The buzz words for this decade are “stay safe.” The ones I heard all the time in the last decade were “be aware.”
In Mexico I live alone, I take long walks alone and I often travel alone, very different from my life back in Washington. But in both places the above buzz words are always on my mind.
After having limited mobility prior to two knee replacement surgeries, I am extremely grateful to be able to take long walks every day. And I am very aware of my surroundings regardless of where I am. And I notice very different things.
Here in Aguascalientes, despite the fact that I live in a lower income neighborhood close to Centro (downtown), I am very comfortable walking the streets day and night. There are always people out walking. I’ve even grown accustomed to seeing young children out at night alone. Some of the shops have crazy hours too. There’s a dentist on my corner who is often there at ten at night. A hairdresser a block away is often cutting hair at midnight. Taco stands are open until the wee hours. And I think nothing of going out to the corner tienda at midnight if I crave a pinguino.
This past summer when I was in Winnipeg I stayed with a friend who lived downtown. Winnipeg can best be described as an urban reserve and is not a city I’d want to raise my kids in today. The downtown area is disgusting and filled with vacant office buildings. There is not a department store or a grocery store in sight. But the panhandlers are definitely out there in abundance. The streets are deserted at night except for the aboriginals who can be seen defecating or urinating on the sidewalks just as they do in the daytime.
When I walk in East Wenatchee I always see people out with their dogs. As I walk by the middle school I see kids out on the track. Further along by the high school I see the football team at practice. And of course there are always lovely gardens and trees as I stroll past the houses as I walk up and down the hills.
However in the blink of an eye things can change. I’ve had “interesting ” experiences in all three countries that I do not intend to ever write about. After all, we are never in control of everything.
I’m sitting here sipping salted caramel tea as I write this. A nice change from the chamomile I drink in Aguascalientes. In the background The Rifleman fills the TV screen. I loved that show as a child and I still do. Not on any of the channels I watch in Mexico.
I enjoy my life where I’ve turned back into a snowbird. When I first arrived in Culiacan I met expats who had decided to revert back to the snowbird life. I didn’t understand it back then, but after living full time in Mexico for almost six years, I made that decision as well.
That was back in 2016 when I retired from teaching ESL. That was also when I discovered Washington state. My planned two week vacation turned into four months when the first snowfall finally chased me back to Mazatlan.
As I was eating a sourdough English muffin with marble cheese for breakfast, I found myself missing gorditas. Yes, that happens. The only Mexican food I eat up here is at Agave Azul in Cashmere. But marble cheese does not exist in Mexico.
I had lunch at Gustav’s with friends the other day. One of my rare red meat fixes. Although the burger was far superior, I found myself missing the country music at Country Break in Aguascalientes.
The mountains here in Washington never cease to amaze me. I see them out my bedroom window. I see them when I go out for walks. The view is magnificent on the drive from East Wenatchee along Highway 2 into Leavenworth.
The NCW Libraries features an abundance of programs and activities in addition to books and movies. I signed up for two of them this month that are offered on Zoom.
The museum in Wenatchee is another of my favorite places. The Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Fest is one of the featured events. There is also an art show going on with displays of art from local schools. I will have to check out what programs they are offering this month.
Yesterday Christina and I went out to garage sales and had a blast. We found lots of treasures. Brought back memories of another lifetime in Canada.
Four weeks ago yesterday I crossed the border at Nogales. I’m only allowed 180 days in this country and already 30 precious days have flown by.
I was talking to a friend in Winnipeg last night who asked me what I was planning to do when I got to Canada and how long I was going to stay. The painful truth is that I don’t even want to come to Canada. I come back to see my kids, my granddaughter, and the handful of close friends I keep in touch with. And of course I want to go to the cemetery in Winnipeg. But my life is here in Washington as well as in Mexico.
I’m settling in to life in East Wenatchee. I’ve never lived in Douglas County before. Always in Chelan County. The big difference I’ve noticed is that each county has its own judicial buildings.
While I still teach fitness classes in Leavenworth, I found a new life group from Sage Hills Church just down the street from where I live. And on April 1 the senior center in Wenatchee reopens so that will be an opportunity to meet people and perhaps even play bridge again.
I’m off shortly for a walk. I love watching the trees come to life in the spring. I took this photo of a tree down the street a couple of days ago when it was just beginning to bud.
I peeked out my window a few minutes ago and it’s now in full bloom. A new photo is definitely in order.
Hopefully this is the last Washington move. One night in Seattle, two nights in Leavenworth, one week in Dryden, four nights in Peshastin and now I’m in East Wenatchee.
I’ve unpacked one of my two suitcases. I got here Sunday evening so that’s not bad. The other suitcase has things like pastels and water colors. No time for that yet.
I went into Leavenworth yesterday for a SAIL class. Higher up in the mountains so it’s cooler and there is still snow. I’ll be going into Leavenworth again on Thursday for another class.
We watched House of Gucci last night. I am so glad I watched it in English. Had I watched it in Spanish in Mexico I would have missed a lot of the little nuances. Great movie and I highly recommend it.
For all my hometown friends in Canada…..you are now two hours ahead of me. That means I won’t be calling as regularly as when I was in Aguascalientes in the same time zone. Apparently Washington has also decided to do away with the time change starting in the fall.
The featured photo is the view from my street. I just can’t get enough of these mountains. Living on the flat Canadian prairies for so many years will do that to you. The mountains in Queretero always remind me of the ones here in Washington.
Things are looking better for traveling to Canada this year. Doing away with Covid tests to enter the country is a start. And Amtrak is going to start running to Vancouver again.