Friday, February 26, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
These sisters share memories in the sun, day after day. One born in 1919, the other in 1922.
They rode to school on horseback, milked cows, gathered eggs, read by oil lamp.
They are mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and great-great grandmothers.
Today they were remembering poems from childhood. This is one of them.
I once had a sweet little doll, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world;
Her cheeks were so red and white, dears,
And her hair was so charmingly curled.
But I lost my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day;
And I cried for her more than a week, dears,
But I never could find where she lay.
I found my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day;
Folks say she is terribly changed, dears,
For her paint is all washed away,
And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears,
And her hair not the least bit curled;
Yet for old sakes’ sake, she is still, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The rain followed us as we passed fields of sugar cane and blue leafed agave used in the distillation of mexcal for tequila. Our two days in Tlaquepaque were filled with visits to all of the galleries and shops. We squeezed through crowds of people during a short tour of the Tonala market on Sunday after checking into our Tlaquepaque hotel. The next day we enjoyed a delicious lunch at El Patio with mariachi music performed by a rousing female band. The lead singer's face ressembled many of the wooden carved angels that we have seen in shops...cherubic with a touch of the devil!
On to Morelia and the Doctor's visit to our hotel room. After two injections John was able to move around a little better. The rain was persistent so we didn't wander too far. Fortunately the beds were covered with eiderdowns because the temperature dipped to about 5 degrees in our unheated, stone built room. The next day we set off to find rain gear and celebrated with our gold lame jackets from Woolworth's. They weren't exactly waterproof but they helped. Morelia is a
UNESCO world heritage site with interesting
architecture. Needless to say, we would have enjoyed our surroundings more on dry days.
Finally, we were back to Guadalajara for a brief overnight stay. This is a beautiful city with a gorgeous cathedral and lots of massive murals by Jose Clemente Orozco. I visited the Government Palace to view his mural of Father Miguel Hidalgo brandishing a flaming torch above the central staircase. It was so overwhelming that I had to rest against the wall to look up at the massive figure! Groups of young schoolchildren were seated in the visitors area of the Hall of Congress, gazing up at another powerful mural painted by this one handed artist.
The rain finally stopped as we headed out of Guadalajara for the return trip to Puerto Vallarta. It was 28 degrees and sunny when we arrived back at Quinta las Pinas.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
We had a special visitor today. He hustled around the pool and made a slow ascent up the stairs behind me, flicking his tongue out to taste the air. It felt as though he had a message for me, like his cousin, the tortoise, on Amorgos. The workers decided that I needed to be rescued so he was encouraged to leave before delivering the message. Maybe he'll be back!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The lifeguard, since his rescue from the pool, has sprouted feet that anchor him to the pavers surrounding the pool. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't rescue a drowning swimmer. As a result, he has been renamed "The Dude". It is a humiliating demotion for him and he has refused to be reheaded!
I attended the second writing class yesterday. No more! For the entire two hours, I wished that I was sitting with my writing group back home. Where were Marg, Maggie, Lois, Joyce, Tracey, Jean and Catherine??? Imagine what we would have accomplished in that two hour period! I really miss Octava!
The pool saga continues. A connection to the pump cracked on Sunday and water was leaking out again. Apparently the solar heating was repaired (again) but there is no warm water coming from above. The pool heater has been repaired and is enroute back to PV from Guadalajara to be reinstalled by Friday. Meanwhile, this feels like a repeat of last year. With a daily temperature of 76 degrees, the pool sits empty.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
We were kidnapped yesterday and taken on a road trip to Bucerias. When we got into the car, we asked to be dropped off downtown for a walk on the Malecon but our hosts asked if we would like to go along with them to order a kitchen cabinet first. Eight hours later we arrived home after visiting galleries and market stalls in Bucerias, a furniture manufacturing shop, a framing store(to frame two new purchases from Bucerias), Walmart(for frozen peas), Costco(for chicken and cake)and Rizo's(for rosemary)! The only thing that we didn't return with was the kitchen cabinet!!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Later, we discovered that the sculpture standing guard at the pool, was laying decapitated at the bottom of the pool. With an ongoing display of lightning overhead, we decided that it would be wise to postpone the rescue of his metal body until the morning.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Yesterday I decided to drop in on a writing course that was being offered in Puerto Vallarta. Dana Zeller-Alexis, a New York based actress, would lead the series of six classes. It sounded interesting.
Arriving early, I claimed a white plastic chair at the table. There were seats for ten participants around the table and a guarantee, when I registered, that the class would not exceed twelve people. In true Mexican style, they kept straggling in. By the time the class began, tables and chairs had been added to accommodate eighteen of us. One woman refused to move from her original seat, which was now in the centre of the grouping, until the instructor pleaded with her. Frowning, with arms folded across her chest, she finally relented. "It is the Mexican way to choose the right seat for yourself!" she stated with an American twang and a toss of her bleached hair.
We started in the usual way with introductions all around. I am never sure what this accomplishes because it is impossible to remember eighteen names. Then we did the circuit again, stating whether we were beginners or experienced writers, in the middle of drafts or published. Once again, I am never sure which category to place myself or why it would matter! The most interesting response came from one of the late arrivals who declared "I've tried everything else, so I thought that I would try writing."
There were four men in the group. One of them sat to my left and became my writing partner when the exercises began. It was simple. Write a sentence and pass the paper to your partner to write the next sentence, back and forth for three minutes. In my Salmon Arm writing group we have a gigglefest version of this exercise at the end of our meetings. Unfortunately, my partner did not see the humor in the exercise or in my first sentence "Myrtle ran from the raging bull." As a matter of fact, he seemed incapable of forming a second sentence. At the 2 1/2 minute mark, when the rest of the group had composed novels, he managed to write "She fell and broke her leg". Time was up!
Dana read several pages from a novel and a short story by Pablo Neruda to illustrate different styles of writing and forms of conflict. Our homework assignment is to create a scene with two characters in conflict, the antagonist and the protagonist, based on a personal experience from this week. As there is never conflict in my life, I am at a loss for words!
After looking at the weather forecast this morning, we decided to change our plans. The night time low in Guadalajara and Morelia was predicted to be around four degrees celsius! Salmon Arm is warmer than that. The next couple of days promise rain and more rain. Heavy rain in Puerto Vallarta but the temperatures remain warm. This is El Nino in Mexico!!