Saturday, November 29, 2014

A10 Day Trip Back to Mexico

First morning back it was cold. And foggy! We couldn't see beyond the arroyo edge. It was as if the entire Parras Valley and the mountain range beyond had disappeared.

On Friday, we went to Torreón, but were unable to complete the visa renewal because one of our papers was incorrectly worded.

Back at Perote, we spent the weekend in the winery. By late Monday, most of the wine had been racked.

My big job on Monday was to see to the incorrect paper. That took about five minutes. I spent most of the day enjoying the garden

On Tuesday, we went back to Torreón. Getting the visa renewal application on file went very quickly, but there was not enough time to complete the application for our permiso para salir y regressar. I faced a huge crowd at the bank and when I returned to the immigration office, it was already closed. Not willing to face the ride back to Parras knowing we would have to return the following day, we opted to stay in Torreón that night. Without a chane of clothes, toothbrush or hairbrush, we made a pretty sorry lot the next morning. However, my tale of woe must have made an impression because the officer was able to process our permiso in an hour and a half instead of the usual three day minimum. Our decision to spend the night actually saved us two trips! 

The rest of the week we enjoyed almost perfect weather.

Omar came on Thursday and really spiffed things up. We got a couple of new items in the cactus garden. A tree to replace the sotol that died and a viejito cactus.

The aloe was showing off.

Pecan trees were turning gold

Pomegranates hung in the trees lonely and already ravaged by the birds

Stanley made himself busy cutting firewood

We had some good meals on the grill

And Solo Vino and I had some good walks.

His devotion to me is one of life's great mysteries. After being away for months at a time, my return is always cause for celebration and he stays close by until I leave again. If I am in the front of the house, he is on the front patio; if I am in the back of the house, he is on the back porch; if I am outside, he is never more than a few feet away. When we leave the house to visit friends, he always assumes he is invited, and because he is so lovable and well behaved he generally is on the guest list. He deserves a much more stay-at-home family, but I am grateful for his devotion. 

The vineyard tried to match the gold of the pecan trees, but the vines just looked tired.

The garden was teaming with flittering goldfinches.

And butterflies were everywhere.

Oranges are taking their good old easy time getting ripe.

Tumble weeds are collecting.

One afternoon we had monarchs in the garden.

Everyday the trees were more golden.

The bodega got new doors while we were there.

Lots of interesting insects . . , some of them were quite lovey dovey.

Both the insect and the spider look pregnant to me. Oh, goody!

Our time in Mexico was marred by the terrible news of missing students and their awful deaths. So much corruption. So much sadness. Not nearly enough will to change!
The LA times had an excellent article.

On Friday afternoon a bee stung me. More on that later.

I spent the Saturday with Estela. We went around town delivering certtificates of participation to all the artists who participated in the Alianza Art Contest last August. We were also able to make contact with some key artists who seem very interested in coordinating a gallery. I have my fingers crossed. Meanwhile, I cannot thank Estela enough for all she has done to promote art in the community. Muchas gracias, mi amiga!

When we got back to the house, Yoyo, Tencha and their daughter Annai were there . . . already sampling the white Zinfandel Annai taught us how to make last summer. What a great way to wind up a visit back to Mexico.

On Sunday, I accomplished three things. I sneezed all day, we finished racking the wine, and I managed to ready the house for our absense again. Putting all that together was very interesting.

We left on Mondday morning just as the sun was coming up.

I assume Sunday's sneezing fit was a prelude to what followed. On Monday's bus ride, I developed a raging rash that itched like crazy. First thing Tuesday morning, I was on the phone asking for an appointment to see the doctor. He prescribed a steroid and Benadryl cream. I wouldn't say it has worked like magic, but thankfully I am much better. I have some choice names for the bee that got me. Most of them are unprintable.

We will be here in south Texas for a couple of months. We've already had several meals with friends and Stanley is making the garden here look beautiful. I'm not surprised. He always does.

Please keep Mexico in your thoughts and prayers. My Mexican friends are facing some difficult decisions and there seems to be no Pancho Villa on the horizon.