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!
I decided to take a break from COVID-19 and publish this post I’ve had sitting in draft form for almost a month.
Thank you Facebook for reminding me where I’ve been on February 29th in the past decade.
Today I am in Aguascalientes. Four years ago I was in Mazatlan. Eight years ago I was in Guadalajara.
But the most memorable February 29th of my life was back in 1984, long before Facebook was established.
I was eight months pregnant with Kimmy. I awoke that morning in incredible pain. Somehow I managed to drive Kyle to nursery school and then myself to the hospital.
Upon my arrival, hospital staff were smiling and reassuring me that giving birth a month early was no problem. I kept telling them that this pain was different from labor pain, but they admitted me and hooked me up to all the monitors.
That’s when the smiles disappeared and were replaced with frowns. I was right. Not in labor. A specialist arrived immediately and diagnosed torn ligaments in the uterus. Yet another hospital stay and more bed rest.
I was worried about Kyle. This wouldn’t be the first time I wasn’t there to pick him up from nursery school due to a hospital stay. It hadn’t been the greatest pregnancy and Kyle was such a trooper.
One month later on March 29th I arrived at the hospital and this time I was in labor. I’m glad Kimmy was born then and not on February 29th. I can’t imagine celebrating a birthday on the exact date only once every four years.
Grey Cup Sunday. If you are Canadian, then this day is a tradition. Even if your home team isn’t competing, there is always a team from the west or east that you can cheer on.
This year, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from my hometown, made it to the Grey Cup. They are actually playing right now, as I write this. But I’m not watching the game this year. I’ll check Facebook periodically as my Canadian friends are sure to be posting updates.
My mind is elsewhere today. 39 years ago today on Grey Cup Sunday, I spent the entire day in labor with my first child, my son Kyle. It seems like just yesterday and it’s incredible that the years have flown by so quickly.
The family photos are all stored at his home seeing as I’ve been traveling for the last decade. But I do have some on my Seagate.
Here is Kyle at about age 2.
Here he is almost 10 years ago at his CA grad.
Here he is when I was last in Winnipeg for Mother’s Day a few years ago.
Happy Birthday Kyle! Love you lots!
My friends up north are always asking what a typical week down here looks like. My challenge is that there is no such thing as a typical week. The only routine things carved in stone on my calendar are teaching English two hours a week, volunteer work and going to church. No bridge games or fitness classes. No regular activities at a senior center. The pace of life is slower but somehow the time passes by quickly. I’ve been back in Aguascalientes for 4 weeks already!
Last weekend here in Mexico we experienced the equivalent of Black Friday. Buen Fin began early Friday morning and continued until midnight Monday night.
Monday was a holiday as Revolution Day is celebrated this week. So the sales continued. Even fast food places such as Burger King and Carl’s Jr featured Buen Fin specials on their menus.
My Uber passed by Walmart last Saturday. The parking lot was packed and cars were lined up on the street in the hopes of finding a parking spot later in the day.
As for me, I avoided shopping. Crowds of people have no appeal. I prefer to leisurely stroll through the shops without hoards of people surrounding me.
I walk a lot. I enjoy the nearby parks. The central historical area is 20 minutes away. Everyday I notice different things. On Wednesday I walked down to the bus station to get my ticket for Culiacán and encountered this new friend.
Last night was the first time I ever experienced a surprise birthday party in a church. It was the pastor’s birthday and he was scheduled to arrive late as someone else had volunteered to preach. As we sat through the service, a taquiza was set up right in the sanctuary. The aroma of the meat cooking filled the air. The menu was tacos al pastor and quesadillas.
After the service balloons were blown up. These were then tossed at the pastor when he arrived.
Lines formed at the taquiza. The food was delicious. We sat around eating and visiting.
The lights were dimmed, noisemakers became active, and it was time for cake. I snagged this photo of the pastor blowing out the candles.
And now it’s Friday and I wonder what this weekend has in store for me.