Tag Archives: Leavenworth WA

Half Time

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Half Time

I just crossed the border at Nogales. What do you mean I’ve been back in the USA for three months already?

That got me thinking about all the changes since I first arrived in Leavenworth in July of 2016. I’ve always lived primarily in Leavenworth but I’m now living in East Wenatchee. But I still commute to Leavenworth to teach fitness classes.

Covid caused a lot of changes. The Senior Center in Leavenworth has yet to reopen. I went there often for lunch and I also volunteered in the kitchen. I played bridge there and went to craft afternoons.

Covid also affected the library programs which all switched over to Zoom. The rumor is that in person programs are starting again next month. And I am looking forward to those, including book club, craft programs and speakers.

I now attend a church in Wenatchee and have a new life group as well. It’s a much larger church than the one I used to go to in Leavenworth. It’s also a Free Methodist rather than a Nazarene church.

My attorney has told me he’s retiring at the end of the year and my doctor has told me she’s moving on to a different clinic. More changes.

Over the years I’ve met a lot of people and have developed close relationships with many who I now consider as part of my extended family. Friendships are especially important to me considering my nomadic lifestyle. And those constantly change depending upon where I happen to be living. But my extended family changes very little.

There are constants in my life here as well. This is my sixth year teaching fitness classes in the SAIL program. Next month I’ll be taking training in A Matter Of Balance. But more about that in a future blog post devoted to the program.

Another constant is the beauty of the mountains. I am as much in awe of it today as when I first came here six years. This is truly God’s country!

It’s Raining It’s Snowing

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It’s Raining It’s Snowing

Yesterday was April 12th. With April Fool’s Day weather. It was also a Tuesday which means I commute to Leavenworth from East Wenatchee to teach a fitness class. I usually hop on Link, but not yesterday. The rain had turned to snow. Will I ever get rid of this ski jacket? Do I really need to dig out my Sorrells?

Driving along Eastmont, the town of Wenatchee below us had totally disappeared from view, as had the mountains beyond. Visibility improved as we made our way along Highway 2 towards Leavenworth.

I must admit the mountains look very pretty with all the freshly fallen snow. But the snow didn’t stay up on the mountains. Instead it graced the town itself.

I snapped these pics after the fitness class.

The snow had finally stopped and didn’t resume again until late afternoon. On the drive back to East Wenatchee, we noticed a drastic change once we got out of Leavenworth. Instead of snow on the ground, everything was green again. And the sun even began to peek through.

Elsewhere in the USA the weather ranged from vicious tornados to blizzards. My friends back in Manitoba were also bracing for severe winter storms.

Did we skip spring, summer and fall and head directly back to winter?

It’s now 9 am Wednesday, today, just before I post this. The snow is still coming down in East Wenatchee. I know the mountains are out there somewhere.

Snow Kids Chocolate

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Snow Kids Chocolate

The spring solstice was on March 21st. But I think winter has returned to tease us. Here in East Wenatchee we had daytime highs approaching 70 F for a couple of days. But now we’re back to 30s at night and 50s during the day. And there has been snow up on the mountains.

The above photo was yesterday in Leavenworth. The photo below was yesterday in East Wenatchee where it’s quite a bit warmer.

There is far less snow on the mountains and the trees are blooming more and more everyday.

Yesterday Joyce and I went out for lunch and wound up at the Wenatchee Valley Mall. We had a great time at Macy’s and Ross. Amazing how quickly two hours can go by at those two stores. And those sacks can get heavy too!

I’m still thinking about a couple of trips to Canada. Possibly next month if I can pin down some dates with my daughter in Kelowna. And, yes Winnipeg, you are also in the running. But I’ve just settled in here in East Wenatchee and am not overly anxious to pack up another suitcase and head out so fast.

Once in a while I like to embarrass my kids. I guess today is the day. This photo came up as a Facebook memory from 2010 before I left for Mexico. The occasion was Kimmy’s birthday.

Let’s talk time zones. For my friends reading this, Culiacan is now one hour ahead, Winnipeg and Aguascalientes you are two hours ahead, Indiana, Alabama, Maine and Toronto you are three hours ahead. Times like this I wish it was the same time everywhere. At least Kelowna is the same as Washington. I’m not sure what’s happening next year everywhere, but in Washington they’re doing away with the time change in the spring and fall.

Look what the chocoholic found at Costco the other day!

Here And There

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Here And There

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.

Here’s to a new month!

Today Is Wednesday

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Today Is Wednesday

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.

Have a great Wednesday!

Que tengas un buen miercoles!

La Vida

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La Vida

It happened again on Wednesday. Another bomb scare in Leavenworth. There was one last year too. The downtown area was closed off. Highway 2 through town was closed off. Thankfully no bomb was found on either occasion.

I live in Mexico six months of the year. My friends up north tell me I’m crazy to live there because it’s dangerous. Well, I’m up north and it’s just as peligroso up here.

One of my Canadian friends suggested it was time I move back to Canada. Not on the radar. I read the headlines in The Winnipeg Free Press, my hometown newspaper. Lots of crime there too.

Our world was going crazy long before Covid and the situation in Ukraine. Technology makes it far too easy to build bombs or create other weapons. Technology is also to blame for the increase in school shootings. Canada, you’re not far behind the USA when it comes to those either. Technology is also responsible for providing accessibility to all types of criminal activity and even providing inspiration to criminals.

Face it, people. Nowhere is safe. So we may as well get out there and enjoy life wherever we happen to live. Maybe I take it to the extreme because I travel a lot. At least I’m living life to the fullest.

Have an amazing week out there! You only live once!

Yes I Moved Again

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Yes I Moved Again

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.

My thought for Humpday:

I’m Back!

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I’m Back!

First week back in Washington has flown by quickly. I’m trying to adapt to the cold up here. Very different from Mexico and Arizona. So very glad I left a warm ski jacket here. And happy that I don’t need the boots.

I’m living out in Dryden for a few days and it’s always cooler along the river. But I spent yesterday in Leavenworth. I had a CPR course in the morning and went out for lunch with friends after. Then we got some apple cider and visited downtown by the gazebo. The sunshine was most welcome and I think we hit a balmy 50 degrees.

This morning we’re off to Sage Hills in Wenatchee. Can’t wait to actually be with people again and not just do church online.

SAIL fitness classes have started again for me and I really enjoy teaching them. The program was developed here in Washington state and is geared for seniors and aimed at fall prevention. Minnesota and a few other states are now offering this as well.

This coming week I’ll be in Wenatchee for more fitness training. And on Wednesday I’m moving again. Where? Maybe next blog post……..

2022 Week 1

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2022 Week 1

On January 1st I was in Jilotzingo. Not sure exactly what time I fell asleep after the New Years celebrations, but I do recall sleeping most of the day. Even the coffee refused to perform its magic to revive me.

On January 2nd Angie and I arrived at her home in Pachuca. After being with a house full of people all weekend, I really appreciated the tranquility, especially the garden.

Angie celebrated a birthday on the 4th.

On the 5th it was time for Rosca de Reyes.

I arrived back in Aguascalientes on the 7th.

While I was enjoying the beautiful sunny weather here in Mexico, it was a very different situation in Leavenworth, Washington. My quaint Bavarian village was labeled a disaster area as a snowfall of over four feet crippled the area. Mountain passes were closed and the National Guard was brought in to help dig out the town.

I’m so thankful I’m back in Mexico this winter. Last winter I stayed in Leavenworth due to Covid, and I can count the times I wore boots on one hand. Very different this year.

We were all eager to slam the door on 2021. Between global warming and the virus mutations, I wonder what’s in store for us this year. Only time will tell.

What A Year!

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What A Year!

2021 is drawing to a close. A sigh of relief. Almost through year two of the pandemic. It appears that Covid and all of its mutations are here to stay. I wonder how different 2022 will be.

I was living in Wenatchee when 2021 arrived. It was my first winter in snow since 2009. While it was a relatively mild winter compared with the Canadian ones I’d experienced before, it was winter in a cold climate nonetheless.

This afternoon, seven of us enjoyed lunch together outside on the patio of an Italian restaurant. Now that feels more normal to me. With the exception of last year, outdoor dining in December has been the norm since I first arrived in Mexico in 2010.

In January I moved back to Leavenworth. There was more snow and the temperature was colder than in Wenatchee.

In February I was vaccinated and I began thinking about the future. I wasn’t ready to return to Mexico yet and the USA issued a Level 4 travel advisory against travel to Canada.

In March I retained an attorney and applied for an extended stay. I didn’t receive the confirmation that my stay had been approved until July. So I was in limbo for a while.

In April I had biometrics done at the USCIS Field Office in Yakima. Quite an interesting experience. But one step closer to getting that extended stay.

In May I moved to Dryden. It was peaceful living along the river, away from the hoards of tourists who continuously flock to Leavenworth.

The month of June flew by quickly as Amtrak became my new best friend. I traveled by train along the coast from Seattle to Los Angeles, visiting with friends in Portland and Sacramento along the way.

July and August were tense months. I was trying to figure out a way to get to Canada to see my kids and my granddaughter. Every day the rules changed with regards to travel restrictions. The Canadian airlines were gouging customers and I refused to pay quadruple the airfare I had paid before Covid. PCR tests were not available in small-town Washington.

In September I returned to Mexico for the same airfare I’d paid in years previously. No gouging here. No PCR test required. I was back home in Aguascalientes.

Considering that I’m not teaching or doing any volunteer work, I now find myself at more than halfway through my 180 days. The only traveling I’ve done was to Mazatlan for Thanksgiving and to Culiacan to see my family, as well as a day trip to San Jose de Gracia.

I will be with friends in Mexico City for New Years, and then on to Pechuca, Hidalgo. After that, who knows? What is certain is that the travel bug has returned, and that makes me happy.