Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back by popular demand

I have been adamant that the time for this blog has passed.  Our summer of exploration in San Miguel has ended and now we live here every day.  Do you tell everyone about your everyday life?  But so many people have asked me to continue the blog -- I am immensely flattered!  Okay, every now and then I'll write something.  If you go to Google Reader you can set up a notification when there's a new post.

We arrived here on Rick's birthday on January 13:  San Miguel is a hell of a great birthday present!  We found the house to be as beautiful as we hoped, but the moving-in process was an unpleasant surprise.  We discovered that we're not 35 any more!  The physical exhaustion of age sure does sneak up on you.

But now that we've been here for almost a month we are almost completely done with settling in.  It's a very comfortable house, with a kitchen, dining room, living room, guest room/TV room, and full bath downstairs, and upstairs a big light room we call the solarium that we're using as our study, our bedroom/sewing room, a full bath, and a half bath.  There's a balcony patio off the solarium and a patio downstairs, and there's a fountain in the garden.  Our house has a Madonna painted on the wall out front, and it's surely not a coincidence that our wall has no graffiti.  We're living in a Mexican neighborhood and haven't yet seen any Gringos living on this street.  The Mexican women and I smile shyly at each other, "Buenos dias, señora," as we pass.

We are gradually reintroducing ourselves to the life of this marvelous town.  Rick has rejoined his Tuesday writers' group and I have rejoined my chorus, with a concert coming up this Friday.  The other day we walked through the Jardin and had not one but two fascinating conversations with people.  One was a spontaneous conversation with an elderly man who turned out to be 85, whose wife of 64 years died last year.  He was here because he'd heard the town's reputation of being the place where people come to reinvent their lives.  My experience of San Miguel is that it's true.

We're having a house-warming party a week from today.  We had thought to invite maybe 20 people but it has just mushroomed.  Some people want to bring others, and we meet new people and invite them.  It will even be catered!  We have made some Mexican friends where the husband has a little cafe for which his wife cooks, and the wife is a musician, a singer.  So they will prepare tapas for the party and she will sing!  Also starting next weekend we will have our first out-of-town company:  my oldest friend Ottie, from junior high school, and her partner Eve.  Ottie is responsible for our life here since it was originally her suggestion that we check out San Miguel.  Because this will be their third trip, we still have in our future the heady experience of introducing the town to people who don't know it at all.  Honestly, I would not believe me when I rave about this place!  It must be experienced to be believed.

Every year there's a ten-day Candelaria festival, celebrating flowers and plants, held in a lovely park, Parque Juarez.  We went today.  Imagine hundreds of florists and nursery owners spreading out their wares along long walkways!

It is early February and there were pots of open tulips and hyacinths, as well as almost every other flower.  Here are mostly cyclamens.

And here is the flower that represents Mexico to me, thanks to Diego Rivera's paintings, the calla lily.

For someone like me from the Pacific Northwest, the weather is just ideal now:  daytimes in the 70s, nights in the 50s.  Short-sleeve weather for Rick and me, but many Mexicans think it's cold.  Well, no wonder oranges grow here.

In our garden we have a lime tree.  Lime is "limon" in Spanish, and our yellow lemons are nowhere to be seen.  Another odd food thing is that we went to Costco in Celaya, a town maybe an hour from here, and bought some sushi.  It turns out that Mexican sushi is not made with rice, but with mashed potatoes! Very weird to be dipping mashed potatoes into soy sauce and wasabi.

Welcome back!



  1. are you kidding? wasabi mashed potatoes are the best! Tom makes them for me each time I plead

    Thanks for bringing the blog back

  2. If you're using Outlook you can track blog entries, too. Glad you have settled back in!

  3. Don't forget to remind people that if they click on a photo, they will see a larger one. Well worth it. And while your lives may be regular retirement living, from the US it's pretty darn exotic, no matter what you call it.

  4. o THANK YOU. i really love hearing about your new life. it brings sunshine and fun to mine.

    fyi i just finished reading Florence Howe's memoir, A Life in Motion. it is nearly 600 pages long. she founded The Feminist Press and is now about 80 yrs old. she kept journals so there is rich detail. a number of struggles familiar to me.

    what i am saying is: we love getting outside our own lives and it is a gift if you share yours. you've got it, Jo & Rick! keep writing

  5. Geez guys, finally got to the blog and now I'm sick with envy. Will send my reservation form in shortly.
    (Actually I did get sea sick reading backward,scrolling down, scroling up to the top of an entry and reading down, then scrolling up, reading down......But worth it.)