Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Signs of Chacala

I have been living in Chacala for quite awhile, with quick trips to the border every six months. The time has just flown by.I will be old enough (and definitely decrepit enough) to start Medicare in August. I assumed I wouldn’t be getting Medicare, partly because I am living here and it’s can’t be used here, and partly because I thought you had to pay a premium for it.I can’t believe it never clicked with me that the 3% or whatever the Feds took out of my check every payday was for Medicare. I did know about the percentage for Social Security, but the Medicare deduction just never clicked.My son DHL’d me some paperwork a few days ago. The mail system/customs situation for stuff coming into Mexico is getting really strange these days. Any I was worried about my Social Security info and extra ATM card never arriving in Chacala.One thing was my letter from Medicare giving me a choice about paying for Part B of Medicare, or just having Part A. It took me about five re-readings of the letter, and some time on the internet to get it that I have already paid for Part A (hospital/nursing home/hospice) with my payroll deductions.But I won’t be signing up and paying for Part B since I don’t expect to be in the U.S. for extended periods. Although you never know I guess. It’s $90 bucks a month or more. Ugh.I never in a million years imagined I would live this long. It was weird enough to start getting Social Security a few years ago, but being on Medicare seems ridiculous. How could I have lived this long? All I can say it, it really went fast.
And I love my life, so I guess I can’t complain.

I really don’t like having an old body though. I feel creakier everyday. My right shoulder hurts most of the time, and if I use it I have sharp pain in it. My most irritating infirmity these days is taking the stairs one-step-at-a-time, going down. I guess don’t have the same balance or something that I used. And after I have been sitting in a chair for more than a few minutes, I have to deliberately stand-up. I don’t remember ever having to think about standing up before.Oh well. I do get lots of exercise, walking, swimming, gardening. I can just imagine how crippled up I would be if I wasn’t moving around most of the day. Of course, at the moment, only my fingers are getting any exercise.I just was looking at the Thorntree/Lonely Planet message board, and found a nice "Trip Report" from a couple who stayed here during Semana Santa. I really like the Thorntree board, and it was fun to read her impressions of Chacala. Especially since she said nice things.

There had been a very strong anti-litter campaign going on in Chacala the last few years, especially among the kids. But the grown-ups are participating took, and the results are amazing. Even the beach was better this year during Semana Santa. There is still a problem with people now using the available toilet facilities, preferring to use the rocks and on the beach and the bushes for their depositing their bodily wastes.There are more and more signs going up around Chacala. There are four signs with about 60 feet along the road for one rental place. It starts to look kind of ugly when there are more signs than bushes in some areas. The new hotel has gone wild with various signs: overhead banners, and signboards on the highway and so on. The hotel signs are very attractive, in my opinon.

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