miss them when I head back up north in a couple of weeks.

Into The Home Stretch

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Into The Home Stretch

Today is April 4th. In three weeks time I will be back in Washington. I’m now into crunch time with several last minute things to do.

Here in Aguascalientes I still have one museum and one church on my list. A day trip to San Jose de Gracia is still on my list. My one month stay turned into three months and even that isn’t long enough.

The Feria San Marcos is coming up and it is the largest fair in all of Mexico and goes on for more than two weeks. Some of the events are happening right at the end of my street. Friends have warned me of the 24 hour loud music and the millions of visitors who come here to Aguascalientes for this fair. My dilemma is do I stay here for that extra day or do I leave a day early and spend a day in Puerto Vallarta before getting my flight to Seattle.

I have also begun investigating in earnest the joys of travel health insurance plans. Not all plans cover the USA and apparently not all plans cover the state of Washington either.

I just returned from a whirlwind weekend in Culiacan with my family. My new grandson is a month old today and I met him for the first time last weekend. There is also nothing like having your six-year-old grandson crawl into bed to cuddle with you at 6:30 am on a Sunday with a Mamut (chocolate-covered marshmallow cookie). Or playing Spanish card games with him and his two brothers. The weekend flew by all too quickly.

I’m off to explore the Thursday tienguis in my neighborhood now. I enjoy engaging the vendors in conversation and always find something to buy.