Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy Fourteenth Anniversary to Me in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!

In March, 2001 I arrived in San Miguel to live full time in this very house and property.  I found and rented the property in August 2000, never imagining that I would be moving here full time anytime in the near future.  Destiny took over and I was here in seven months having sold my business, my home and 99% of my possessions!  It has definitely been quite an adventure.

Learning the ins and outs of the system.  Where to pay the utility bills?  How to find a maid and a handy man? What to do when the electricity went off and didn't come back on for hours?  Same with telephone, only some times for days.  Where to go for groceries since just about the only grocery store smelled like dead fish?  Oh so many little things that were challenges.  All have been resolved.

Much has changed in Mexico and San Miguel in the passing years. Some of the greatest advice I was given was, "If you live alone, you need a handy man".  ABSOLUTELY true.  And, "Find a maid - she will be your introduction to the Mexican culture for every day living".  Also very true.  Originally it was Josefina and her brother Carlos that I found by just asking around. They helped immensely in making the connections and figuring out the ins and outs of daily living, thankfully.  Josefina is still with me and still responsible for taking care of not only the houses but me, at times.  Her whole family, including cousins and her distant relatives have had a part in my life also.

A lot of expats moved here about the same time I did.  It was a great core of people  Sadly about 95% have left.  Either moving back to their previous areas of the USA or else going to the "happy hunting grounds" in the sky.  They are missed.  We had a good group.  Home parties reigned.  Nothing fancy - pot luck on the patio or whatever.  Fun times - great friendships.

The electricity seldom goes off.  The telephone service is now excellent.  The water is no longer turned off for periods of time and we have two excellent grocery stores along with many, many specialty stores for cheeses, olive oil, baked goods.  You name it, we have it! Even an organic market on Saturdays!

I don't think it matters if you move across town, as I did several times in Houston, or move to a foreign country, one still needs to find a new laundry, a new car mechanic, doctors, hairdressers among other things.  The nitty gritty of every day life.  Of course, throw in the language and cultural differences and then, as I like to say, it was definitely an adventure.

Do I have any regrets?  Sure, a few.  Do I regret moving to Mexico?  No.  In some ways I think Mexico saved my life.  The pace, the simplicity, the graciousness and kindness of the people, have all been things that have contributed to a tranquil, stress free existence.

Then there are the intangibles.  The clean, clean air.  The blue, blue skies.  The beauty to be seen in every direction.  And, the sense of well being that comes from all of these things.

It just seems amazing that I'm beginning the fourteenth year.  It certainly has whizzed by.  It has never been dull, but simply tranquil. 

Do I have fourteen more to look forward to?  I doubt it sincerely.........However, "living in the moment" makes that first question irrelevant.

The photo above is the status of the wall with the bougainvillea that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  Isn't it amazing how much it has grown in two weeks?  Patience is paying off - as always.


Todd said...

Happy Anniversary!!

Shannon said...

Congratulations Barbara, happy anniversary! The wall is looking great!

Christine Barrely said...

Glad to see your
wall, it made me so sad !

Lizita said...

congratulations! I wondered if that was the same wall. Looks beautiful now. Viva Mexico!

Babs said...

Thanks ALL! I think the growth of the bougainvillea is amazing as well as the fact I've been here this long.

Tancho said...

Congratulations on your commitment and embracing life in Mexico. Some people just can't handle it and move back. We have seen a few run back with vigor simply because they were wound up too tight.
Mexico is a great country as long as you don't try to live it like you did NOB.
We built the house in 87 and have seen so many changes in such a short time, from getting 5 OXXO stores to traffic lights meanwhile other things still stand still.
I can't wait to see what the next decade will bring.

Babs said...

Thanks Tancho. Your area of Mexico is where I would live, if I didn't live here. It is so beautiful and peaceful.
Luckily we don't have traffic lights yet. Just policeman standing on stools!
To me, there have been more changes in the last 15 years then in the 40 years I've been working or being in Mexico. It all appears positive to me. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! It is amazing how time flies, isn't it? And I'll bet by the end of the summer that your new wall is completely covered.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we can see dirt again, but nothing really green, never mind blooming.

Babs said...

Kim, I was thinking about our phone conversation......Do you have a Guia Roja road map? It is a book and worth its weight in gold for getting around Mexico.
I'm sure you're aware of this but if you DO come down 57, you'll only be 30-40 minutes from SMA. Don't you think you should stop and spend the night at a little hotel/motel? I know the perfect one. Quinta Loreto which is where I used to pull the truck into many, many years ago. It's right in centro and inexpensive. Your truck will be protected.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Felicidades, Barbara! The changes in the past three decades in Mexico have been amazing, haven't they?

Tom said...

Wow! Time moves by quickly. I know you love it there. So glad we have gotten to know you. We need to connect next time you are back in

Babs said...

Jennifer, I first came to Mexico forty years ago this year! It's like a whole other world now...and I'm so grateful I was able to experience the country forty years ago, thirty and twenty years ago. I still, every now and then, if I'm off the beaten path, find some of the things from forty years ago but not very often.
Today, for instance, I was told about a village in SLP called Tamasopo. NEVER heard of it before. My oh my, its lovely - have to add it to the list! Some day soon.

Babs said...

Tom, you and Moira have enriched my life so much! Our trips to Xilitla, to the prisons to buy prison art and our week in Oaxaca are all wonderful memories I cherish. Then, of course, there were the EyeOpener Tours in the USA. Yes indeed, I'll contact you when I'm up that way again.
Stay in touch.

Steve Cotton said...

I have only been here 5 years, but, like you, I am amazed at the changes Mexico has undergone in that time. And I may be going through a few changes of my own.

Babs said...

Your fellow bloggers are laying odds on whether that will happen or not.

BTW, today I heard of a new place that I never knew existed. It's in SLP and the town is called Tamasopo. Look it up on your search engine. A place to see.......with cascadas that are magnificent!
Who knows where you'll end up?

Retired Teacher said...

May you have many. many more happy years in San Miguel. And the wall looks great.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

Indeed, I do have the Guia Roji, both the highway map for the entire country, as well as a book of maps of DF. As for where I stop, it'll depend on the time, how many miles I've driven, etc. But I'll definitely check out that place you mentioned. And of course, I hope to spend some time in SMA.


in B

Brenda Maas said...

Happy Anniversary and hope you enjoy many more years in Mexico.

Babs said...

Thanks is good.

Dean Wylo said...

Happy Anniversary!

I've read your blog from the start and have learned so much from you. You inspire in so very many ways - a true example of How to Live Life!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Babs said...

Gosh Barbara, thank you for reading and commenting. All of the people who read the blog have enhanced my life and brought so many interesting facets to my life that I never imagined.
Look forward to meeting you some day!

Dean Wylo said...

Meeting you would be lovely. I hope one day we will!