The Second Decade

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The Second Decade

There was so much hype about the new millennium. Would all our computers really crash? Would an earthquake cause California to fall into the ocean? Would the world as we know it come to an end? Thankfully none of these crazy predictions came true.

The first decade in the millenium was an ugly one for me. Plagued with both physical as well as mental health issues, I also faced the loss of my beloved dog Koal followed shortly thereafter by the ending of a more than three decades old marriage.

Along came the second decade of the millenium and life became amazingly brighter. I embarked on a new career in a foreign country where I immersed myself in the culture and learned a new language.

And the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been and the adventures I’ve had! These totally crowd out the two knee replacements and the cataract surgery during this decade. However, the new knees have enabled me to walk for miles pain free. And the eye surgery has eliminated the need for glasses. So even unpleasant experiences have resulted in an increased quality of life.

This decade also marked the marriage of my daughter and the birth of my granddaughter. Tomorrow I am on my way to Ontario to meet Madeline and I am extremely excited. She will be just over six weeks old and this abuelita can’t wait to hold her!

In my travels and throughout the years I am frequently asked “Where’s home?”  I’m never quite sure just what to say. My son’s words echo in my mind constantly. “You’re a nomad.”

Culiacan was where I spent my first year in Mexico. Juan and Lucila came into my life and adopted me. Their children have become my grandsons and I can’t imagine a life without them. I visit them often and always feel “at home” when I stay with them. I’m actually writing this post from Culiacan and am sitting in their living room right now.

Guadalajara was home for almost four years. If the city had an ocean I may never have left. This was also where Pedro came into my life. What are the chances of an orthopedic surgeon winding up in my conversation club shortly after my second knee surgery? Our friendship developed and it was Pedro who found me the opthamologist who did my cataract surgery. Pedro and his wife welcomed me into their home when I had the surgery as I was commuting from Mazatlan (indeed their daughter even gave up her bedroom to me on more than one occasion) and that meant the world to me. So that’s another home here in Mexico.

I’m just finishing year three in Mazatlan. It’s been great but I also don’t feel that this city is home for me. Next fall I plan on traveling for a few months and not really settling down in any one place here in Mexico. I will miss the malecon and the ocean, but I can always come back to visit.

I’m well into this post and you’re probably wondering why I don’t mention Winnipeg as a home. After all I lived there all my life until about eight years ago. And my son still lives there. But each time I return for a visit, Winnipeg feels less and less like a place I’d like to call home. The city has changed and so have I.

This then brings me to Leavenworth, another place that feels like home to me. In the fall of 2018 I was at the Vineyard Church making sandwiches for the dump tour. Across the table from me was Steve. Sandwiches done, a few of us went across the street for coffee afterwards. Steve told us he was from Leavenworth, a town just outside of Seattle, a town I’d never heard of before.

The following summer, my two week visit to Leavenworth turned into four months. I became active at a church there and made a few friends. And I was totally captivated by the splendor of the mountains.

I returned to Mexico for the winter and then went to Winnipeg to spend Mother’s Day with my son. Next stop was Leavenworth where this time I stayed for six months. Not only was I active at the church, but I discovered the Senior Center and all the activities it had to offer. I also got certified as a fitness instructor and began teaching classes. Friendships grew stronger and I look forward to spending several more months there this year.

But the idea of putting down roots again is scary and intimidates me. I have lived in a variety of different places with an interesting assortment of people during this decade. I’m really not sure if I’m ready to settle down yet although it’s getting more and more difficult to say goodbye to people when I’m uncertain as to where the next path will lead me.

This decade is not over yet so I will continue to live in the moment and live my life to the fullest whomever I may be with and wherever I may be. 

About iamkaren23

I am a Canadian writer currently living in Leavenworth, Washington. I published When Glad Becomes Sad in 2009. My second book, Alive Again, was published in March of 2015. Both are self-help books. I am currently working on a third book, this time a work of fiction.

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