Saturday, January 02, 2021

The Roller Coaster of Life!

 Hopefully this will post!  Obviously in the last three months, Google has decided to fool around 

with changing Blogpost and the format is completely different

Well we'll see what happens - it is the fitting end to 2020 where nothing was the same, Ha.

Wowza, it has been quite a while since I sat here.  Composed my thought for ya'll and hoped you

would enjoy reading my ramblings.  Again, it has been a good thing that we can't see the future

and have to take it "one day at a time".  Cause otherwise, I would have said, "Stop, I want off of

this roller coaster ride!"

When I last wrote I had reached acceptance that it was going to be a long haul and so best to

enjoy the ride by being patient, finding things that enhanced life and staying in touch with those

I care about via electronic means.  All of that was done.........

Festivities were all virtual!  But, better then nothing.....This was the Independence Day celebration with the iconic symbol of San Miguel, the Parroquia church and the main jardin.

Not even Day of the Dead festivities were held.  In fact, the cemeteries were closed so that there was not a large gathering of people.  Someone caught this man who worked at a vivero (nursery) delivery flowers to someone's house.  Life has its beautiful simplistic moments here.

One day when I was getting cabin fever because I had not been out for months, I got in the car and drove around San Miguel!  When what to my wondering eyes appeared these wonderful fantastical creatures in a row up on the road to  Queretaro.  No, I didn't get out and take these photos but someone did and I'm sure they brought as many smiles as possible to many, many people.  My self included.

On December 18th, two days after my friend Ann Criswell passed from covid, one of my best friends died from a long, long life at 93.  Martha Taylor was like a sister to me and in the last twenty years that I have lived in Mexico, that friendship continued to grow.  In fact any time I went to Houston, I stayed with her.  

We had met in the mid 1990's through the Houston Culinary Guild.  I remember the day we met at a luncheon.  Martha was a quiet woman who only spoke when she had something to say.  Someone was asking her about her latest sojourn to some foreign country and how the culinary world was in this place.  She and this person continued to discuss her adventures.  At that moment I thought, "I don't know this woman but I sure do want to get to know her!"  And I did.  She was a Food Historian, had owned a travel business at some point and grown up in Houston but had the most wonderful open mind about cultures, people and countries that I had never heard of until she told me about them.

She kept a separate apartment at Bayou Bend High Rise so when visiting dignitaries such as writers, other food historians or anyone that she knew in her wide circle came into town, she hosted them.  

On the Acquisitions Committee for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, I was privileged to go with her several times to their sessions on acquisitions.  It was always an inspiring learning experience. 

I could go on and on.  Never did I show up in Houston that Martha didn't have articles for me to read, a list of restaurants for us to visit that were new in town or an exhibit at one of the many museums for us to peruse.  As I said previously, Martha had a huge curiosity about life and everything in it.

To say I will miss her would be the biggest understatement of my life.  I'm so devastated by the loss of this dear friend two weeks ago that today is the first time I have even been able to write about her.

To be sure, there will never be another person in my life who exposed me to so many avenues of life that I had never contemplated.  Martha was family to me and my family was important to her as well.

In late October I heard from the daughter of my dear friend Ann Criswell, that she had been diagnosed with Covid on her birthday.  Ann was living at a retirement home in College Station, Texas where many  people who had lived there passed on.  Ann fought the good fight but succumbed in mid December to covid.  So tragic.  The outpouring of love for this former editor of the Food Section of the Houston Chronicle was befitting all that she did in the thirty-four years as that editor.  Her many, many kindnesses and accomplishments were written about by many many many famous and every day citizens.  She was one in a million. I was devastated to lose this cool woman friend.

Here's a fun, happy photo of myself, Ann, Martha and my dear sister-in-law, Annette having lunch at a relatively new restaurant in The Heights in Houston over two years ago.  It was the last time I was in Houston.  Having this photo of this sweet memory is a gift of the many times we explored new restaurants while in town.

Moving on to what goes on here at Christmas, I am going to leave you with a couple of fun photos.

Until recently, literally in the last month or so, we have had no traffic lights in San Miguel!  BUT, at Christmas last year, due to tourist traffic, the transitos got creative with an extension cord and a lantern to direct traffic.  This photo makes me smile at the ingenuity and ability to solve a problem, Mexican style.  What doesn't show is that when the transitos at Christmas do direct traffic, people usually bring wrapped gifts and prop them up on the sides of their little step stool.  Don't you just love it?

And, last but not least, a Brit or Canadian who lives here part time, started driving his pink VW a few years ago with a few stuffed animals on it at Christmas.  Obviously, from this photo this year, he has expanded the assortment of paraphernalia that the car is covered with.  Everyone, and especially the kids, get a real smile from this!  Christmas is magical and thanks to Colin, it travels around town for everyone to see and enjoy.

                                                         FELIZ ANO NUEVO - 2021



Dan said...

Glad to see you are back writing Babs! All the Best for 2021... hopefully a LOT better than 20! Cheers!

William H Stoneman said...

I have been looking every day for another one of your blog posts. I do hope you have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have cancelled our upcoming January visit and moved it to September, 2021 hoping that we can get the vaccine soon.

God Bless and keep us posted!!!

R. P. said...

We always love when you post on your Blog. Just something comforting about the look of it, as well as, your beautiful smile looking out at us. This was a lovely post. Y'all have a big ol' heart and it beats from your love of life and San Miguel de Allende. Gracias. Onward and Upward. Robert & Colleen

Anonymous said...

Oh Barbara I'm so sorry for your losses. I understand all too well the absolute void of losing friends such as these. From your descriptions of these ladies and time with them I'm sure I would have loved knowing them too. Now we will get peeks of their fabulousness through what they imparted to you.

Such a humdinger of a year, wasn't it? Lord a'mercy. I pray we move on from the unconscious devastation it wrought. Here's wishing you and yours thrive in 2021 - enjoying abundant health and happiness.

When it's safe to do so, let's plan a lunch where we can toast these women!

Barbara Lane

Babs said...

Dan, so good to hear from you and to know you are still "checking up" to see if I am still "afloat" or not. Let me know when you and Mary are heading this way some day!
I need Reese's! Ha, haven't had any since you brought them to me whenever that was!

William Stoneman, whenever you get here, which you will eventually, let me know and we will connect for coffee or a drink! Take care and stay safe

R.P. So looking forward to your and Colleen's return someday. LaFrontera is awaiting us! Take care.

Barbara - Funny, you have been on my mind. I can hardly wait until we can get together, and unrushed, catch up, have a delightful meal and be so grateful for each others friendship. Take care

Retired Teacher said...

Barbara, I am so very sorry for the loss of your friends. Hang in there. We shall get through this terrible pandemic, and once again enjoy life and be with our friends and loved ones. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

And off we go into another unpredictable year. You are correct. We take the days as they come -- one by one.

Babs said...

Thanks Bill. I am "hanging", ha. I do look forward to seeing you and Alejandro at some point in 2021, hopefully.

Steve, what is going on with you? Every time I read your blog you are going north or coming south? Is there a change in your life going to happen? Inquiring minds want to know, ha. But, "one day at a time" is still the mantra!

crynoutloud said...

Hi Babs,
Thanks for reminding me that people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. And you have been very lucky. I hope you meet some new friends and this year, at some point, will be better than last. get back to Houston for that vaccine!

Babs said...

Hi Crynoutloud! Good to hear from you.
I have not only already met some new people but discovered a cousin in
Los Angeles who I have never met or corresponded with! We did so yesterday...

Life is a mystery isn't it? I get up every day just to see what is going to

No intentions of going to Houston where the rollout is a fiasco with people calling for an appointment over 400 times to get an appointment! I will patiently wait til
probably March here to get the vaccine. Hopefully by then things will be organized and my doctors will let me know where to go, ha, and I will gently get jabbed!

I'm avoiding the USA at this point just like the ex-pats who left here last March are avoiding Mexico!

Steve Cotton said...

Nice to see you back. I suspect 2021 is going to be a long slog, and I hope it reflects your inherent optimism -- though I suspect we may look back on 2020 as The Good Times.

Contessa said...

So very sorry for the loss of your friends. You were fortunate to have them in you life.

None of us know what 2021 will bring but it is up to us to make the best of each day. Live it to the fullest. My hope is that we will be able to get back to Mexico in October. The Canadian/US border has been closed for close to ten months. Unheard of. How much longer can this go on?

Babs said...

Steve, I have NO expectations for 2021. Today an international ambassador said it
will probably be 2023 before the whole world is vaccinated. Hence, international travel will still be non-existent or dicey.

2020 for me was a time of "rediscovery and contentment". I feel blessed to have reached that point.

Babs said...

Thanks Contessa! I WAS so fortunate to have had both Ann and Martha in my life whenever I was in Texas and also by long distance via internet and Vonage.

I DO live every day to the fullest of my capacity at this point. Hopefully you will return when it is safe to do so. With so many tourists descending on the Yucatan area right now, I'm afraid there is going to be a shocking surge there as there has been in CDMX.

It CAN go on and WILL go on til EVERYONE takes it seriously and does the necessary steps to stop the contagion. However long that takes..........sadly!

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