Tag Archives: winter

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.

5 Days Left

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5 Days Left

2020. The neverending year from hell. It didn’t start out that way. Think back to:

January. Rang in the new year with friends. Sunshine and warm weather in Aguascalientes. Coloring in the park. Exploring museums. Considering going to Mexico City and Cuernavaca to see friends.

February. Time has flown by quickly. Culiacán is on the agenda for next month. Enjoying my volunteer work and my private students.

March. A contagious flu bug out of Wuhan, China is classified a pandemic as of the 13th. Travel plans quashed. Will ride this out in Mexico.

I finally arrived in Leavenworth in September instead of in April. No volunteer work, church ministry, bridge games, craft days, exercise classes, book club, memoir writing classes or traveling.

I currently have friends in three countries struggling with Covid. On Thursday I found out that my granddaughter in Canada needs surgery. Yesterday my friend in Winnipeg told me her husband is in the hospital with pneumonia. Read the obituaries in the Winnipeg Free Press and recognized one too many names.

And then a couple of nights ago night we got our first substantial snowfall. Some has melted but not all of it.

My body is tired of wearing long sleeves and jeans, and now boots. It’s begging for shorts and t-shirts. I know this is one Christmas I won’t forget. Although it was enjoyable, I found my heart wandering elsewhere.

I’ve always thought American history was far more colorful than Canadian history. But after all the controversy surrounding the recent election, I just wanted things to calm down. Instead there was a bombing in Nashville that has everyone on red alert rather than on code red for Covid.

And 5 days still remain in 2020….

It’s Here!

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It’s Here!

Winter, you are such a tease! This was around 8 yesterday morning on the patio.

Later in the morning we headed out to Lowe’s to buy a shovel. By then it had warmed up although some of the fog still lingered. The streets were a tad slushy.

By noon the streets and sidewalks were completely clear. The sun was even trying to peek through. But up on the mountains the snow and fog were clearly visible.

The forecast is mainly for snow showers or rain for the next few days. I’m glad the snow is coming gradually. It makes it easier to get used to after ten years of Mexican winters.

My friend in Aguascalientes sent me this photo taken the other day at Jardin San Marcos.

I miss Mexico at this time of year. I hope that next year at this time that’s where I’ll be. It feels too strange not to be there now.

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.

Remember When

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Remember When

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.

Winter White

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Winter White

This was the view from my bedroom window earlier in the week. There was none of that white stuff in sight.

And then came Friday the 13th. The view changed drastically.

In all honesty, it’s a beautiful picture postcard out there today. First snowfalls are always pretty. And here in Washington the mountains are an amazing backdrop unlike the flat Canadian prairies where I come from. As the temperature rises, the snowfall has changed to rainfall, washing away the snow on the ground.

My last non-Mexico winter was in Winnipeg in 2009, although I did escape to Cuba for a bit of a reprieve. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision spending a winter in Washington. But I am now.

Something Different

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Something Different

This post is not about COVID-19 or Trump. I want to forget those for a moment and write about something completely different.

Monday night I went to a baby shower. I can’t remember the last time I went to one but I know it’s been years. It was such fun to see all the cute items for this precious new baby.

Yesterday was our exercise get together. We have now grown to five from three. My body really appreciates this as the colder weather has a tendency to stiffen up the joints.

Usually at this time of year, if I’m not already back in Mexico already, I’m shopping the summer clearance sales for clothes. Instead last week my purchases included boots, a toque, lined gloves and a cozy pullover sweater.

Although many of the trees have lost their leaves, there are still many showing off their glorious hues of red and orange. The recent rain has kept them hydrated.

While I turn to Duolingo every day and text in Spanish to some friends, I must admit I’m enjoying watching movies in English again. But I did go to my favorite Mexican restaurant last week and I always get to use my Spanish there.

I’m really enjoying my new tablet and am in the process of buying a new computer. However I became so reliant on technology is beyond me. It’s sure a different world.

And then there are the video calls. My granddaughter Madeline in Canada turns three in February and thinks her grandma lives in a phone. My grandson Juan Carlos in Culiacán is eleven and we converse in English regularly. Now if only I could convince my son in Canada to do video calls.

Today is another shopping trip to Wenatchee. More warm clothes for winter are very much needed. Somehow my usual wardrobe of capris and tank tops are not appropriate attire here in Leavenworth at this time of year.

The best part of being here is that I’m having a great time renewing friendships, meeting new people and making memories. My extended family just keeps on expanding. Life is more than good.

Boots Gloves And Hat

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Boots Gloves And Hat

Friday’s snowfall was pretty to watch from inside. However I didn’t venture out until it began to melt the next day.

Today I am headed to Wenatchee to do some shopping. Seeing as I’m here for the winter, I am in search of the appropriate clothing.

Sandals hidden away at the back of my closet, the first item on my agenda is boots. The last time I wore winter boots was a decade ago. Not looking forward to it.

Gloves and a hat are the next priority. My friends assure me it doesn’t get as cold as the Canadian prairies. I hope they’re right.

I actually got a ski jacket the first year I came here. But I hightailed it back to Mexico at the first hint of snow in 2016 so I haven’t had much use for it until now.

There may be a few other interesting items further along the line, such as bear spray. Apparently the bears are hungry and adore coming into town in search of food.

I see deer around frequently, but they’re relatively harmless. Cougar and coyote sightings are still common. I sincerely hope the rattlesnakes have disappeared for the winter.

And speaking of wildlife, election fever is high here. But I’ll save that for another post.

It’s Been Years

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It’s Been Years

There’s been snow up in the mountains for days now.

But yesterday was the first snowfall here in Leavenworth. And it’s already beginning to melt.

In another lifetime I would take the change of seasons in stride. Winters on the Canadian prairies were harsh. Plunging temperatures and high windchills were the norm. Warming up even a little meant icy roads and treacherous sidewalks frequently hidden by a fine dusting of snow.

Covid-19 has turned my world upside-down. Last year on this date I flew into Guadalajara en route to Aguascalientes. I eagerly looked forward to my usual six months of summer rather than winter.

Six months turned into eleven before I was able to leave Mexico and return to Washington State. The joys of being Canadian and finding travel health insurance to be in the USA during a pandemic!

But I did it and I’m here. I still don’t know how long I’ll be here. My plan to return to Canada is on the backburner for now. Quarantine has to disappear and Winnipeg has to reopen it’s airport to international flights. And don’t even get me started when it comes to the apps the government wants me to put on my phone.

I miss you Mexico and I pray for you. The precarious state of healthcare there more than intimidates me. What little resources still available should be reserved for the citizens of your own country.

I’m Staying

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I’m Staying

I have decided to stay here in Aguascalientes rather than return to Canada.

Because of my age and health issues I am in the high risk category.

If I didn’t get sick from COVID-19 from crowded airports and stuffy airplanes, I’d probably get pneumonia from arriving in Winnipeg in shorts and sandals. I haven’t experienced a Winnipeg winter in over ten years.

I opted to do on-line church only today as my city has banned public gatherings.

There is lots of toilet paper here.

I also have the blessing of being able to go outside to the park everyday.

Stay safe everyone and practice whatever preventative measures you are able to.