So I can see that the last time I posted anything on this blog was 2017, announcing the arrival of our newly adopted dog Figaro. Wow! For someone who purportedly loves to write, this has been a dismal two year silence, apparently with my having had nothing to say. That isn’t really the case, life just got in the way. But to be honest, for the last several months it has really been nagging at me that I just up and quit writing anything here. I fully intend to reform! But there have been reasons for it; and rather than – as Arnold would say – beating myself up about it, I suspected that the best thing would be just to sit down at the computer and try to get myself going again and start up in whatever scrabbly fashion I can. Hence this sort of thrown-together post, but at least here I am again. I am hoping that as I get back into the swing of it, news and comments will be more structured. But for now, I think the most important thing is that I just get started again. Sort of swinging at the piñata until you manage to hit something.
So, in brief, a lot has gone in our lives since 2017. Arnold has had some serious health issues – among other things a routine cataract surgery that went badly off the rails last year, almost costing him his eyesight, and supporting him throughout this ordeal has sucked up almost all my energy for pursuits of my own; last year, before the surgery, we managed to do some traveling to Europe, and some fairly substantial work on our house; and it has been difficult for me to pull myself away from all of it and write – or, for that matter, do much of anything creative. My ceramics studio has been pretty much closed up for a year as well.
Meanwhile, sort of like Brunnhilde, I have awakened after this long sleep to of course find that I am a couple of years older, grayer, and increasingly both of us are aware of our own mortality, as is happening to a lot of our friends. We are still in Mexico, still in our house, still planning to stay here indefinitely. The political situation back in the States has become so awful that more than ever now, we’re committed to staying here in our paid-off house in a place with pretty much glorious weather, and a great circle of friends, both Mexican and American. What’s going on in Ajijic and our whole region as Americans flock down here to retire or just to escape, is the subject of another blog post, which in my newly reformed “I promise to keep it up this time” frame of mind, I hope to write soon.
Our much-loved little dog Reina had to be put to sleep in February because she had an inoperable and horrible cancer. Figaro is now the senior dog in the family as he now has a younger sister, an adorable little black terrier mix puppy we adopted a couple of months ago. Her name was Mimi when we got her – and in keeping with our tradition of giving our pets operatic names, we just decided to let her continue as Mimi but we put the accent on the last syllable and called her Mimi from La Bohème. That’s also the way Mimí is pronounced in Spanish, so it was easy all the way around. She has been a lot of fun and Figaro and she are of course inseparable. He just seems to be the kind of dog that needs to have another dog around to play with.
When Reina became so ill at the end, we could tell that he knew what was going on, in that way that dogs have. When Reina went to the vet one day and didn’t come home, he plunged into a real doggie depression, and it seemed to me, at least, that we needed to find another dog soon to bring into the household. Mimi was part of a litter of seven-week old puppies that was dumped at the local cat shelter in the middle of the night – the usual story. She was taken in by a very kind lady who gave her a home until she wasn’t able to keep her any longer due to her own health concerns, and she went up for adoption. I took one look at her picture on Facebook and immediately decided I wanted to check her out….went to meet her and of course came home with her in the car. We got her at about six months (no one knows for sure, because she was a rescue, of course) but she certainly has her forever home as far as we are concerned.
Here’s a picture of Mimi at six months, with yogurt all over her face. Her favorite thing is to lick out Arnold’s empty morning yogurt container.
We lost our Abyssinian kitty Rosina too, also to an inoperable nasal cancer. She was proud and gorgeous until the end, when we knew she had to be in a great deal of pain. So we have leveled off at three cats and two dogs, and we are hoping the kitties – who are actually becoming quite ancient – can hang in there for awhile longer. We’ve lost a few of our best human friends, too – we are of course getting to the age – me in my 70’s, Arnold in his 80’s, where we are beginning to have friends die, sometimes very unexpectedly, which is incredibly scary. It has scared me into starting to exercise with some regularity, working out with a terrific personal trainer. More on that in a subsequent post!
Our adopted Mexican family continues to be a big and fascinating part of our lives. Rosa and Mirella still are cleaning our house; although Mirella is trying to go back to school and become a nurse. Sofia is entering her last year of college to finish her law degree. We sent her to Madrid this summer to go to summer school there and she returned – as we knew she would – a completely changed young woman. She will be 23 this year – and she continues to be a real joy to both of us, with brilliant grades and tremendous self-discipline and focus. Nicol, America and Carlos are growing up very fast and the two girls are now most decidely teenagers, which is a whole different experience from having them around as little kids.
So, there is lots to report and I hope that I will be able to – having hopefully at least broken the ice with a baby “I am still here” post – begin to write again about the changes in our life here, of which there are many with the political developments both here and of course back in the Ancestral Homeland, the U.S.A. Stand by, I am hoping there will be more!
It was especially beautiful today after a big rainstorm last night. Here is the afternoon view of our village, San Antonio Tlayacapan, and Lake Chapala, from my office…