Tag Archives: Wenatchee WA

One Down One To Go

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One Down One To Go

I was vaccinated yesterday. The first shot went well and I will have the second shot in three weeks. I thank God that I am in a country where the vaccine is available now and that I don’t have to wait several months. God Bless The USA!

Wind back the clock to September 2020. It was now possible to leave Mexico and head up north. The pandemic was raging throughout the world and travel was greatly discouraged.

I’m Canadian. Returning to Winnipeg from where I was in Mexico involved three flights on three different airlines and a minimum of two days of travel through four airports.

My other option was to come to Leavenworth. Only three airports. A flight to Dallas with a connecting flight to Seattle. I left Mexico in the morning and arrived in Seattle in the afternoon. Only about a two and a half hour drive to Leavenworth. Definitely a better option.

Leavenworth is home to me. I may only be here a few months a year but this is where my friends and my support system are. This is where my life is. I usually spend the summer and fall doing volunteer work so my time this year has been spent very differently. It’s winter and Covid is still around.

In Washington state the vaccine distribution program is working well. Appointments are made on the internet. I made mine on Sunday. Yesterday, Tuesday, my friend Linda drove me to Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, a designated mass vaccination site. I didn’t even have to get out of the car. A symptom check and the actual vaccination took under five minutes. I did have to wait thirty minutes after instead of fifteen as I have a shellfish allergy.

I was given a card with my appointment for the second shot. I had received an email reminder yesterday about today’s appointment. By the time I got back to Leavenworth I had received another email congratulating me on being vaccinated and it also included my patient record.

I also registered for the follow-up program. I receive a text daily inquiring about my health and any symptoms I might be experiencing. Very reassuring.

Thank you Washington state for your efficient handling of the vaccination process.

Sunday

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Sunday

It’s Sunday again. If I were in Aguascalientes I’d be going to the small church around the corner. But that was a year ago, before Covid. This year I do church online. And that’s okay too. Yesterday’s rain has now turned to snow.

I think back to Sundays of other years. I spent a fair amount of time in bowling alleys with my kids. When the kids were grown my ex and I often went out for brunch with friends. When my marriage ended I taught aquatic classes on Sunday mornings.

And then I moved to Culiacan. Sundays were non- teaching days so parks and museums were on the agenda. When I lived in Irapuato I went to church with friends. When I lived in Guadalajara Isaias and I traveled to numerous small towns in Jalisco on the weekends. When I lived in Mazatlan I went to church and out for brunch with friends. Then I often walked along the malecon. In San Ciro there was only a Catholic church so I did more touristy things.

For the past few months I’ve added a blog post on Sundays. I write about my life, my thoughts and feelings. I often include photos. And I never really have an agenda of what I should write about next.

I’ve taken a break from working on my book. My imaginary friends aren’t speaking to me very much. When they do, it’s just nothing I want to run with. Instead I have found other things to occupy my time. There has to be more to life than Netflix.

A 500 piece puzzle dominates the dining room table, a Christmas gift from my friend Joyce. It’s been years since I’ve done a puzzle. This one is a scene from England complete with double decker buses.

I learned how to bait rodent traps this week. My friend Steve has a pest control business and I helped him out one afternoon. Apparently rats, mice and voles are quite active in Washington state.

I had my hair cut the other day. No more long hair. It’s now in a short bob. Thank you to Lisa at Shears here in Leavenworth. No need to travel to Wenatchee for a style anymore.

I actually did go into Wenatchee yesterday with Ann. Walmart and Macy’s. I also had a lovely long walk. 50 degrees and sunshine in February. Very different from the brutal winters on the Canadian prairies.

Yes. I still play Candy Crush. But I play Candy Crush Friends now, not Candy Crush saga. I also play word games.

I still color. I’m enjoying the Thomas Kinkade coloring book. I’m learning how to blend colors with pencils and water now, although I still adore my gel pens.

Google Duo has become a good friend. Video calls with my grandkids are treasures, although I hope that someday virtual hugs and kisses will be replaced by in-person ones.

I read a lot too. It’s nice to have a library close by with books written in  English. Although the library is closed, curbside pickup is available for books reserved on-line.

Another good friend is Duolingo. I don’t want to forget my Spanish as I do intend to return to Mexico when it is safe to travel again. Oh how I miss traveling!

Time to tune in to Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.

Happy Sunday!

Things Look So Different Now

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Things Look So Different Now

I’m usually here in the summer, not in the winter. I haven’t spent a winter in snow since 2009, and even that year I escaped to Cuba for a while.

On Friday I went to my friend Ann’s home in Leavenworth. When I first got back in September I stayed in a cabin on her property. It sure looks different in the winter.

The view from the deck has changed as well. Too cold for rafting on the river although it has not frozen over.

Less than a half hour away I’m still walking around in track shoes, not boots. There is no snow on the ground yet.

I took a walk through downtown the other day and decided to take photos of sculptures rather than buildings.

I also got a shot of an old bridge I’ve walked across that connects the downtown area with the Walla Walla Point Park loop trail and the miniature railroad.

Winter has always been my least favorite season of the year. My memories of winter on the Canadian prairies are of getting up in the dark in the morning and returning home from school or work in the dark. And then there were the freezing temperatures and bitter windchills.

Although I much prefer my winters in Mexico, I really can’t complain too loudly about the weather in Wenatchee. I just pray that the mild temperatures continue and that there isn’t too much snow in the near future.

My New Reality

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My New Reality

Yesterday I had planned to meet a friend in Cashmere. However when I got up in the morning, the previous night’s rain had frozen over. The sidewalks and streets were glass. It was too treacherous to venture out. We would have to reschedule.

I checked my Facebook groups from Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Blewett was closed due to spinouts. Stevens was closed for avalanche control. These are the two main passes through the mountains to get to Seattle.

Leavenworth got over a foot of snow. Here in Wenatchee we got less than one inch. There were power outages all over Chelan County but not here in Wenatchee. The highway between Wenatchee and Cashmere was icy with lots of spinouts. While freezing rain and snow continued to fall in Cashmere and Leavenworth, here in Wenatchee the sun actually came out and melted the little snow we did get, although more rain is in the forecast.

This is so completely different from the Winnipeg winters I experienced before moving away just over ten years ago. Plummeting temperatures and bitter windchills are just memories now. I think I chose a good place to spend the winter this year although I’d much rather be in Mexico. I miss the sunshine and warmer climate. And even though I don’t need boots yet here in Wenatchee, it isn’t exactly sandals weather either.

A year ago in January I was in Aguascalientes visiting museums and coloring in parks. I met friends for coffee or lunch. I took long walks and browsed through my neighborhood tienguis. I listened to rosters crow and watched children playing in the streets. I call this time the new “BC.” These two letters now stand for “Before Covid.”

Winter in Wenatchee is my new reality.

Even The Geese Are Confused

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Even The Geese Are Confused

While my friends in Leavenworth are wearing boots, here in Wenatchee we have rain and need umbrellas. The geese are back. They haven’t headed south yet although they have left Canada behind. And it’s almost mid January.

In my quest to simplify my life, I eliminated two email addresses and removed What’s App. Only one email address to check now makes it easier. What’s App is useful when I’m in Mexico but not when I’m in the USA.

I was at Dollar Tree yesterday and in one aisle there was Christmas, Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I guess Easter is on the horizon. The garden tools and skipping ropes are already on the shelves.

I’m enjoying my new phone and getting used to the changes. I’m still discovering new features. Cell phones have come a long way since the cumbersome one in a suitcase that I had back in the early 90s.

Renewed my travel health insurance for another month. My body is still complaining that we should be in Mexico in the winter.

Time for Duolingo.

Que tengas un buen dia!

And So It Begins

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And So It Begins

Just because it is now 2021 does not mean that 2020 is over. The events of 2020 will not be forgotten. Covid-19, race riots and bombings readily come to mind. But while we need to deal with these traumas in some manner, it is important to move beyond these issues in search of the positive in order to remain mentally healthy.

We have all experienced trauma in our lives prior to 2020. We have addressed it and learned how to cope with the anxiety and depression associated with these traumas. I, for one, am not content with remaining stuck in the past.

As I look back on 2020, I look at my extended stay in Mexico as a time of reflection, a time when it was okay to slow down the pace of my life and really live in the moment. I would take long walks and appreciate the beauty of nature. I watched an incredible amount of movies and that gave me the opportunity to practice my Spanish comprehension skills. I began doing video calls instead of just phone calls. I colored, I read, I did word searches and I spent a substantial amount of time playing games on my phone. Unfortunately my laptop chose that time to rebel and disappear into electronic heaven. So now my blog posts were all made from my phone.

And I also was in Mexico for Independence Day, although the celebrations were very low key.

Instead of spending the usual spring and summer in Washington, I am now enjoying the fall and winter seasons. It was interesting shopping for boots and other winter clothing for the first time in over a decade. It’s been a challenge adjusting to the layers of clothing.

But the trees were absolutely glorious in the fall. The leaves turned such spectacular colors. And when they fell from the trees I enjoyed the crunching sound as I walked down the street.

I admired all the scarecrows in Cashmere back in October. This town really goes all out for Scarecrazy.

Cashmere also goes all out for Halloween.

Even the snowfalls are beautiful. The light dusting on the trees has a beauty of its own. Here is my favorite tree in Cashmere after the first snowfall. No brilliant red leaves at this time of year.

The lights in Leavenworth are amazing. This Bavarian village attracts thousands of tourists. The lights are on from Thanksgiving in November until the end of February.

The mountains are snow covered. The only downside is that the passes can be somewhat treacherous.

Here in Wenatchee the snow has fallen and melted away a couple of times. The slush reminds me of Winnipeg in the springtime. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the temperature drops and the snow will remain. But it’s January 3rd, the sun is shining and boots are not needed today.

Wenatchee Riverfront Park

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Wenatchee Riverfront Park

Saturday was one of the rare sunny days we’ve had recently and was a welcome change from the overcast gray skies. Linda and Gene came in from Leavenworth and we headed out for a walk along the river.

Riverfront Park is home to an asphalt hike/bike trail as well as a miniature railway, a statue garden and a boat launch. In the summer the trees and flowers are alive with color. But on a December winter day these few berries were all that was left.

A number of interesting statues caught my eye, such as this monkey on a skateboard.

The river views and the mountainous terrain really add to the beauty of this park.

Our timing was perfect as the sun had just begun its descent into the mountains as we arrived back at the car. Once the sun disappears the temperature plummets.

A lovely walk with great friends on a winter’s day with no snow on the ground. Life is good.

Nomad Moved Again!

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Nomad Moved Again!

Yes I did. I moved again. On Thursday. To a house in Wenatchee. Covid has slowed me down but hasn’t stopped me yet.

I was at Cascade Medical the other today and the receptionist remarked that I’d been seen on two occasions and this was now a third address and a second phone number.

The phone number is a simple explanation. Because I’m gone more than three months AT&T makes me get a new phone number each time I return to Washington.

Two years ago I saw a doctor and was living on West Street in Leavenworth at the time. Last week when I had lab work done, I had moved onto Prospect Street. And when I saw the doctor on Tuesday, I provided the clinic with my new address here in Wenatchee.

My plan right now is to stay here until my 180 in the USA is up this time around. I must admit I’m getting tired of counting days and dealing with immigration in three different countries. But when I think of actually settling down in one place for more than a few months at a time, it’s actually a tad overwhelming.

Wenatchee is the largest city in Chelan County with a population of just under 35,000. Wenatchee Valley Mall is an indoor mall with Macy’s, Ross, Bed Bath and Beyond, Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works as well as several other smaller stores. North Valley Mall is a strip mall and has J C Penney as its anchor along with Old Navy and a WinCo opening up in the near future. Wenatchee also has Costco, Wal-Mart and Target. There are lots of restaurants here as well including Applebees and Olive Garden. When I lived in Leavenworth I spent a fair amount of time here as it’s less than a half hour drive.

Wenatchee is also closer to Cashmere, my favorite town so far in Washington state. I often visit Spirit of America, an amazing memorial for 9/11. The cinnamon buns and apple fritters at Sure to Rise Bakery are the best I’ve ever had. Agave Azul is home to the best Mexican cuisine in the area.

While the sidewalks in Leavenworth are icy due to the recent snowfall, I just returned from a walk on clear sidewalks with no ice or snow in sight. At a lower elevation, snowfall is significantly less and temperatures are milder here in Wenatchee.

This will be my first winter up north since 2009. Wenatchee seems to be an ideal spot for this experience.

A Shuttle, Two Planes And A Bus

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A Shuttle, Two Planes And A Bus

Last week was a week of goodbyes and last times for 6 months. This was intended to be my last post from Leavenworth but has turned out to be my first post from Aguascalientes.

Saturday night was the last music night at the senior center. I will miss my group of friends there and the music we enjoyed throughout the season.

I went to church on Sunday and had one last brunch at the golf course with friends.

Monday night was my last life group for a while. This is the fourth year I’ve been in the group and will really miss our weekly times spent together.

Tuesday was farewell day to Wenatchee. Karen and I spent the day there and on our way back we hit the drive-thru at Wendy’s for one last frosty. We also had one last apple fritter from the bakery in Cashmere that day.

Wednesday was my last lunch at the senior center and my last bridge game with Hilda, Karen and Betsy.

Thursday Linda and I had one last lunch in Cashmere at Agave Azul. And I said goodbye to my tree, which has lost so many leaves.

On Friday I finished packing and went for one last walk with Joyce and Coco. I will miss our evening walks when I am back in Mexico.

On Saturday Ann took me to Peshastin to get the shuttle to Sea-Tac. Then a flight to LAX and then a flight to Guadalajara. The last leg was a bus ride to Aguascalientes.

It’s now Monday afternoon here in Aguascalientes, temperature in low 80s, bright and sunny.

I had breakfast at my favorite gordita stand. The lady who runs it welcomed me back. A 96 year old neighbor was there and we enjoyed a lively conversation. Apparently I haven’t forgotten my Spanish.

Tomorrow I look forward to spending the day with my friend Iracema and her one year old son.

Time for a siesta now.

My Calendar

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My Calendar

It’s Saturday June 1st already and I’m finally finding time to breathe again after a flurry of activity since I arrived in late April. This past week I was back to my Mexican plan of putting just one activity a day on my calendar and letting spontaneity happen.

Monday was Memorial Day and I was in writing mode. But the day dawned sunny and warm after several days of rain. I opted for a short walk instead.

Did I say short? Somehow it was two hours before I arrived back home. I walked up the Icicle and meandered through quiet streets. I walked along Highway 2 and was relieved that I wasn’t in the traffic going at a snail’s pace trying to leave town after a long weekend. I gave tourists directions and talked to people walking their dogs.

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I never did get around to writing much. But I did sort through photos, catch up on emails and make a few phone calls. Netflix eventually lured me and I thoroughly enjoyed that day to myself.

Tuesday morning I taught a fitness class and had lunch with a couple of friends. I was headed for home when a Link bus came into view headed in the opposite direction. Why not go to Cashmere and spend some time at Spirit of America? Of course I also stopped at the bakery for an apple fritter and signed up for an event at the library. I finally left Cashmere at around four o’clock.

I stayed in Leavenworth on Wednesday. Ann stopped by in the morning and we decided to pick up her dog and go for a walk at Sleeping Lady. I love the flowers and the river and the mountains, but another favorite is this spectacular glass sculpture by Chihuly.

After lunch at the senior center I went to the Leavenworth Library. I printed out a new exercise routine that I had collaborated on with the other instructors and then leisurely strolled through the stacks and selected some books to read. Books in English!

On Thursday I taught another fitness class and had lunch with friends. Then Linda and I decided to go to Walmart in Wenatchee. We got sidetracked on the way and stopped at Chavo’s in Cashmere for some agua fresca.

On Friday the only thing on my calendar was lunch at the senior center. However Linda, Karen and I wound up going into Wenatchee to see Rocketman.

Other than music at the senior center tonight, nothing else on my calendar for today…..YET!

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