May 23, 2020.
This will be an interesting addition to Memoirs For Madeline, a written compilation of memories to share with my granddaughter when she is older. Celebrating my birthday quarantined in a foreign country during a pandemic is not exactly what I had in mind for this year.
I envisioned a leisurely dinner with friends at Visconti’s in Leavenworth. I’m not sure what I’ll be having for dinner this year but it will be some kind of takeout and will be eaten in my room with the TV as company.
My birthday cake this year will probably be a pingüino, Mexico’s version of a Hostess cupcake. And yes it is chocolate, my favorite. Visions of cakes from Eiffel Tower, Jeannie’s and other pastelerías float through my head. Maybe someday again.
I have wonderful memories of celebrating other birthdays in the past in various places with family and friends. And I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays in the future with others. I actually wonder just where I will be next year at this time, as this nomad is just itching to be on the move again. I’ve been in Aguascalientes for seven months now, and in all likelihood I will be here for another two months. That’s the longest stretch I’ve stayed anywhere in years since I’ve retired. Even when I was teaching full-time I traveled on weekends and holidays. But not this year.
In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the culture and the beauty of this country.
Happy Birthday Karen!
My calendar hanging on the wall reminds me that today is Monday. For the past several weeks the days just seem to be a total blur. They have become all too similar. Yet they pass by so quickly.
I was talking to a friend in Canada last night. She travels regularly to her cottage from her home in the city. I haven’t traveled anywhere in over two months. Not even to one of the pueblos mágicos that are so close by. My plan for this winter had initially included exploring more of central Mexico. Maybe next winter.
I checked my email earlier today. I found yet another job offer from China. Aside from the fact that I’m retired, I have absolutely no desire to ever even visit China.
Memorial Day weekend is coming up in the USA. I wonder what I’ll be missing in Washington. From what I hear things are starting to open up again. One of my friends has plans to go to her daughter’s in Seattle for a family gathering.
Yet when I check the COVID-19 USA map daily, the numbers are still on the rise. Not that I truly value the accuracy of these statistics. This pandemic is so widespread that I don’t believe it is measurable anymore.
I will soon don one of my masks and head out for my morning walk. The sun is shining brightly and it’s another gorgeous day here in paradise.
Have a great Monday!
It’s the middle of May already. Despite the fact that I’ve been primarily self-isolating for over two months now, time is going by quickly.
I’ve always loved learning. Now I have the opportunity to delve into areas of knowledge I had no time for in the past.
A course I’m taking from Berkeley on EdX deals with the science of happiness. Today’s topic was forgiveness, forgiving ourselves as well as others. The health benefits of practicing forgiveness are phenomenal. It is encouraging that it is never too late to learn to forgive. Holding grudges and exacting revenge are definitely detriments to experiencing happiness.
Another course I’m taking on Coursera is offered by University of Edinburgh and deals with how to become more active and less sedentary. Because I’m self-isolating I am not nearly as active as I was. So setting new fitness goals to improve my lifestyle is quite important to me now.
Yesterday marked my final visit to Immigration. The extension of my FMM had been processed and I returned home with my renewed visa. I am now once again living legally in Mexico and am grateful that this country has allowed me to remain here at this time.
WestJet announced that international flights to Canada will not resume until at least July. The American airlines are flying to the USA but the borders are still closed to foreigners. I have an additional 180 days thanks to my new visa. Maybe in July I’ll figure out what comes next.
For the first time in my life I am alone on Mother’s Day. I’ve always been with family and friends. But this year is different. COVID-19 has changed everything.
The last time I was with my own mother on Mother’s Day was in 1996. It’s been 24 years since she passed away but sometimes the waves of grief hit and it feels like yesterday.
I celebrated my first Mother’s Day in Mexico back in 2011. I was living in Culiacán. Juan, Lucila And Juan Carlos took me out for raspados and then to a park. Lucila made me a bracelet which I treasure.
2020 is only my second Mother’s Day in Mexico. I’m usually in Winnipeg or in Leavenworth. In searching my memories, the last time I was with both of my kids together on Mother’s Day was in 2008. It’s been a long time.
A year ago I was sitting out on the deck of the golf club in Leavenworth enjoying brunch with my friends after church. Today I sipped coffee as I did online church. No eggs Benny today. A quesadilla instead.
From my quarantine home to yours, Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing women out there, especially to my daughter who now has a daughter of her own.
Why do some people get so sick from COVID-19 that they die? Yet others exhibit no symptoms at all. How reliable is the testing and how accurate are the statistics?
I’ve stopped reading Facebook comments. Why people continue to share posts that are so misleading baffles me. Do they crave the attention or are they practicing their skills as writers of fiction? Or are they so panicked that it is soothing to them to post all this nonsense? Does a conspiracy theory really matter? COVID-19 is here and is World War 3 without bombs or guns.
I’m beginning to question the value of self-isolating for the long term. Living in a bubble is not the answer. How are we to build up immunities? And then the toll on mental health merits consideration.
When I chat with friends in other countries I hear different stories about their daily lives. While some people don’t leave their homes others are shopping and visiting with friends on a regular basis. Parks, beaches and restaurants are closed in some areas yet open in others. I find it ridiculous that playgrounds are open yet schools are closed. Does anyone else feel that way?
Enough venting for one day. I’m going out for my morning walk. Now, which mask shall I wear? The pink one? The blue one? The white one? Decisions, decisions, decisions…..
April may only have 30 days but it’s been a very stressful 30 days. May has begun, looks more promising and is most welcome in my life.
I made the decision to remain here in Mexico. I have been bombarded with emails from ROCA in Canada urging me to change my mind. For the most part the communications have been misleading and have contained inaccurate information. Nonetheless it has been stressful to receive these emails. I actually was already in the process of renewing my FMM when ROCA sent me an email stating that I would be in Mexico illegally if I didn’t return to Canada immediately.
I am grateful that Mexico is allowing me to renew my FMM. But the process is tedious with a numerous documents and necessitated three visits to INM. Thank God my friend Raul came with me to translate as nobody speaks English in the immigration office. It’s enough of a challenge to try to understand Spanish as native speakers talk fast. And now their words are being muffled by masks.
Earlier in April one of my credit cards was compromised. Liverpool used to be my favorite department store here in Mexico. But not anymore.
My debit card expired in April as well. At least when my son couriers it to me the envelope will include the replacement credit card as well. Will get my money’s worth out of that envelope.
My son also forwarded my tax return that necessitates an electronic signature. Of course my phone was being ornery and wouldn’t allow me to sign. But I was able to do it on my laptop.
Mexico then moved to Phase 3 from Phase 2 due to COVID-19. The icing on the cake.
Farewell April! You will not be missed.