Tag Archives: 2021

A Year Later

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A Year Later

It’s now Easter of 2021, and the second Easter of the pandemic. Last year I was in Mexico and didn’t go to church. At that time I avoided crowds and religiously wore my mask when I went out for my daily walks. I went out only to buy food or use the ATM.This year I’m in Leavenworth. I went to church on Good Friday and am going to a service today, Easter Sunday. I usually wear a mask only when I go into a public building or a shopping mall. I seldom wear a mask when I’m out walking unless I’m in the downtown area where there tend to be lot of people.My favorite place to walk is in the town of Cashmere. Here are some pics I took the other day while strolling down Cottage Avenue.When I’m in Mexico I don’t get to see the flowers and trees budding. And I’ve missed it.Cashmere is amazing when it comes to scarecrows and Halloween in October. But I did see some Easter decorations including this tree.I stopped at the bakery and was delighted to find hot cross buns. I haven’t tasted those in eleven years. In Mexico Easter is synonymous with empenadas.Happy Easter to those who celebrate. Easter 2021 is definitely better than Easter 2020. But I do wonder if we’ll still be wearing masks in church in Easter 2022.

Really Mother Nature???

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Really Mother Nature???

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.

When It’s 60+ Degrees

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When It’s 60+ Degrees

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.

Still Searching

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Still Searching

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.

Sorting Through Stuff

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Sorting Through Stuff

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. 🙂

Only One Dream

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Only One Dream

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.

Two Down And Done

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Two Down And Done

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.

Two Countries Two Different Worlds

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Two Countries Two Different Worlds

When I talk to my friends in Winnipeg, it sounds like we live in two completely different worlds, despite the fact that the USA and Canada share a border.

Friday night we went out for dinner to Wok About, a Mongolian Barbecue style restaurant. We bumped into my friend who was there with her two grandchildren. And we all sat at a table together to have dinner. Four different households at one table. A buffet style restaurant. And in Winnipeg if you want to share a table you need to produce ID to prove you actually reside at the same address.

Let’s talk church. They’ve been open here for a while now. And even when they weren’t supposed to be open they were open. Masks are optional in several churches. Attempts at physical distancing aren’t always successful either.

Then there is the other extreme here in Washington state. Masks are required on public transit. Masks are required to enter most stores although Safeway tends to look the other way.

I met with my immigration attorney earlier in the week. He took my temperature and I had to sign a health form. And masks were mandatory throughout the two hour meeting. I almost felt like I was in Canada.

Walking through downtown Leavenworth on the weekend I’ve noticed that the majority of people wear masks. Until they sit down at all the outdoor tables that line the main street. Lots of restaurant seating when the streets are closed to vehicular traffic.

Texas leads the way in doing away with masks and other restrictions. And I thought Washingtonians were rebels.

When I tell my friends here what’s going on back in Winnipeg and the rest of Canada in terms of quarantine and other restrictions, they don’t believe it. Until I show them the newspaper articles and other news reports. Their response is always “They could never do that here in the USA. We wouldn’t stand for it.”

Please don’t even get me started on the quarantine cash grab issue in Canada right now. This is yet another example of the disorganization and inefficiency of the way Canada is mishandling this pandemic.

For the time being, I intend to mask up when necessary and maintain physical distancing when possible. And I’m looking forward to getting my second shot on Tuesday, months ahead of when I’d be vaccinated if I were in Canada.

A Morning In Cashmere

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A Morning In Cashmere

The weather here has been incredibly mild and sunny. Tuesday was a great time for a day trip to Cashmere.

I bid a fond farewell to my ski jacket and boots. No need for a toque or gloves either.

First stop was the outdoor ATM at Cashmere Valley Bank. And then it was off to the Sure To Rise Bakery. I discovered this amazing bakery the first summer I came to Washington. This place is home to the best apple fritters on the planet. To my delight this year they also began making cinnamon buns, Texas size.

Just down the street is a new bakery that specializes in cookies and cupcakes. We each bought a cookie and our verdict was that this bakery won’t be around too long. No way can they compete with Sure To Rise.

Next we walked down to Spirit of America. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know that this is a very special memorial that I visit often.

We then walked down to Aplets and Cotlets. In addition to all the wonderful candy they make it is also home to a quaint gift shop.

No snow was in view anywhere and it was a perfect day for a walk through town.