I woke up in Culiacan this morning and, to my delight, found this pic on my Messenger from my daughter. My granddaughter Madeline had a visit with Santa in Kelowna.
I only wish it was as easy to get to Kelowna as it was to get to Culiacan.
This weekend I’m with my Mexican family. Some of the things we’ve done have included a picnic in Sanalona, raspados in Imala, going to church and watching a movie together. But most of all I’ve marveled at how my grandsons have grown since I saw them last about two years ago. Here we are two years ago.
And here they are today with Juan.
Before I came to Culiacan I was in Mazatlan for Thanksgiving, another whirlwind visit. Day of the Dead at Plaza Machado and Christmas at Galarias.
Tonight I’m heading back to Aguascalientes. It’s been a fabulous week.
I think back to November a year ago when I was living in Leavenworth. Covid was rampant and dinners with large groups of people were merely a dream. Even football was affected to the dismay of many.
I’m in Mazatlan right now and am looking forward to spending the holiday with friends. We’re going to Twisted Mama’s for dinner along with who knows how many other people.
I have fond memories of other holiday dinners at this restaurant when I lived in Mazatlan a few years ago. It is nice to be back and to be able to celebrate with friends again.
But let’s not get sidetracked with turkey or with football. Let’s instead delve into the true meaning of this holiday. Our ancestors years ago were thankful for a bountiful harvest, a healthy life and shelter from the inclement weather.
I know I have a lot to be thankful for in my life this year. But I think it’s also important to be thankful for the many blessings in our lives every single day, and not just once a year on Thanksgiving Day. Imagine how different our world would be if we all put this into practice.
Traveling sure isn’t what it used to be. I recall enjoying the journey from Point A to Point B. And I can’t even blame Covid for messing that up. I long for the days before TSA. But those are just a distant memory now.
No. I’m not going to Canada. I can’t believe the idiocy of Trudeau’s latest. A fully vaccinated Canadian, if gone less than 72 hours, does not need a PCR test to come back to Canada. I guess they don’t shop at the same stores or eat at the same restaurants as those of us who are gone longer than 72 hours. Enough of that garbage.
Here in Mexico we’re being told that the entire country is green on the stoplight. Amazing considering only 53% of Mexicans have had even one dose of vaccine.
My travels this week will take me up north to Sinaloa, where I will celebrate Thanksgiving with friends in Mazatlan. And I will then finally get to see my family in Culiacan for the first time in two years.
I may even do another side trip while I’m up north. There’s so much of this country I have yet to explore.
Safe travels to all this holiday week. Will check in again from Mazatlan.
Today is November 17th and it’s also my Dad’s birthday. The last time I celebrated this day with him was in 1976, a few months before he died.
My dad was my hero, my best friend, my rock. There has never been anyone in my life who has ever been able to provide the unconditional love and security that I felt when my dad was alive.
Among many other things, my dad taught me to ride a bike and to drive a car. But what I remember most was the hours we spent together just talking. He was always there to listen and offer advice. Precious memories I cherish in my heart.
Back in 1980 I was pregnant with Kyle and was hoping he would be born on my dad’s birthday. But that didn’t happen. Instead he was born a week later on my parents’ anniversary, November 24th. And that made that date special again.
I lost another friend the other day. We met when I lived in San Ciro for three months, a small town with a population just under 200, in San Luis Potosi.
That’s the real danger in living the nomadic life I do. I meet a lot of interesting people and friendships become very intense very quickly, albeit often short-lived as well. I never know whether our paths will cross again in this lifetime.
We celebrate holidays and birthdays together. We reminisce about our past and share memories. We travel, we volunteer and in some cases have worked together.
We attempt to maintain relationships by using social media and video calls when possible as many have left Mexico and returned to their home countries.
But the years pass by all too quickly and we aren’t getting any younger. Our bodies are not quite as limber as they once were, a definite concern when determining what comes next.
However there is a fascinating world out there just waiting to be explored. There are amazing people out there who we haven’t yet met. There are new memories to be made and, health permitting, our age doesn’t matter.
I’m not quite certain that I’m still living my dream by practicing this lifestyle. But what I am sure of is that the people I’ve met along the way have had an important impact on my life, whether or not we ever see each other again in person. And I will always cherish the memories stored safely in my heart.
An amazing statue of Christ is found on an island in the pueblo of San Jose de Gracia, an extremely popular pilgrimage site. Boats are kept busy daily ferrying all the visitors who come here.
El Cristo Roto is an 82 foot tall concrete and steel sculpture, crafted by Miguel Romo. It has been on this site since 2006.
Note that the statue is missing an arm and a leg. This represents the troubled history when the area had extensive flooding and most of the population left. Originally inhabited by the Chichimecas, fighting took place during the Cristero War. When the Plutarco Elias Calles dam was constructed in the 1920s, the majority of inhabitants fled to the shores of the newly formed lake that had resulted from the flooding and the town of San Jose de Gracia was founded.
Romo was also influenced by the folklore at the time. The story was that a priest found a broken crucifix and vowed to have it fixed. However the crucifix spoke to him, saying that it was a symbol of those who feel broken or lost.
The statue is considered to be the savior of lost causes. It has also been the sight of faith healings.
Thanks to Dia de Los Muertos, this long weekend stretches for four days. Tuesday November 2nd is a public holiday. But the celebrations really began a few days ago.
I’ve always been fascinated by cemeteries in Mexico, especially at this time of year. I’ve visited them in Culiacan, Tlaquepaque and Mazatlan in previous years.
On Friday I ventured out to the Panteon de la Cruz here in Aguascalientes. This is one huge cemetery and families were busy decorating for Day of the Dead. As usual I took way too many photos. Here are a select few.