Sunday, June 01, 2008
many was this is for you all as I have had my say. What I would like
from this is for people to met up, have few snacks, tell some stories
and have enjoy the company. If others want add something else a I
pretty open to that. Just remember that Andee was a rather informal
person and in her last years came to require the truth from those
around her no rosy stories unless they are read roses.
So here is the deal Russ and Dee, old friends, have volunteered their
house and weather bearing we will meet up at 1:00 for a bit of a
Here is what you can do:
-Well this is a potluck after all. What would Andee want to eat?
-Think if there is something that you would like to say.
-Plants not cut flowers. If you feel the need to bring flowers please
bring something that you can take home with you to plant.
Here is what will be there:
-Some tables and chairs
-A couple of cases of real Mexican Coca Cola for a toast.
-Assorted picnic tableware
-me, Tom and Russ.
1:00 People and can show up and snack/eat a bit
1:30 I'll make some introductions of the various areas of Andee's life if needed
I'll say few things and then others can if they wish
2:00 Then people can chat for a while and eat some more.
In the mean time I would ask you all to do something good for the kid,
cat or plant closest to you and have Coke.
All of that said here is why I have not said anything about memorials.
We are each of us memorials for Andee. She effected each of us for
good or bad in many way and changed many of us. So we are each living
memorials of Andee just as those that we effect will be memorials for
us when we are gone, dead or just moved on to the next town or
country. This is a chance for celebrate Andee.
Contact me for the address and if you have any questions
Monday, April 07, 2008
All of that said here is why, while I am happy that people want to do things, I am not taking part in any of it. We are each of us memorials for Andee. She effected each of us for good or bad in many way and changed many of us. So we are each living memorials of Andee just as those that we effect will be memorials for us when we are gone, dead or just moved on to the next town or country.
So I try to add a little fearlessness in to my day. Trying things that would have hesitated at before for fear of embarrassment or danger. This summer if things go well I will go sailing out of sight of land and this scares me but I did not even blink when given the opportunity. Andee was riding a bus through Mexico when someone said "Hey you should go to Chacala" and look what happened with that. So my memorial is to be better at saying "Yes, why not" when something new comes up. Maybe it is not reaching out for something new but it is a step in that direction. I hope that any one reads that might try to find the something in themselves.
As to the June 14 event what I am things is some thing simple in the park or a back yard. A bit of a potluck (fruit salad is a must), some good Mexican Coke (the carbonated stuff in a bottle)
, some words from whom ever wants to say some (I do), and some interesting conversations and stories about Andee.
thanks for your time
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Things that I have said that I will do and have not yet done:
- print out pictures of Andee for the ladies in Chacala. At this point I think that I will use the Picture Bliss sent me. It is the only in the picture posting that did not note who it was from. Sorry Bliss.
- Get together more details about the June 14th thing.
- Reply to a number or messages for people about Andee. Sorry about that you have written. It is odd I can dispassionately deal with all the rental ones with ease but for those that were closer it is hard for me to even read them. I will get back to you.
- Scan Photos of a younger Andee and post them. I have started looking thought the picture books but she did a good job purging herself from them.
- Scan the drawing that she did.
Thanks all for your thoughts.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Some people have been asking about Gracie, Andee's cat. Until now I did not have good news or really any news . I do now have good news to tell you. But first I need to tell you the full story of why I did not have any news.
When ever I look at my cat (Putty) I think about Gracie. I knew there was noway I could have gotten her home. It was just too overwhelming. It was selfish of me but I had made the decision going in that I was going to try to take care of the people and that Gracie was going to lose. While I was there Tom and I feed Gracie the food that Andee have left and a couple of can of tune that we had picked up on the way up from PVR. We both knew that things were probably going to get bad for her and our unspoken goal was to fatten her up as much as we could. The morning that we left I did something that I felt bad bad about doing but it was all that I could do for Gracie at that point. I put the bag of food at in front of the of the American that had come at Andee's call for help and gotten her to the hospital. She had already done so much for Andee and here I was asking her to do more. I really felt bad about doing that but it was all I could do for Gracie. My little pathetic excuses were that Gracie did not like men very much and would only grudgingly come near me when I was there down there in October and that my cat hates the very concept of other cats existing.
This weekend I got a message from this person with news about Gracie and I want to share it. I am going to quote it here.
A few days after you left to return home, two women moved in next door to me at my room in Aurora's. They were from Denver. I told them all about Andee, her transition, and of course introduced them to Gracie. We were going to walk to town together. "Okay," I said. "But I need to feed Gracie first. Come with me. You cn see where she lives. I only feed her back at her house because I hope it gives her some measure of comfort that at least one thing hasn't changed. She cries every night for Andee." As we walked over to Andee's to feed Gracie, we talked. The women said that they were from Denver. So am I! What a coincidence. Well, now that you have met Gracie, if I could make all the arrangements, would you be willing to take Gracie with you on the plane and deliver her to the woman who runs the Cat Care Society?
"Sure," they said. "The woman who runs it lives down the block from us." Okay, you're it! How long are you here? "We leave Chacala in two days, back to the states in three."
"From Vallarta? What airlines?"
"I'll find you," I said.
I had to spend that night in a different town. I left the women a note on the bag of cat food and said, "Would you please feed Gracie tonight and tomorrow morning?"
When I got back the next afternoon, the women had left me a note of good-bye with the name of the hotel they would be at in Vallarta.
I looked up the policy online for Frontier Airlines - traveling with a pet. They also addressed bringing home a pet from a foreign country. Airline approved pet carrier, health certificate and rabies certificate from a vet, ticket to ride.
I drove to La Penita and found a carrier at a vet's office but he explained that he was not certified to issue a certificate of health. Probably in Vallarta, he said. The day was getting away from me. The women would be flying from Vallarta the next day. Time was getting short.
God bless the internet. It took a few hours but I actually found a woman down in Los Ayalas who does animal rescue. I emailed her, beginning with, "I need help and FAST!" Of the many emails I sent out, she was the only person who responded with, "I can help. Call me ASAP. She called a vet she works with in Bucerias, 12 miles north of Vallarta, who agreed to see Gracie and me at 10 am the next morning, normally his day off. The women's flight was at 3, check in at 1pm.
Gracie had been my constant companion all week so I wasn't worried about catching her. Getting her into the carrier was more challenging.
At 8 the next morning, after two failed attempts at getting her into the carrier, I thought, "I need a strategy."
I walked down to the market and bought a can of tuna. I got Gracie to come into my bathroom in my room at Aurora's with the tuna and a little bowl of milk. I sat on the floor and talked to her and stayed close to her while she ate the tuna and drank her milk. Then I let her walk back outside, purposely ignoring her. I was hoping she would pee and poop. My target time to leave was 9am.
About 5 mins of 9, Gracie wandered back into my room and into the bathroom to see if I had given her any more tuna. Bless you, Gracie, I thought. I shut the bathroom door, picked up Gracie and the carrier. Facing her away from the carrier so she couldn't see it coming, I gently backed her into it as I set it down on the floor. I'll never know if it was the tuna, the milk, facing backwards instead of forward march or just the vibe that this is it, Gracie, your one big shot at a new home so don't blow it, but Gracie was calm and cooperative about being inserted into the carrier. Off we went in the truck to el veterinario in Bucerias.
A half hour of examination, one rabies shot, a little collar with a bell and one leash later, Gracie and I were on our way to the airport. I had not been in contact with the women since they had left Chacala but I had their flight information. When they arrived at the Frontier check-in counter, I was waiting. I held up the carrier with Gracie, who was curled up safely inside, her eyes wide as she watched all the commotion around her in the airport.
"I knew you'd be here," one of the women said.
"You bet," I said, "I brought your cat!"
The women then said that they had talked about it and had decided NOT to take Gracie to the Cat Care Society and my heart just broke. Instead, they explained that they had fallen in love with her during their time at Aurora's and they were SO GLAD I had found them at the airport because they had decided that if I showed up with Gracie, it was meant to be and they would take her home to live with them. I waited in line with them, bought Gracie a ticket to her new home and said, "Bye, sweet Gracie. Andee is very happy for you." I drove back to Chacala and cried when I saw Gracie's little dish on my bathroom floor.
I just thought you'd want to know. Gracie got a good home.
This took a huge load of mind that I had not fully realized was there. I had made plans for what to do with Andee's things when this time came but I just did not know what to do with the Gracie. So I hoped that as with a lot of other things that happened in this process that the universe would provide and something good would happen. This is not my normal way of dealing with things but it was all that I could do.
Gracie had one batch of kitten before Andee got her altered. She was very proud to have found homes for all the kittens. I just want to reach out and rub there little bellies.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
June 14 (a Saturday)
In Spokane, WA
Potluck with a focus on desserts
Actual location (I need to investigate park permits)
What we will do.
There is some talk of dedicating a tree
What I need from you all is some numbers. Send me an email with "Invite" as the subject and the names a count people coming. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Photo by: Allen Hardman
Photo by: Robert Quallie
Roger G. Iverson
"This picture was from Feb. 2005 one evening waiting for the sunset. As she refused to have her picture taken, I had to sneak this shot."
Photo by: Daly Mike
There is no order to this list. Each and everyone has been important to me getting through this.
Tom for with out a thought on hearing said get us tickets. For doing the hard work of cleaning out Andee's home and distributing her things. I know this must have been hard for because he needs to grieve to. His support made it possible for me to get things done. He is still grieving and one of my great regrets is that I do not really know how to help him do this.
Russ and Dee for there support when I called them. I am sorry to say that I will be leaning on them once again come June.
Bill and family for being to one to call me with the news. That it came from a voice that recognized meant so much. I have always feared getting that call. For picking up and dropping us of at the airport so that there was never a worry about how we were going to get there.
The man at the funeral home that delivered her ashes to me at 11pm when I go to Chacala. For driving me to all the places that I needed to go and get the magic stamps and signatures so that I could get Andee's ashes back out here.
They the man who explained that the town was not used to cremation and that they need some sort physical presence of her. This lead to my spreading some of her ashed in the water off of the beach that she loved. Now they can always she her there.
Kate for keeping me updated on that monday about what was going on down there. For taking it in stride when I asked about funeral issues and understanding what I needed done. Most of all for translating for me so that I could tell those that I could otherwise only communicated with via tears the deepness on my thanks.
Sandy for responding to Andee's call for help and getting her where she needed to be and staying with her a the hospital. It says something about each of them that they had only know each other for 11 days.
Concha and Aurora because of them Andee did not die alone. She died with friends. For this alone I am in their debt. They also helped the town grieve for her by organizing a service for her. This was something that I was worried that I did know how to do.
There are many other's some who lent me a shoulder to cry on, some who helped me take care of electronic details and other things. Those that have written to me about Andee and those that have posted wonderful stories about her. I have only begun to read these as it is hard for me.
After I had got the call and had made the arrangements to get down to Chacala I had to leave the house to get keys made so that someone could come and take care of my cat. I leave the stereo on when I am gone to keep the cat company ( it's warm, she sits on it, it is her friend) a song by an Artist called Piney Gir came on called "Little Doggie". The artists has a link on her site where you can hear the song at Piney Gir. If you click the play link next to the track about half way down the page you can hear the song. I lay on the floor crying with my cat for quite a while after that. Yet another stranger who's kindness carries me though this even now.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
When she moved down to Chacala we knew that this is where her last moments would be. We did not know when it would be or what they would be like but this is where it would happen. The people that were with her in the end were friends both that had know her for years and some that she had meet days before. I am grateful that they were there and have told them so. They have told me directly and through my father of her last moments. As described I can only think that in the end she first fought the darkness and then choose to except on her on terms in the end. Accepting on her terms sound a lot like my Mother.
After she died, as is traditional here, her friends stayed with the body till she was taken to the crematorium. Some one has commented that it seemed like the entire town of Chacala showed un Las Varas where she was. That would not would not surprise she was truly love here in her adopted home. They then held a church service for her. I am told it was beautiful but there are no pictures as everyone was so used to Andee being there for every important moment to take the picture that no one thought bring a camera. This is yet another whole that Andee will leave in the world. Andee would have loved the service were she not the focus of it. When I arrived I went to see the flowers and it was beautiful.
Andee had left it to me what was to happen after her death. At that point she would not need her body any more and it was more important to take care of those that were still alive. I had discussed with her my plans for her the last time I was down here in October. My plan is/was to spread some of her ashes in the water at places that were significant to her in mine and others opinions. It is to my great embarrassment that Chacala it's was not initially one of those places. I can not imagine how I could do that. This is the most significant place in her life. This is where I think that she came closest to be at peace with herself.
This morning I will go out on fishing boat and place some of the ashes in the water were they will continue to traveling on. Later in the afternoon I walk into the water at the beach and at some of her to the beach so that those that live here have a place stand and look and know that some part of her is still here. After that that want can sit around a have coke or a beer and eat chips and salsa.
The rest of her ashes will be spread by myself and Tom in various other locations in the states. Sometimes after a gathering and sometimes just one or both of us. When there is an event I will post and let others know.
Right now the stars are fading and and sun is casting it's light from behind me as I look out over the town and to the beach. The roosters have been crowing for a few hours and the town is slowly waking up. I know Andee will be missed by the people here and everywhere. I am sad that everyone did not have the chance to say good by to her that I did. Every time I came was just one more chance to say to say goodbye knowing that this could be the last time. Each was an extra visit that was precious because she could have easily already been gone. In October it was that last time. I will miss her. We will miss her.
Remember this was her paradise and she got spend here last days, years. finding peace and happiness in herself. As I have said before what more could we wish for our self.
Take care of yourself and in the mean time I would ask you all to do something good for the kid, cat or plant closest to you and have Coke. I think that she would like that.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I sent this out as an email this on Monday after I personally notified a the people that I could. I will try to find others to send this too but I would ask you to send it on to anyone that you think I missed.
We should not feel to much sadness at this ending. We should fell happiness that Andee got to spend extra years, that she did not expect to be living, in what was to her a little paradise. She had many friends in the town, Chacala, and meet and gained friends for all over the world. Over the years Andee has touched and helped many of us in our lives. As I said to her more that once "I am who I am because of you and I am pretty happy with that." She tried to do good things to the world whether that was the glorious plants, the work she did with those that needed help, and just the people around her.
Andee was a private person about her difficulties but I think that at this point she would want it known why she moved down to Mexico, if she did not well I am sure she would have forgiven me. For a few years before she left, to Mexico, she was having issues with her memory and this drove her find a place that she could live and not be to burdened by this. Chacala provided this place for her and allowed her to live her last years as had she wanted. We should all be so lucky.
I will be traveling down to Mexico tomorrow (Tuesday) to take care of things. Tom my father and her ex-husband will be traveling with me. Andee largely left it up to me with what to do with her remains and I had discussed my plans with her on my trips down there. She will be cremated and we will spread some of the ashes there in Chacala. I also plan to spread some in a few locations in eastern Washington in the spring, some time around late June.
As to celebrations we all know Andee would not want a big fuss to be made, we had to sneak birthdays parties on her after all. I do hope to arrange something for June when I spread the last of her ashes. I do not know what this will be or where but I will let people know. In the mean time I would ask you all to do something good for the kid, cat or plant closest to you and have Coke. I think that she would like that.
To all of her blogger friends I will be updating her blogs in the next few days to let every one know. I plan to leave most of them online.
I can be reached at email@example.com.
Monday, January 07, 2008
There are other rentals with websites in Chacala.
Just Google "Chacala" "Rentals".
And this one for info about getting from the P.V. airport to Chacala. Chacala Nayarit.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Isla Guy, ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
and Canuck in Cancun ( email@example.com)
posted this announcement today:
Announcing the first ever Latin America Blogger Meeting!
My friend and fellow blogger, CancunCanuck, and I (Isla Guy)invite all of you bloggers in Latin America to join us for a weekend of fun and chat here on Isla Mujeres! (yes, this does include Caye Caulkerr and a certain La Gringa in Honduras!)
We are in the beginning planning stages but right now we think there will be a meet and greet reception on Friday, sightseeing, time at the beach, dinner and drinks (and maybe dancing!) on Saturday. There would be a farewell breakfast on Sunday for those of you that can bear to leave the island!
The proposed dates are April 17 - 19, 2008.
If anybody needs help with booking hotel rooms, just let me know. I will be glad to provide information on various hotels in all price ranges. I might even be able to swing a group discount if you all decide to stay at the same place.
So shoot me an email if you are interested and I will keep you advised as to further details. As the RSVP’s come in, I will list on the sidebar who will be attending.
If you know of any bloggers who do not read one of our blogs, please pass the word on to them.
Although this is more for we bloggers to get to know each other, lurkers are welcome too!
sounds like fun to me.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
It's harder for me to see that quality in myself. But I know I do it all the time. Chacala is good for me in two ways.One, I can see that old truism that what you can often see in others what you don't like in yourself. I have lots of opportunities here to experience myself identfying the qualities I don't like in myself in other people.
I have a great object lesson about making assumptions and acting on them, right here in Chacala. There is someone who comes down to Chacala in the winter who's assumption-to-action stuff just annoys me to death. Well, I hope not to death. But I really have a hard time with the stories she makes up about me, and spreads around. After four years of this sh.... it's getting really old. Another good thing about Chacala, for me, is there isn't much going on and it's harder to distract myself from my everyday experiences. No movies. TV, newspaper, driving around somewhere, shopping for more than four or five items (milk, rolls, fruit, tortillas and toilet paper mostly.
The pace is slow here, and there's more time to reflect on my interactions with other people, and their impact on me. And how about how my daily life fits into the life of Chacala. It's obvious immediately if I skip a day of picking up trash on the road in front of my place. Or on the little section of the beach I have adopted for trash pickup. I used to work most of the beach. But no more. Partly because more people are doing it now.One of the downsides of living in a small town is that sometimes it's hard to avoid people I don't want to deal with. But usually I manage to do it without much effort. There are a few winter people around here who I haven't actually interacted with in many months, or even years.
I usually do regular life stuff most of the day ( ooking, dishes, laundry, a little house cleaning, gardening, email, helping renters find a place, reading, drawing, and so on).
After a late lunch and a nap and checking emails, I usually do errands around town: visiting, doing reservations, shopping, take photos, visiting some more, walking on the beach, hanging around and so on.
So I am usually on the beach around sunset. I get to practice sunset photos a lot. Lately I have mostly been noticing how the light of the sunset shines of people and things. I don't really know how to take good photos of this phenomena, but I really enjoy how it looks.
Especially when the sun is shining on kids and on people faces.
I think kids get a burst of energy right at sunset, playing harder and wilder than ever.
And concentrating harder on their projects. Hoping the sun will stay up a little longer, I think.
I love sunsets in Chacala. Almost every night there is a beautiful, glowing sunset.
Most of the time people are swimming in the water until dark. Or after dark.
I usually take my camera with me when I go down to the beach in the late afternoon.
I still haven't figured out about shooting sunsets, but I am having lots of fun learning.
There are still lots of visitors here, mostly families who have driven here or taken one of the tourist buses. Often they travel in the bus all night, arriving at dawn from a cities in Central Mexico.
The kids are out playing in the sand until it's too dark to see.After four or five days of temperatures in the70's it's a relief to be back in the mid 80F again. At 3pm it was 88F here. That will warm up the water again too, I assume.
I think he liked the colors and the order of the placing the pins in different patterns.
There were kids running all around him and he never lost his focus on his project, even for a minute.
I feel to lucky to be around so many kids, and to watch them grow from infants to Kindergarten and from Primary to teenagers, and from teenagers to young adults.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
These are shots of partially completed buildings partway up the hillside at the south end of the beach. There are two other buildings along the hillside. Two different owners.
This is a view from the hillside into the area above the paved road.
We spent some time at Nueva Espana (above) too, which seems to be especially pleasant this year. Six rental units with kitchens and three double beds. The water in the pool was perfectly clean and clear. And the palms are big enough now to shade the seating area, at least part of the time. I don't like the concept of swimming pools in general, but this one looked pretty inviting. One thing that trouble me about pools is how owners seems to drain the chemical laden water from their pools right out onto the street. There are six pools in Chacala now, plus 13 million pools (slight exaggeration) in the development.
We went by Pablo's rental and vacation home below the Bibliotecha. A second story is being constructed. I have somone who was interested in renting the house. We had a plan to meet with Pablo at 9am but he wasn't there.
This is a new underground water storage tank at a construction site. One side is for clean water and the other for sewage. Whatever.
Elezar's White House is looking very nice these days. Elezar is down in Chacala for several months and taking care of things. And making some cosmetic improvements.
A family from Quebec rented one of the upstairs rooms at Elezar's for a few days. And a gringo couple is arriving in a few days for a two month stay. The view has been kind of blocked by some fast growing trees, but it's still has a nice big shady patio. It's an odd setup. The two large bedroom/bath units share the patio. There's a stove and fridge and large table with chairs on the patio, with dishwashing "facilities" downstairs in the front "yard".
I got to see the inside of the little red cottage right above the Malecon this morning. It's wonderful, but apparently it's never rented. It has real furniture and a nice tiled kitchen and bath. Bedroom and living room. The bedroom has a lovely ocean view. But the main eating area is outside, up a few steps, where there's a big table and a nice outdoor kitchen. Really cool. In my next life I am going to buy it. Just kidding.
I think the water is warming up again. The water is clear and lovely, and there are still a lot of families in town, camping and staying in the rentals. This week after New Year's is pretty popular with folks from Guadalajara and other towns within about four hours driving distance.
The hotel next door had an incredibly loud band with singer-gone-crazy with a microphone last night. From 9pm until 3am. I don't know how the guests stood it. I think it's the first time the place looked pretty busy. I hope guests knew what they were letting themselves in for. The cement wall of my room, which faces the hotel (80 feet away), was sort of vibrating. The sound (notice I didn't say music) was sooo loud.
Lots of fireworks too. Luckily I brought some earplugs down with me when I first came to Chacala. And my son recently brought me some new ones, so I could sleep. Of course, I was up half the night playing with my new computer. And then awake at 5am. Back to the internet. What an addict. Got all my photos downloaded from my camera. Now I have to delete all the crummy ones. About 85% probably.
I never got a chance to post photos of this year's Christmas Eve Posada. It ended at Casa Monarca, with two lovely pinatas. Sarai had made both of them, and they were really beautiful. She sells that at her porch store next door to Trini's. In case you are looking for a pinata.