10 Days of Busy
I'm so sorry that it's been 10 days since my last blog post. Days fly by here like I've never experienced, so I'll take some early morning time right now to catch up. Tomorrow is my 3 month anniversary here at Lake Chapala. It's strange to look back and see how different things are already in such a short time. I'm comfortable. I feel like this is home. I've established an ever growing network of friends and social activities. I'm remembering a few more words in Spanish and the names of streets and locations of specific stores and events without my Google Maps. I am functioning and flourishing, and it is good.
A week ago I attended my first Mexican rodeo. Unlike those I've seen in the US, the vaqueros don't ride bucking horses or bulls, they ride their highly trained and skilled horses in teams, in the ring, with an aggressive bull. They taunt the bull to come close by riding in front of it and waving brightly colored blankets and they get points for the close encounters. The bull charges one after another and does occasionally get the tip of a horn into the flesh of a horse. I'm told that the horses are greatly prized and expert vets are on hand to tend to any injuries immediately, as are Red Cross doctors.
After a set amount of time, the cowboys have to rope the bull, one around the head or horns, and one around both back hooves. IF they're able to do that, they pull the bull down and approach it on foot to untie a rope which must be handed in for more points. Then the bull's handler and the cowboys allow it to rise and herd it into the exit chute. It was quite exciting to watch. I'm mesmerized by the ability of the vaqueros to stay in the saddle while they're waving a blanket with both hands or winding the rope and tossing the lasso at the same time. There will be more of these competitions coming up and I'll go as often as I'm invited. Since they go into the night, I won't be doing the driving so I have to rely on the kindness of friends (did you think I was going to do a Blanche DuBois line there?)
My Florida artist neighbor and friend, Bonnie, arrived last Wednesday evening. We've been catching up on rest and running around shopping and sightseeing since then. Her first day here, we took a trip to Guadalajara with Lulu and Mauricio. I wanted some colorful blankets for walls and beds and they knew just the place. I got four, 4'x6', wonderfully warm and brightly colored blankets for about $15 each. Afterwards, we went to Costco and Bonnie was able to get some of the immediate needs of a newbie, like a memory foam 4" mattress cover for the typical board hard mattress (loved by Mexicans) which I have on the bed in her guest room. She can sleep now. We've done the typical weekly activities like El Patio for the rock music, Walmart for incidentals, the Mercado for meat, fruit, and veggies, walking the malecon for the invigorating fresh air and to-die-for views, a plethora of restaurants, and visiting some of the wonderful consignment stores and artist shops in Riberas (where I bought the sun and moon ceramics). I got the delivery of beaded hummingbirds and have been selling them for my friend and artist in Guatemala. He is assisting the widows who've lost their husbands to violence and are still trying to raise children. I'll be bringing several with me to Florida for my friends there. $35 each will help the widows with a couple of weeks of groceries. If you want to see more photos, no two are alike, just message me. I can ship them to you anywhere in the US.
Today we go to the American Legion for the dominos game and steak lunch. It's my mission to give her a crash course and introduce her to many whom I've met since I arrived. One she's settled in and comfortable, we'll watch the local offerings for just the perfect place for her to make into her own home. Deciding on what area you want to reside in is part of the ritual and you can't rush that. There is so much to see, experience, and process. My first visit back to Florida starts this Saturday. Time to see the kids, the grandkids, and my mom who is turning 89 in September. It will also be my first trip with my new visa so there are new procedures I have to learn and follow, a slight amount of anxiety associated with that! I'll be there for a week and then my eldest son, Dan, will return with me for a week to discover the Mexico where his mom lives. I'm looking forward to his time here, and so is he.
Wednesday will be my first time going to the local movie theater. A group of about 6 of us will meet at the theatre to see Mama Mia 2. I'm excited because it's a group outing and I'm told the ticket is only about $2 and the popcorn is cheap too. I'll let you know after the fact.
That's it for today. Thanks for hanging in here with me in spite of my lapses. Blessings and peace!