I have this annual tradition when I’m in Mexico over the winter. I head to Waldo’s and buy a small tree which I decorate and then leave behind when I head up north in the spring. And of course there is also the obligatory tin of butter cookies to nibble on while I adorn the tree.
Another annual tradition is spending Christmas in a different place with different people.
My first Christmas in Mexico was in Culiacan. I quickly learned that Christmas Eve is the big event and the menu was tamales and ponche.
Other holidays were in Tlaquepaque, Tototlan, Mazatlan, San Ciro de Acosta, Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala and Aguascalientes. Last year was really different. I was living in Wenatchee, Washington.
Christmas is only twenty-two days away and I haven’t finalized my plans yet. I’ve been busy with other plans involving traveling somewhere new to ring in 2022. But more about that in a future blog post.
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.
My friend Mitch commented on my wall the other day that it has been just over ten years since the auction closed down. Auctions were a big part of our lives back then. Mitch worked at Wachniak’s in Winnipeg. And my friends and I went to these auctions hunting for treasures for our E-Bay businesses as well as for ourselves. We’ve all had so many changes in our lives since then. Partners, occupations and residences have all changed. All that is left are the memories of another lifetime.
Today my friend Kathy posted that her dog is still enjoying the many toys I gave her when Koal left us. And that was just over nine years ago, although sometimes my heart aches like it was just yesterday. My life has changed so much since then. Travels and people and adventures have made the time pass by way too quickly.
The last time I had Christmas dinner with my children was eight years ago. We actually enjoyed it together a week early, as a friend and I were off to Cuba for Christmas. I envy my friends who are able to celebrate the holidays with their families back home. For me it has just become an impossible dream at this point in my life.
Just over seven years ago I arrived in Culiacan to teach English. Juan was a colleague eager to improve his English, and my Spanish was non-existent. We became great friends and he and his wife adopted me into their family. Indeed their entire extended family has welcomed me. Over time, Juan and Lucila’s family has grown and I now have three precious nietos (grandsons). I am off to Culiacan in two weeks to ring in 2018 with my family. I can’t wait to see how much the kids have grown since I last saw them in April before I headed up north for the summer.
Do you recall that proverbial question that was asked at all job interviews……Where do you see yourself five years from now? Well, five years ago I never would have predicted that I’d be dividing my time between Mazatlan, Sinaloa and Leavenworth, Washington. Five years ago I was living in Guadalajara and had never even heard of Leavenworth.
So now I cannot fathom where I will be five years from now. Can you? But I am enjoying where I am right now………………