corn dolly

corn dolly
original art work circa 2008

Thursday, November 29, 2012

San Pancho, San Pancho, San Pancho

So much to write.  This morning l woke up hearing the chickens all over the neighborhood crowing, the birds variety of sounds in the palm trees.   As l sit here with my cup of java writing under my palapa patio  l am giving thought of where to begin.  So, l will begin as close to when the adventure of the move South began.  Moving to Southern California is now just about becoming ol hat. Reuniting with a dear daughter, grand-children and their routine of navigating three different freeways to drive Sofia and Matt to school, early morning football games for Matt, cheerleading for Sofia......well l am so thankful for a son-in-law who loves early morning Starbuck coffee as much as l do.  The view of the new San Diego Library in its final stages of completion from the Coronado Bridge is a sight to behold...........the view from the bridge was a constant reminder of how far across the state of california l was all ready.  Southern California, San Diego area closer to the border has such strong links to a more tri-cultural, tri-lingual energy that l enjoy observing and being a part of my adventure.

Joining family and friends l attended the  Change of Command event for my son-in-law on board the USS Halsey on San Diego Bay.  Earlier in the morning it had rained, but by the time we arrived for the ceremony, huge white clouds, blue sky and a magnificent view background greeted us for the ceremony.  Utley flew from San Francisco, Freda flew from New York, other friends of my daughter and son-in-law flew in from other parts of the country.  We, the close family members were escorted aboard the ship to a small private reception before the ceremony. Thankfully, l wore sensible shoes climbing small stairs, elevators, etc., to arrive at the top deck where the reception was being held.  The change of command ceremony was moving.  For years now l to have traveled following these adult children and grandchildren as they have moved and my son-in-laws career in the Navy brought him to this point as Captain/ Commander, Destroyer Squadron One.  After, the early morning reception, we attended the actual event.  The ceremony began with the arrival of the official party, the parade of colors, the national anthem,  guest speakers, awards, and very moving remarks my son-in-law gave  regarding his career.  Now the huge transition for him and the family as he settles into a very different phase in his career on land. After the ceremony another reception, a huge event for about three hundred that included a cake with the names of all the ships under his command,  USS Benfold, USS Higgins, USS Halsey, USS Gridley, USS Stockdale, USS McClusky, USS Rentz, USS Gary.After this reception Utley, Sofia, Matt and l escaped back to the Navy Lodge before the next reception to play Monopoly.  We attended the smaller reception, less formal and more fun at the house for another hundred.  A week later l drove over to Tempe to meet another amigo, Fred who planned to drive South with me.  l had decided earlier this will be my last driving trip across Mexico so l brought a car l will leave here and begin flying back and forth.

The drive South was quick and easy.  We made a short visit/detour to Alamos. The furthur South we drove the warmer it was becoming and by Mazatlan, l was feeling the humidity........Arriving in San Pancho after celebrating Halloween a week earlier in Tempe (those college kids know how to throw a good street party) and Mazatlan..........Fred and l joined  Utley, Julia, and others in celebrating Day of the Dead  celebrations.......and the parties have not stopped........hard to find beach time when l am out every evening eating street tacos, attending a wedding of one of my favorite amigos , listening to wonderful music, or enjoying the James Bond movie, or attending a gallery opening and soaking up the very, very different lifestyle l live while l am here.  Ahhhhhhhhh la vida loca.

Friday, September 28, 2012

THe life of a gypsy

l have a dear friend who becomes nervous at this time of the year when she begins to hear me speak of the voices of the  Sarena's beckoning me  back to the South.  She refuses to acknowledge my gypsy lifestyle and prefers to playfully name me a "hobo."  The truth however, gypsy or hobo my feet begin to itch, my heart begins to long for the smells, sights, friends on that part of the Coast of Mexico l lovingly refer to as "home".  For a long time l refused to believe that l was more than a visitor, but more recently l am acknowledging to myself  that l now live   between two countries. 

Living in two countries at times is  really a challenge.  The first expectation is  the hardest to let go least it was for expectations that   nothing had changed, l was just visiting another country but the longer my visits have become (now  closer to nine years) l realize everything imaginable had changed.  For starters, food, money, language and time.  ln Mexico manana can really mean maybe tomorrow, next week, month or maybe never.  Who knows??  And really who cares??
Suprisingly, everything important does eventually get taken care of.  The limited resources at times offer the opportunity to improvise or make do, and in my world growing up where instant gratification is the norm, it offered two options...........accept the way it is or return to the states. Obviously my choice was clear, l let go of  many of my expectations and the results of living in two countries will continue to be a highlight of my life.

l love my life here also, l phone for repairs, most of the time the repair person show up on time, tools in hand, and importantly with the supplies needed to do the work........very few mananas......l love going to Target just to see how much l really do not need...........Nordstrom Rack is another subject and l cannot or will not ever pass up Marshalls at the border in Southern California.......and living here on the Coast of California, daily being surrounded by the rugged mountains, deer, wild turkeys, hawks  flying   overhead  that l watch from my deck.........

As l have aged l find what has become most, most important to me are the relationships l do have.  Loved ones have died, and l have grieved the loss of family member over needless disagreements so that "my family" has now become very different than what l thought it would is such a journey l am so fortunate to be taking, enjoying, loving.

l leave now for Southern California, then onto Arizona where l will travel to the mountains to paint the fall colors and then begin what will be my final drive to the state of Nayarit, San Pancho........after this drive l will begin to fly back and forth...........ahhhhhhhhhh the life of a gypsy.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

California Coast

l just wrote the most fabulous detailed account of several of the reasons why l find myself on the Central Coast of California and it magically just disappeared.....Shucks............l have to start over about why l so enjoy being here. 

Several weeks ago l attended a concert furthur South at Esalan........The music, food, good people, the incredible site on a mountain top over looking the Pacific is so stunning........and the real plus for the day were the wonderful amigos  l was with.........For the soul, good friends, just bring such joy and peace..........and l am gratefully aware of the gifts of friendships that l have here and have had through the thick and thin of my life cycle.

The weather was neither sunny or foggy, just one of those gorgeous california days with a shade of clouds...........and in the middle of the day a pelican landed in the middle of the group, truly l believe gracing itself with no fear of people giving those of us that were there a bit of mouth hanging.....l mean really how many people can speak about the appearance of a pelican in the middle of a concert?

Another concert just a week ago that l attended was a reunion of ol amigos near the Bay of Monterey in the small coastal village of Seaside.  lt was so cold and foggy l sat under a blanket and had to leave the concert early............and that brings me to the incredible weather one experiences on this wonderful area of Northern California.........we are never toooooooooo hot during the summer months and never, never leave home without a warmer garment.  One never knows from where l am at east of Carmel, what l will find as l approach the coast.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Month of May

l thought that when l arrived here in Mexico the end of December that l would have so much time.  l have found that living in two countries you need time to adjust to the differences.  Those differences here are the language, money, food, weather, living conditions, friends you have not seen or spent time with for six months.........As for time..........from the minute l arrived til this week-end the fun has not stopped.  The only way it does stop is by saying no to the invitations.Now this gypsy has amigos in San Pancho, Sayulita and Vallarta.  With Utleys move to Vallarta a whole new area to play has opened up.....(more about that later).

This season started with a wonderful fun party  when l arrived for New Years in Vallarta.  Actually it is not for everyone but for those who get in the spirit, and are young at heart, Vallarta really knows how to celebrate.l enjoy dancing in the street until the fireworks at midnight pull you to the beach for the display, then its back to dancing..........The Malecon is beautiful and welcoming, food vendors, music, families, mimes, and most recently twenty-one artist were selected to build pongas, paint them with their distinctive style of art.  l was pleased because there were a number of artist l have studied with and a dear amigo from San Pancho, Ariel Sainz was one of the artist selected.  The pongas have been on display on the Malecon and join the wonderful sand sculptures, and other sculptures that line the streets of the Malecon.  Now that the entire length of the Malecon has been turned into a walking street, it is even more delightful.

l have attended a number of fundraisers all for the betterment of the pueblos, the children and any other reason ex-pats can think of ways to spend their money..........really l find the people who come back year after year very generous and willing to pitch in to help the community........The yearly San Pancho festival this year just continues to grow, bringing together musician artist and like pied pipers delighting all the music lovers around this magnificent Bay of Banderas.

Dinner parties at this casa have been a pleasure to be a part of.  Guest arrive early and leave veeeery late.  Conversations, the mixture of amigos, amigas seem to blend comfortably, the meals always prepared by someone who wants to cook are gourmet.  This year l brought my espresso machine, so its late night lattes, for this gypsy who basks in her element when good friends are all enjoying themselves.

l participated with a group of women  in an art show that we all organized  this year.  Several of the women who were in the show and l have painted  together since my arrival here in Mexico.  l find now my interest has shifted.........after attending several rather unsuccessful art workshops.........l am finding that l want to paint alone quietly, paint outside, follow the light, paint at my own pace and be able to be more creative.  Possibly that is  why l approach the art l create as a multi-media artist, l grow bored with the stagnant,  the personalities grow weary and the gypsy in me grows restless, seeking what is next, around the corner...........

What is next and around the corner is a retrospect of the creative work of the  artist Ariel, l mentioned earlier.  A group of us, Carmen, Tim, Utley, Roberto, Gloria, myself will host this retrospect  as a community event at the Cultural Center Friday evening here in Sayulita...........Saturday, join Utley and others at the Vallarta Film Festival to be present for the viewing of a political video Ariel entered  for the Festival.  He will be a receipient of an award for the video.........Sunday night with dear amigos,amigas, Julia, Carmen, Utley, Tim, Roger, Linda will be  attending a huge Vallarta fundraiser partially hosted by the American Consulant for all the non-profits along the Bay......l attended last year and it was a very entertaining evening with performers, food, drinks, fireworks, music and at least 500  attending............and after all that.............l will have one more party before l leave this magnificent house on the side of the mountain that overlooks the bay and has brought me so much pleasure, peace, joy............such a gift................

My departure date is around the 21st or so of May...........As l start to pack up l realize how much l carry around back and forth between the two countries...... but l also find that l do like some of my own  familiar  "things" that l am comfortable with...........however Entre Amigos in San Pancho has added a thrift store and l have hauled several huge bags over there all ready.................and so goes the time from December to May.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life on the Coast of Mexico

lt is mid day and sunny.  All morning l have observed small boats coming  into the bay.  Over the week-end Sayulita hosted a surfing contest and the town was filled with young spirited people everywhere.  l am trying my hardest to be original  writing this  about why this place makes my heart sing but sometimes words are just that ........... words.........writing about deeper feelings are difficult to express.  lf l complain about unpaved roads, well we have those in California also in the Upper Carmel Valley and Big Sur Coast. lf l complain about resources or lack of l only have to drive to Vallarta.  l guess l really do not have alot to complain about, so it must just be part of the human condition or possibly in the soul of a gypsy.  The more settled and comfortable l feel here with all the activity  the more l long to hit the road.  l have several ideas about where l want to go but for now, doggone that view of the bay of Nayarit has mesmerized me again, the light is shifting, the palm trees are slightly, lazily moving with the breeze, even the birds seem to be taking a siesta.  All is well on this beautiful piece of the coast of Mexico.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year from Riveria Nayarit

Amigos, this gypsy has had so many, many adventures that if l did not sit down and write about them today l would find myself in the next month.  Who ever said January was a down month after the holidays  sure is'nt  one of my amigos.  l arrived in the South just like any good travelin gypsy would, all wordly possession in a car load  filled with traveling buddy for this trip was sure there would not be enough room for him in the car for the trip here.

Driving South from Phoenix to San Carlos the weather was still cool, but after a wonderful night spent there the weather began to change and arriving in Mazatlan it was downright very cool.........The heat was merely the heat of the day, but by evening it was coooooold............After Mazatlan, l began to smell the air of San Blas, Las Varas, Rincon De Guayabitas, San Poncho, Sayulita............home..........home...........home............As l sit here writing, a flock of birds all in single row file fly by the huge bay windows  and the view beyond of the bay though palm trees...........l have been so distracted by the view while l was throwing pillows around (for the most dramatic affect) playing house, bringing out lavender, sage, spices and spreading around the  house where l am now at, well a gypsy could easily clip her lifestyle and just sit here and never get tired of the view......last night the full moon casting a path all across the bay was awesome............l could close the blinds and that certainly would stop all this distraction of mother natures bounty...........but sad to say l am not going to do  that.  l will just have to learn how to balance the mesmerizing view with the busyness of partys, dinners, music, art, shopping, oh yes the beach.........and  the wonderful is a bit muggy, l can straight haircut is having a mind of its own and my natural curl is taking over........

New Years  week-end was a blast.............My amigo Utley introduced me to New Years in Vallarta three years ago  just to see their wonderful firework display.  We accidently discovered one of the best kept secrets about partying in Vallarta and that is the wonderful street dance in old town.............three hours of dancing for us,  the wonderful firework display on the beach at midnight, dinner earlier in one of our favorite retarantes (discovered by Julia) dessert (in another restaurant) and lots of water (dancing works up a thirst)..this gypsy and the gang (Utley, Fred, Julia) all had smiles, smiles, cause the music was soooooooooo good, the people all friendly, having a wonderful time........l needed a taxi to go back to the condo where we were feet could not have carried me one more day..back to Sayulita (brunch in Bucerias at another favorite restaurant on the beach) and San Poncho where l have been reuniting with ol amigos and my travelin buddy Fred  who has fallen in  amor with  San Poncho, julia lives there.

When one lives in a bit of paradise gypsys need to give credit where credit is due, after all even my imagination at times cannot whip up what happens in real vida............l was driving back from the pueblo on the road to Casa Arroyo (where l am at) minding my business, driving slow (watching out for run away cars from above, small children, dogs, etc., and that is why l saw the really long "sorta vine" move in the road............beautiful brown, black, maybe some green.........realized it was a snake......l think l will put up a sign at the bottom of the road saying, Caution:  Snake Crossing.........but a few days later Utley points out the view of what is happening from his deck........two iguanas doing the wild thing, of course the male strutted on his little fat legs up the road afterwards.............the pajaros............oh my goddess..............l thought somebody was being choked to death, nothing could croak that loud.......but it was just a group of birds making their sounds for all of us to enjoy, the colors, the abundance of los pajaros such a delightful touch to all the other animales here.

The music here is outrageously goooooooood.  Live music everywhere,  take last night for another just sorta fall into the scene.  Began the evening with dear amigos eating a delightful dinner of sushi, then going to listen to Dave, Joe and Allan playing at one of the local restaurants...........and several musicians visiting the area  spontaneously asking Dave during the break if they could play a couple of songs........again best darn music, enough for this ol gypsy to start the toe tapping, the belly rolling............Besides Mexicos music scene being great, Cuban music is everywhere..........Enough writing, the view is distracting me once again.  Shucks.............