today – chairs, chile rellenos, fear and gratitude

I love my life. I don’t say that with a desire to boast, but merely to celebrate, and, I realize, to stand back in some amount of amazement at the way continues to play out. I think the word for that is probably gratitude, though that can sound so ‘heavy’…sometimes it is less heavy, and more like it gives me a chuckle.

Like today.

I won’t give you the entire play by play (like that I woke up, had my morning coffee, then my oatmeal with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond milk and toasted walnuts–see, you shouldn’t trust me!) but rather just my walk to lunch.

I was set to meet a friend at Maganas for lunch. I decided that I’d walk. On my way out the door I put out my empty ‘garafon’ (5 gallon plastic water bottle) since Friday is the day that the water bottle truck delivers–taking the empty, and leaving a full one in its place. All for the whopping price of 12 pesos, or about $1.

As I was doing so, I saw my neighbor, who asked about ‘Not Church‘ and so we chatted awhile about it. I told him I had to be on my way, and continued down the path by the side of the house. As I walked, another neighbor, well, actually son in law of a neighbor, yelled down hello, and wondered when I was going to play spite and malice with them. Spite and malice happens to be a card game that I learned as a young girl, a card game, which, as it happens, I played, with my grandma, at the very table on which my laptop sits as I type this.

Another friend and neighbor heard us yelling back and forth, and yelled down a hello as I continued my way down to the ‘river road,’ now wondering if I’d be late to Maganas. As I walked down the river road past El Rancho Exilio, I saw Emilio there, working on these wood chairs he makes by hand. We chatted a bit, and before I knew it I had agreed to buy two of the chairs–‘segundas’ if you will, for a good price, because his brother had accidentally run over them. “They still work–I fixed them,” said Emilio. “Okay, sounds good,” I answered as I tried to keep walking toward my actual destination of lunch.

I did have one errand planned on the way–to stop by the clinic and see Dr. Sarah. I was hoping she could give me some tips on fending off ‘bugs’ while traveling, and also a surgical mask to wear on the plane, just in case. In exchange for the appointment at the clinic I had brought her a beet, carrot, and some swiss chard, fresh from the garden. Since I was running late and so was she, I told her I’d come back by after lunch.

Finally I made it to Mangas at 12:01pm, only one minute late, which is, when you think about it, not really late at all. It had only taken me 45 minutes to get there–a walk of about one and a quarter miles, that normally takes less than half that time.

Becky and I had lunch together, and talked about the new community center that she and her husband Mike are opening as part of Vida Outreach. After a yummy lunch of chile rellenos I headed back to the clinic to meet with Sarah and get my necessary trip provisions, as well as a lecture about wiping down my tray and armrests when I get on the plane (so she’s that person I sat next to recently who ‘sanitized’ all items near her when she took her seat!) and not to put my fingers in my mouth. Next time I’m going to have to bring more vegetables in payment.

When I got home I found that the water truck had come–my new full garafon was waiting on the patio for me, as were my two new chairs, and a small table, handmade by Emilio.

I went out into the garden to pick some veggies (chard, carrot, beet, kale, tomato) to make a ‘green juice’ and sat down to write this.

So, yes, I love my life. I love the craziness of a day that can turn a lunch appointment into nostalgia over old card games, new chairs, a germ lecture, and water delivery. I love that I have time for such ‘distractions’ and am not so busy that I can’t appreciate them or have time for them. For that, I am thankful.

And now, on this Friday afternoon, I’m off to Splash for an 80 peso ($5.89) car wash, and likely a nego model and ceviche tostada that will put me back another $2.50, total.

People in the US always ask me, living in Baja, if I am afraid. What I’m realizing is, I’m actually becoming more and more afraid–afraid that this place has rooted itself so deeply within me that it may be hard to ever leave.

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One response to “today – chairs, chile rellenos, fear and gratitude

  1. Oh, the hours and hours I loved playing spite and malice with my mom…I have the other two chairs by Emilio!

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