Monthly Archives: October 2011

Woo – woo – woo… Halloween !!!

Last night the International Women’s Club of Mérida (IWC) hosted  a party that many will long remember…  Seasonably “cool” weather, great decorations, yummy food, abundant drink, and  best of all… wonderful music made for an evening of fun.

Vic Jorgenson is to be thanked again and again for his excellent choice of music and his very animated DJ style.  He fretted because he had not included a couple of my requests (Wild Thing, Satisfaction and The Monster Mash) But hey!!!  Everyone got up and boogied like 16 year-olds to the Village People’s  Y.M.C.A., Marvin Gaye’s Soul Train, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. (I bet there are many sore knees, backs and hips this morning!)

We were encouraged to wear costumes and most people did.  One plain clothes guest told me. “I came as myself… that’s scary enough!”  Prizes for best get-ups were given:  Beth and Jack Knepp with Theresa Gray won for “most original.” Jack made an excellent Sheik of Arable, while Beth and Theresa looked most fetching as his harem girls.  I wish I’d got a photo of LG as a refrigerator and “most elaborate ensemble” went to Britta, the ice queen. Another picture I missed was of Nancy Walters dressed as Cleopatra.

The club’s special awards were also handed out to Roberta Fertel for service, Beth Knepp for leadership and Vilma   Morey for lifetime achievement. Three very deserving recipients for sure!

If you missed out on last night’s fun, here are a few upcoming events you might enjoy:

FIRST ANNUAL COSTUME PARTY AT THE LIBRARY

7 pm on Halloween night, Monday the 31st :

  • Free Halloween -themed botanas and a cash bar just like at MELLO nights.
  •  Costumes and fun games for children.

MERIDA SHOWCASE OF HOMES

Sunday November 6

A fun and important fundraiser for AIDS awareness

For more info or tickets, contact Nancy: nhoag52@gmail.com

ANNY ART SHOW

(Amigos de Artistas/Artesanos Nuevos de Yucatan)

Mark your calendars for holiday shopping!

Saturday, December 3rd, and Sunday, December 4th

10AM to 9PM

Location: CANACO, Avenida Itzaes X Calle 31, three blocks south of Clinica de Mérida The entrance and free parking are on Calle 31

BUT, getting back to last night’s party… IWC President Marianne Kehoe and her team can be very proud of have earned the top post- IWC event accolade ever bestowed by my hubby.  Jorge thought it was the club’s best party ever!

I hope you all enjoy the photos… Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them

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A Happy Accident

Last night I had a happy accident… while channel surfing, I came upon “Sweet Land,” a delightful movie based on the short story, “A Gravestone Made of Wheat” by Will Weaver.

“Sweet Land” now ranks up with my favorite films about goodness… right alongside “Cinema Paraiso” , “Enchanted April”  and “Billy Elliot”

In part, the story examines the fate of destitute Europeans during post World War I. Among the thousands who joined the migration from the conflict-ravaged continent to America was Inge Altenberg. The parents of a Norwegian immigrant farmer named Olaf Torvik, worked out an agreement whereby she would be allowed to immigrate for the purpose of marrying their son. But Inge was not warmly received in the Minnesota farming village of Audubon where Torvik lived. A German with no identity documents was not a welcome addition to the community…

One of the many charming scenes of the film shows the town’s skeptical Lutheran minister trying to speak with Inge. She cannot understand English and in an effort to communicate, he reads to her from a book of poetry. She is drawn into the lyricism of John Keats’ “A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.”

However the minister, and in fact the whole town soon shun her and the county clerk refuses to marry her and Olaf.

They are forced to openly live together, and are judged as pariahs by the community. No one will help them harvest their huge field. So they set about doing so on their own, completely by hand. The film does an excellent job of showing how they are able to force their bodies to superhuman effort until the crop is completely in. Despite the disapproval of Inge and Olaf, the townspeople are impressed.

The neighbors are further moved by the young couple when they defend a family with nine children who the bank is evicting from their farm. “Agriculture and banking do not mix,” says Olaf.

The short story and DVD are both available on Amazon… Christmas is coming up and either would make a lovely gift for someone you love.

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If this is Thursday… this must be Mérida

A week ago, Wednesday… I boarded the bus to Cancun, saw my friend Joanne for dinner and called it an early night… no Coco Bongo, you can be sure! Next morning at 3:00 am, I headed for the airport, flew through Miami and Dallas, then into Vancouver. The ensuing 120 hours of wining and dining at some great restaurants, attending my 40th high school reunion, shopping to the point of dropping, and chat-chat-chatting with friends, sisters and my 94 year old uncle went by so fast…

I figured that I’d have one final day to relax, make phone calls, eat a famous White Spot hamburger and pack, but on Tuesday night the airline called to say my Thursday flight from Dallas to Cancun would be cancelled… at the time, Hurricane Rina looked as though it would be a major storm.  I was told I had to leave the next morning!

Rush, rush, rush! Speed packing and only enough time for a couple of quick phone calls… somehow with my friend Mary’s help, I got ready and she had me at YVR in time for the crack of dawn departure. An uneventful but very l-o-n-g day in the air and on the ground ended with Jorge picking me up at 1:30 am at the Fiesta Americana bus depot.

There have been times in my life when I have felt like I am “running on empty” but the way I’m dragging around today goes so beyond that… I am exhausted!  And yet my mind is still full of wonderful memories of the whirlwind visit.

Vancouver in the fall cannot be compared. The colors of the maples, the fading glory of the summer flowers, the nip in the air, and the smell of winter lurking just beyond the mountains… I took a lot of photos and will share a few with you today, and then it’s back to bed, to rest up…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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After all these years…

Vancouver: October 2011

In 1971, I graduated from Delbrook Senior Secondary. I cannot quite get over the fact that such a chunk of time has passed…  there’s been a lot of living packed into my last four decades, and on Saturday night, I found out that I’m not alone.

My best friend from high school invited me to the 40th anniversary class reunion. She and I fantasized about making a grand entrance by squealing up to the door in her sweet ride (a TT Audi Quartro convertible) with “Wild Thing” booming out at full volume. But thanks to traffic on the bridge, we were late… it was too cold to put the top down… and her sound system was on the fritz.

Oh well. No big deal… we unfolded ourselves from the low lying bucket seats, stretched our hips and flexed our knees to get mobile…

We walked into the reception, and I tried to keep the dazed look off my face… Who were all these people? At first, I didn’t recognize a soul. But the organizing committee had tacked a big print-out from the year book to the back wall, and we all received tags with our names and a picture of our former selves. I found myself in good company. At the start of the evening, everyone inched through the crowd peering at everyone else’s chest (where the name tag and visual clues were pasted) Mine kept falling off…

About 100 of the approximately 300 graduates showed up at the Seymour Country Club. I am not even going to try and mention the names of my former classmates because I’ll inevitably forget someone… But truly, it was such a pleasure for me to see each and every one.

I did not have expectations of what the evening would be like, but some of the scenarios I’d heard of did not materialize. The class heart throb did not reacquaint with the former homecoming queen, and incite excited giggles… the Math nerd did not show up with a clone of Cindy Crawford on his arm… As far as I could see, no one has become a rock star, an astronaut, or a celebrated politician.

What I encountered was a roomful of friendly, open, almost 60-year olds, who seemed as blown away as me. How has so much time has gone by. A lot have been married to the same person for 30+ years… most have children and grand children. If they are not yet retired, they are looking towards that. Many have traveled… some to Mexico. Those I spoke with seemed surprised that I had lived there for 36 years.

Most of the group still lives in British Columbia, and a good number of them in North Vancouver. That surprised me. But it should not have, after all this is a beautiful part of the world, why would one move away?

Last night, that question was put to me a couple of times, and once back home,  it meandered through my mind as I drifted off to Dreamland… why did I leave and just as importantly, why did I stay gone?

Initially, I wanted to see the world because I am a curious person. I got an opportunity to go to Peru and work as an assistant English teacher and I couldn’t wait to get on that plane. I guess that I made the break at such an impressionable age, and my time in that Andean nation changed me forever.  A few years later, the romantic start of my life with Jorge in Yucatan turned my head still further. New cultures, people, languages, food, music, and so on were (and still are) very attractive to me. Have I missed my native land?  Oh yes! Very much… but there’s a price to be paid for everything.

Will I ever come back to live in Canada? Probably not… my life is in Mexico, but I totally enjoy every opportunity to return and touch bases. I sincerely thank the reunion committee for all the effort they made to provide this gift to us all. If there is a 50th, and I’m still kicking… I will be here!

*Photos: These were all taken at the reunion, mostly by me… I hope you enjoy them!

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Vancouver Actually

Up at 2:00 am in Cancun, I joined a large group of passengers waiting outside Terminal III at the airport. Something seemed to be wrong with the sistema… we stood in front of the big glass doors, and after half an hour we formed a new line… inside. The American Airlines staff had to check us in manually which took a l-o-n-g time. But eventually we got on our way and arrived into Miami on time.

From there on, it was more of the same… my day involved lots and lots of waiting. I brought my sketch pad, and so I passed the time drawing… the bar at the Cancun airport… a Frida-inspired allegory, and finally… a copy of a portrait of some woman from the in-flight magazine. I enjoy drawing when I’m traveling; it passes the time, and it’s a good way to meet people. They wander over to see what I’m doing and we chat a moment…

I had very interesting company on both the Miami – Dallas flight, and from Dallas – Vancouver. It’s funny how you get talking on planes sometimes, and have quite long, engrossing conversations…  My two seat companions made my journey go by much more quickly and pleasantly.

Have you seen the movie, “Love Actually”? Well, last night YVR could have been called “Vancouver Actually. ” It looked like the scene where all the people are re-united at the airport, and they’re laughing, hugging, crying… I walked beside a young Indian woman who told me   “I haven’t seen my family for a year and half.”  She and her baby were engulfed by at least 20 extremely happy family members who waited for her just past the gate. A sexy young Latina threw her arms around a guy just ahead of me; and the Italian family who were on my flight from Dallas was also met by a whole contingent of loved ones.

And there stood my friend Mary. We held out our arms and joined the happy group with our own big rocking-back-and-forth hugs. It feels wonderful to be here!

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Still In the Pink…

I am in my hotel room at the Hotel Plaza Caribe in downtown Cancun. This is a great place if you need to get to the airport really early… the bus depot and taxis galore are right across the street. I have checked everything out, and yes, there will be cabs available at 3:30 am… the time I need to head to the airport for my flight to Vancouver.

Yesterday, the post about my pink hair caused quite a bit of commentary. Thanks to all who wrote to commiserate. As Marianne said, “It’s all about attitude!” But Janice had the best suggestion, “Say you did it to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month!”

Here’s one more pictures of me sporting the new hair…

I’ll let you know what the old school chums think!

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Pink!!!

Have you ever found yourself poised to do something really crazy? Something that will make people ask, “What – can – she – be – thinking?”  Well, I’m about to do exactly that… not by choice, mind you!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about going to my 40th high school reunion… I’m leaving for Vancouver today, and yesterday I went to get a manicure / pedicure. While there, I had the urge to “brighten-up” my hair color…

I wanted to have a few copper streaks put in and I got… PINK! I will go to this affair on Saturday night, and see people I haven’t seen for 40 years… Believe me, it is going to take all the self confidence I possess to act as though there’s nothing unusual about having pink hair.

When my daughter saw it, she was somewhat at a loss for words. “It doesn’t look bad Mom, but it is different.”  I needed to drop by a friend’s house last night and when she laid eyes on the new me, she tried to suppress a big guffaw, and said, “Another hair mishap I see…”

Yes, this is the second hair color disaster since the summer. The other time my hair came out slate grey… that was even worse as it happened just 4 days before my son’s wedding.

My hair no longer takes color the way it used to… another part of the delightful and ever- surprising aging process…  I think I’m going to let my hair go to its natural color (whatever that is?) or buy a good wig!

So think of me on Saturday night… When former classmates scrunch up their eyes and say, “Oh I remember you… didn’t you used to have long straight blonde hair.” I’ll puff up my rosy locks and say, “Yeah I did… and you know what… that’s not all that’s changed!”

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