Monday, November 30, 2015

Getting Back... Giving Back.. And Putting Up

Busy. When did this become a good thing? Since August, we have been going pretty well non-stop, with time to post a quick little bit on Facebook as we drove or flew or waited for luggage or drove some more. I had always said you would have to work hard to be bored in Oaxaca, for there is rarely a moment, an evening, a morning, when there is not something to draw you into the cobbled streets and music venues, friends with rooftop patios await and then guests arrive. Here we are, November 30th. Christmas decorations are everywhere, the sun is shining, and we have a two week gap between friends visiting. Time to get back to blogging, newsletters, our tour company, our sofa and our Netflix addiction.

(Admittedly it is hard to be truly and with commitment and gusto addicted to Netflix with our schedule, but we make vain attempts at binge watching. We managed two whole episodes of something the other day. Whoa!)

My conundrum is this: Do you want to know what the heck we have been up to since August, or shall I just skip to our failed hotel negotiations and putting up the "family wall"? A bit of both?

I read a quote this morning I want to share: To live in Oaxaca you must do so with all the senses: you must relish it with both your mind and your heart.

Nothing, nothing, nothing could be more true.

August and September were travel months - Canada, the US, France, England - 8 weeks away was way too long. Four was the point where I lamented that I wanted to go home, but we were a week away from going to Paris, France, in order to take this picture:

What did I miss, other than my cats and my own bed and pillow? I missed my neighborhood, my market, my friends, the lifestyle, cooking, the prices, and the culture. But what I really wanted, needed, yearned for, was the smell, and to see "my mountains". I know I have to share the Sierras we are surrounded by, but not seeing them left a little empty space.

And then, mid-October, we were home. We had visited, run the Grande Classique, run a Mud Run, eaten lobster, sold a car, started reno on a cottage, driven our stuff to a storage locker in Laredo, Texas, and then we got on a plane and flew home. And it was good.

Then we left again for Puebla, a city about 4 hours north of Oaxaca, to buy a car. We drove this car back, and then welcomed guests (2 planned and 5 unplanned) for a few weeks. The five unplanned were five Canadian guys riding motorcycles from Canada to Argentina. The trip evolved and they are now headed back to Canada, but they were with us for a week. During Day of the Dead. They became the brothers I never knew I needed, and I was sad and teary to bid them farewell. Back to Day of the Dead. Wow, we had a ton of fun.

And then our next round of guests arrived, and we had more fun. We went to the beach, and snorkeled and swam, and played in the city and saw a trumpet recital and a somewhat awful play in French and a foreign film in German with Spanish subtitles and visited with a friend from Sonora and went to Yagul (my second favorite ruin) and I had café americano while Ralph brought Sue and Ron through Monte Alban. Maybe the very best thing was that I unpacked some of the stuff we had brought from Canada. I put up a bunch of pictures of family and friends. Taking down these pictures was about the only thing that made me sad when we were moving, but I reminded myself - the next time I put them up would be in my house in Oaxaca. And the second best part was they did not fall off the wall during the little earthquake we had.

I will save failed hotel negotiations for later this week...

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