I was out for a walk on a rather gray and foggy day. I heard geese honking! Sure enough in a field across the way there were hundreds of them. Canada Geese. On their way down south for the winter.
In another lifetime I’d head out to Fort Whyte Center in Winnipeg to see them take off at sunset. Occasionally flocks of them would appear overhead as I drove down McGillivray.
I was at Walmart and picked up a gingerbread house kit. It seems like just yesterday when my kids used to make them. This year my friend Ida and I are going to make one.
I move around a lot and usually spend Christmas in different places. I always buy a small tree and decorate it. I keep some of the handmade ornaments but the tree and the balls are always given away to someone when I leave. This is my 2020 tree although I will probably add more ornaments.
Places I’ve been in the last ten years include Culiacán, Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, Tototlán, Mazatlan, San Ciro de Acosta and Aguascalientes. This is the first time I’ve ever been in the USA for Christmas.
The temperature is dropping and snow is in the forecast for next week. That will definitely bring back memories of life before Mexico when Winnipeg winters were my norm.
I was out this morning and am quite content to stay in this afternoon. It’s a dreary, rainy day and a perfect time to sit by the fire as I wait for the dryer to do its magic. Oh how I miss my lavenderia in Las Flores! It was so nice to drop off the dirty clothes in the morning and pick up neatly folded and freshly laundered clothes later in the day.
But back to the fire. Have you ever done a flame meditation? Very relaxing. And I find my mind wandering to fire pits and other fireplaces and conjuring up memories of happy times.
As a young child I have vivid recollections of cooking hot dogs over a fire. The venue was a fireplace in the rec room. I can still envision my Uncle Sam presiding to ensure that no-one burned themselves or burned the house down for that matter.
I remember campfires at Bnai Brith Camp and Camp Kinnaird in Lake of the Woods. Amazing that we never burned the woods down although sparks from the flames often attacked us.
When my kids were young we had a wood burning fireplace in the family room. They delighted in blackening hot dogs and toasting marshmallows. The challenge was keeping the dog away from the flames. No need to have his fur singed.
Of course there was that one time when the fireplace backed up and thick, black smoke quickly filled the house. But the fire department had those amazing fans that blew it all out in minutes.
We had a fire pit in our backyard in Oak Bluff. It was a popular place for my kids and their friends. I especially liked to sit by the fire in the fall. Once winter set in it was just too bitterly cold.
The gas fireplace soon became a favorite of mine. Flip a switch, no mess and no sparks. Instant ambience!
The featured photo in this post is an electric fireplace in the living room in Leavenworth. It doesn’t throw off heat like the gas one, but it’s instant on with the press of a button.
Sitting by the fire……..
We all have memories of 9/11. I was watching the news on TV before heading to work that day. What I initially thought was a replay of the first plane crashing into the towers was actually a live version of the second aircraft hitting the building.
Disbelief. Shock. Confusion. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Overwhelming sadness. These were a few of the emotions I struggled with that day.
Back then I managed a group home for mentally challenged adults. I was riveted to the TV set until they returned from their day programs. I delegated staff to take them out for dinner so that I could continue watching the coverage.
When I got home that night my kids wanted to talk. They were young and their experience of the day’s events was quite different from mine. That made it even more complicated as I didn’t want my fears transferred on to them, especially seeing as I was scheduled to fly to the USA on a business trip less than two weeks later.
For the past four years I have been in Washington state on September 11th. A highlight of my time there is attending a memorial service at Spirit of America in Cashmere. This year the memorial service has been cancelled because of Covid-19. But I know in my heart that when I am finally able to return to Washington state, Spirit of America is one of the first places I will visit.
Try To Remember The Kind Of September
This song captured my heart when I heard it live for the first time decades ago at a performance of The Fantasticks at the old Playhouse Theater in Winnipeg. I love live performances and much prefer them to movies.
With September’s arrival this year it reminded me of this song. Then other September memories resurfaced.
September was synonymous with going back to school after summer holidays. It was never a favorite time when I was going back to school myself, but once I had children it sure became one. I was exhausted from juggling year end at work and chauffeuring my kids around all summer to their many activities and play dates.
The past few years I’ve really enjoyed the month of September. In Washington state the leaves on the trees begin to change color. The temperature cools down. I look forward to Autumn Leaf Festival, Chelan County Fair, Apple Days and Scarecrow Days. But this September I’m still in Mexico.
September 16th is Independence Day. And I wonder what type of celebrations will be held here in Aguascalientes. Will crowds of people gather to hear the gritto? Will there be fireworks? That has been my experience in the past in other areas of the country. Of course COVID-19 wasn’t around back then.
I’ll have to find a more patriotic-looking mask than the one in the above photo.
Pachelbel’s Canon In D is one of my favorite classics to listen to when I meditate. This afternoon I was listening to Pachelbel with ocean sounds and it got me thinking of all the different places I’ve been when I’ve meditated with this particular version of the Canon.
One of my earliest memories dates back to when my son Kyle was a baby. He would nap beside me in bed while I meditated. I never fell asleep although Pachelbel always lulled Kyle to sleep.
Kelsey was my first dog and he often cuddled in bed with me while I meditated. Of course he would frequently bring squeak toys with him and become quite annoyed when I didn’t want to play.
Koal was the last dog I had and I can still feel him snuggled up against me on the bed. This was before knee surgery and he just seemed to zero in on which knee would benefit the most from the warmth of his body.
Pachelbel has also accompanied me on my travels in Mexico for the past several years, as well as in Washington.
For those of you who are into mindfulness and meditation, I highly recommend Pachelbel. There are numerous versions available online with a variety of musical instruments and other sounds.
If you are not into meditation, I highly recommend that you try it. I find it especially helpful in coping with the stress added to our lives by the advent of COVID-19.
Aguascalientes has now changed from red to orange on the virus map. Trudeau is keeping the Canadian border closed. Leavenworth seems farther away now.
But I’d rather be where I am today than where I was seven years ago on this date.
Seven years ago today I was having surgery at Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg, my second knee replacement.
Another memory. Eight years ago today I was also in Winnipeg. It was the day before my first knee replacement.
Today I just returned from a short walk to the Cocina. My fridge is now full of fresh vegetable and fruit salads, chicken and pasta.
Today is June 17 and I am living in Aguascalientes in the midst of a pandemic, creating more memories.
Thank you Facebook for not only reminding me of my friends’ birthdays but also of reminding me of the different places where I have lived.
Apparently four years ago today I was at The Saloon in Mazatlan with friends doing this.
Today I’m in Aguascalientes sipping coffee instead of doing Jell-O shots.
Five years ago today I was still teaching and this was my classroom at Hotel Torres in Mazatlan. Most of my students were working in housekeeping or security at the hotel.
Today I’m retired and not teaching. Now I sip my coffee rather than gulp it.
But I’m really feeling nostalgic/homesick now. I spoke to my friend Debbie earlier today. She was shopping at Walmart in Wenatchee when I called, one of my favorite places. Then I found this pic from last summer in Cashmere.
I would certainly welcome some of that Washington rain today. 90s and sunny here in Aguascalientes. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had any rain.
Thanks for the memories Facebook!
I was sitting at the 76 this morning waiting for the 22 to head into town. I had a great view of Highway 2 here in Washington and the traffic going by.
It was the semis and the campers that caught my eye. And a memory that felt like yesterday.
My son was about 2 at the time and we were staying at a hotel on Highway 2 in Michigan. He sat staring out the window and was totally mesmerized by all the vehicles passing by. He clutched a handful of his own little trucks and cars, thoughtfully comparing them to the ones he saw on the highway.
It’s hard to believe that 37 years has passed by since that day……….