Arriving into Merida late last Friday afternoon proved to be the usual inconsistent homecoming experience…
On one hand, I jumped for joy at seeing my daughter’s smiling face again and my heart skipped a beat as we pulled up into our garage. Yet as soon as the car door opened, my eagle eye focused on chalky stains all over the tile work, the dried-out plants, an un-mowed lawn and the pervasively unkempt aura emanating from our home. What happened? I’d left careful instructions with the couple who promised to scour the place from stem to stern during our three week absence. However, neither Maggie nor the neighbors ever actually observed any cleaning going on. To top things off, the Internet was not working and there were two new cracks in the sidewalk. Jorge took my arm, gave it a squeeze and said, “Deep breaths Joanna… deep breaths…”
I focused on Maggie who showed great enthusiasm over her gifts. Everything I brought fit well and she was especially excited to find a whole bag of her favorite Canadian snacks. We put away the groceries she’d bought for us and after an hour of catching up on each other’s news, she headed home and I got ready to attend our friend Benjamin Ramirez’ art exhibition.
The show’s surrealistic Maya theme featured bright canvases and hanging geometric s. Ben has worked on these large pieces for a year and the effect is quite stunning! Jorge and I have one of his large paintings and I only wish we had the space to hang more of them in our home. Many of our Merida friends attended the event and we got to touch bases with everyone again. Seems like they’re all enjoying the summer… heat be damned!
The following morning, the mystery of our un-cleaned house got solved. A grandson was born and this was why the whole list of chores could not be completed to perfection. I heard all about the delivery and exclaimed over the birth weight – 4.2 kilos! No wonder the new mother needed help….
I then pointed out a few of the rather obvious oversights and the two good-naturedly agreed they’d get to all that “next time.” But could I wait until “next time” … AKA Monday? Of course not! I commenced one of my maniacal clean-up frenzies. At one point, I got down on my knees with an old toothbrush and scrubbed at the grimy grouting around the stove. Crazy! I strained my back but after six hours I’d managed to get the house back to some semblance of its normal self.
Later that evening, Jorge and I swam in the moonlit pool and sipped on chilled white wine… The water felt so good on my sore back. We reminisced about our beautiful holiday in western Canada and talked about future trips. This time next year we’ll attend our son’s wedding in Norway! We look forward to the Life Long Learning trips in February. I’ll also go to a couple of writers’ events and hopefully we’ll be in Chicago in the spring. Isn’t this the amazing quality of travel? You enjoy the anticipation of the experience… everything you do during the trip and the memories you have afterwards.
Nonetheless, Jorge and I agreed that for now, we are just exactly where we need to be…