I’ve got the sun in the morning and the moon at night

In Annie Get Your Gun, Annie Oakley sang about all the things she did not have, but she had the sun and the moon to brighten her day and was glad of that.

Life really is not about how much money we have or the things we accumulate, it is about the intangibles like love and friendship and of course starting the day like this.

Sunrise over Taxco de Alarcon - PanoramaWant to watch this morning’s sunrise unfold? Here it is

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And what day would not be complete without the moon at night.

Moonrise over Taxco

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The Four Amigas

OK, I know. You are thinking I have that title wrong, it’s Three Amigos, right? (The movie with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short)

Well that was a funny movie but no, I mean Four Amigas, the Mexican chickas who adopted Blue Bear for a day of Taxco adventure.

Four Amigas, MontetaxcoBeing a gringa, with a poor command of the Spanish language, it can get rather lonely at times. One might be surrounded by people, talking, laughing, and having a good time, but you are all alone because you do not understand what anyone is saying. AND because they think you do not know the language, no one makes much of an attempt to speak to you other than to kiss you on the cheek and ask, “Como esta?” (How are you?) After the mutual “Biens,” they do not know what else to say, and since you do not have enough Spanish to ask a question that would start a conversation, which you probably wouldn’t understand much of anyway, that usually puts an end to the interaction.

So imagine how pleased I was to be invited to join my friend, Vanessa, and mutual friends from Chilpancingo (all of whom speak English) on an afternoon on the town. Just what I needed – eye candy views from the top of town and ear candy — English conversation!

Though I am nearly twice their age (it’s the blue that keeps me looking young), we had a great time laughing and joking and just enjoying being together.

Thanks for a great day amigas!

Sky Candy

If you have followed my adventures for any time, you know that I LOVE sunrise. Sunsets are awesome, but there is something about a dark sky evolving into light — sometimes with riotous color and sometimes soft pastels — that just makes my day!

Taxco being a mountain town with many ups and downs, there are many vantage points for overlooking the city. My room though, located on the fourth floor overlooking the valley to the East, offers the perfect vantage point for viewing the sunrise over the surrounding mountains.

I could lie in bed and watch the sun come up, if I wanted to, yet stepping out onto my terrace balcony, where I have an unobstructed  view of the “puesta del sol,” while breathing in the fresh morning air, is almost a spiritual experience. Each new day is a fresh palette, painting a new masterpiece never to be seen again. How can I miss even one?

I share with you here some of the more spectacular daybreaks. Grab a “cuppa” and sit back and enjoy the show.

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Mucho Frio

I know it is nothing like the weather back home where snow, ice, high winds, and bitter cold are blasting the northern tier of the country, but we are in the midst of a  cold snap of our own. Usually sunny and high 70s or 80s, the last few days have been cloudy and overcast, with highs only in the low to mid-50s during the day and rain — cold, incessant rain. (I’d rather have 20 degrees and snow.) That is frio, our own version of an arctic blast.

I woke up this morning and looked outside to find a cloud hanging off my terrace balcony. I could almost reach out and touch it, that is, if I even wanted to go out there. With no heat in houses here, I’d rather not let the cold air in.

This weather reminds me of being in Cuzco, Peru, one January. The bed was piled high with about 6 alpaca blankets. They were heavy and scratchy. I thought who wants to sleep under all these? Yet in the middle of the night, I would add another, then another, and another, until by morning I was burrowed under all six with only a breathing vent. Since inside it was warm and cozy, and outside I could see my breath, I was staying put until it warmed up a little.

This trip, I did not bring my winter coat or hat because, due to an unusually warm fall, I did not need them before I left. And, I “never” need cold weather clothes here; it’s always 70 degrees or more and sunny.

Never say never right?

I did bring my raincoat and fleece, and layered they are enough, but I miss my hat.Now where is that extra blanket?

Blue Bear in RedPssst. Let me know when it warms up out there.

Home is…

“Home is where you hang your hat,” according to Leon Redbone. Which is a good definition, since as a musician, I am sure he has hung his hat in quite a few places.

Rachel Brosnahan has a different take on home; to her, “Home is where your butt rests.” As an actress there may be plenty of butt resting going on between takes.

Since I have hung my hat, and rested my butt in quite a few places in my life, I think that Pliny the Elder hit the mark when he said, “Home is where the heart is.” By that definition home can be here, there, where you are, or where you wish to be.

At the moment, I have come “home” to Taxco de Alarcon, Mexico.

This beautiful city, “The Silver Capital of the World” — all cobblestone streets and white washed buildings with red tile roofs, tumbling up and down the mountainside — captured my heart the first time I saw it. And it continues to do so.

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What a beautiful sight — morning, noon, and night.

Reading Room

Hanging out at the library. Here and there.
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There is a world of difference between the outdoor reading room at the library in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and the reading room in the Carnegie library (with the original fireplace and shelving) in Baraboo, Wisconsin. But no matter where you are, a library is a valuable treasure and a great place to hang out.

Sit a little, relax a little, read a little or a lot and ENJOY!

Waltzing Matylda

Matylda overlooking Taxco de Alarcon, MexicoThis is Matylda. She is a cute, little spitfire of a young woman from Poland, who is currently living in Central America. The son of a family of friends, who is living in Guatemala, met her there, and when he came back to Mexico to visit family, she invited herself along. Thus began a whirlwind tour of central Mexico to accommodate her insatiable desire to see and do everything possible. In a brief 48 hours in Taxco, she shopped the tianguis (super silver market) from one end to the other, hung out at the zocolo, tasted foods she had never tasted before, went to the top of one mountain to get the best view of Taxco from the base of the Cristo statue, then down to the bottom and up another mountain to the upscale resort, Montetaxco, where she climbed on the back of a horse for a photo op, then down to town again.

And that was just Taxco. I think she put more mileage on their car and more photos on their camera in 10 days than they do all year.

It was a blast getting to know you Matylda. No one can accuse you of waltzing through life.

 

The Springs of Buena Vista

Near El Ocotito is the town of Buena Vista San Juan or something like that. There are a lot of Buena Vistas in Mexico so most have a saint’s name attached but since that part is never used locally, if you are a visitor and especially a gringo like me, you are never quite sure.

Just outside of town is a spring that bubbles up out of the ground. As usual this “miracle” has been marked with a cross so that the blessing of water never dries up. A small catch basin holds enough for locals to come and collect the cold, clear water for drinking immediately or to carry home for later.

The rest of the water, flows under the rock wall of the basin and along a natural channel until it is corralled in a large catch basin or pool before it cascades over the edge and follows a natural channel again.

This larger pool is both the water supply for the town AND the local swimming hole. For a small fee, which goes to support the town, you can enter the grounds and picnic, swim, hunt crayfish, play in the water, or simply enjoy the surroundings and the sun setting behind the mountains.

A local  family who live adjacent to this unique natural water source, take the admission fees and run a concession selling roasted corn, snacks, drinks, and bathroom visits in exchange for free water and all the swimming they might like. Like the natives in Florida, they probably think the people who come here to swim in the winter are crazy, but they are happy to take their money.

Wet and cold at the springs of Buena Vista, MexicoShivering but still smiling, just a few of the crazy ones.