Freedom’s just another word…

…for nothing left to lose. Why do I always equate that song with freedom? It is very freeing to have nothing left to lose.  I’m not talking about financially. But physically and emotionally. I did just return a week ago from 10 days up north, cleaning out the house and signing all the papers. The move happened to coincide with our town’s recycle-your-stuff week. Actually, it’s just free, big trash collection week but includes furniture and all that crap you just don’t want anymore that you figure isn’t worth selling or maybe you don’t even have yard sales. We used to go driving around the time and pick up stuff – people throw away some good shit. One man’s trash and all that.

So, I had a list of things we wanted from the house (we sold it to the tenants so it included some things). Mostly antique furniture as we had stored much of our stuff and put a bunch more in the owners’ closet already. And there was truly was a lot of stuff, like candle trees and garden pots and things that are just so replaceable, I wasn’t going to store them. So, the buyers didn’t want a lot of it, and put it in the spring cleanup pile to be recycled. There I was at the top of our little hill where our driveway starts, looking at a big pile of stuff I’d bought at yard sales over the past dozen years on the Island, in Texas, in Arizona (just passing through but some good sales) and Mexico. Nothing especially precious, but it’s all pretty damn cool. Still, I told myself, I have enough stuff – the top 25%. In storage. But it was jarring to see the last 12 years in a pile at the top of the driveway to the house you just left for the last time. But I’m over it now.

alto

I declined to take a photo (I thought of it for the blog) – it would have been harder to let go of some of it if the photographic evidence was there. As it was, I had to do STOP therapy on myself (every time I thought of that candle tree from Target in Galveston, for example) but it worked. You scream “STOP” inside your head as loudly as you can and visualize a stop sign when the thought pops up. And soon enough, it doesn’t pop up. What can I say? That technique has worked for me for over 35 years. But you have to want to stop whatever it is. Some people like to remember their misery.

And so, I am back. My total connection to Canada now consists of two storage lockers and a safety deposit box. If I died in Mexico today, that’s what people would find. Funky stuff, neatly packed in tubs. And lots of dishes. Square, recycled glass, you name it. I love dishes. It’s only really two sets, but the square are actually square and round, assorted sizes and colors, collected over the years and miles. There’s only good stuff in storage, not crap. This is one of those storage lockers that Barry Weiss would go nuts for. And thank god I have those journals down here from the 70s. Burning those suckers. I actually brought our small box of family jewelry (really not much, but something from everyone) down here. It’s got a note card inside saying who belonged to what. A few things of mom’s, something of Laura’s, my stuff, a ring that was Auntie Ann’s, an old gold-filled baby bracelet that came from Gramma M.  I did consider what if we both croak and no one knows about the storage locker on the Island, although they should. And my friend has keys, so she would tell the kids if I haven’t already.

keys

So, back in Mexico with no excuses. I moved a lot of the sun room plants outdoors – we’re going to reincarnate the indoor fountain that they surrounded. It’s very green out on our patio now. And will get greener, I’m sure. There has been bad air pollution in CDMX these past weeks, really bad. They call them pollution emergencies and pull all cars off the road (this is so there will be no getting in the back door, as happens so often down here) for one day a week each. And two weekends a month. Since we are still driving under BC plates, which we are allowed to do until our temporary residence turns permanent, we are under foreign plate restrictions. One day a week, no driving, like the rest of the cars. But then, Mexican plated cars currently are under restrictions two Saturdays a month, foreign-plated cars cannot drive on Saturdays, period. In addition, we can never drive the morning rush hour, Monday to Friday, deemed as 5am – 11am. Sundays are free though.

But they do close down a major portion of Mexico City’s roads on Sunday morning for bike lanes. Just in the Reforma area. They rent bikes, too. Pick up one place, drop off in another. We don’t really feel the pollution emergency so much in this colonia, we are all perched on a hill overlooking the  valley that is the 18-hole golf course with tons of trees around the permiter. And our streets have tons of trees. So we’re lucky. There are actually a lot of trees in CDMX, more than you would think. We’re getting used to being so isolated. LOL, I’m pretty funny, feeling isolated when I live with 22 million other people. And the world awaits, 2km outside the gate.

Ecobici Mexico City

Ecobici Mexico City

We planned a brunch for April 24 but postponed it – my husband’s mother is not well and he’s gone north to see her. At 94, we knew this day was coming and maybe it’s not that day, but it well could be. She’s been in and out of the hospital for the last year, three times I think. He’s been up already to visit twice and I encourage him to go everytime she gets ill because you never know.  That’s certainly one thing I’ve learned in my life. You always think you have time – that’s the problem. This time, she was in the hospital for three weeks and she’s just gone home. And while they say it is unlikely that her death is imminent, things are starting to fail physically and there’s nothing more they can do to patch them up.  She’s a wonderful woman who has always been up for travel and new adventures.

shortdays2

Beauty of Mrauk Oo by Kyaw Kyaw Winn

She and her late husband, Doug (my husband’s stepfather) came with us for a potion of our trips to both Costa Rica and Lake Chapala in Mexico. They went everywhere, those two. Drove a camper van around the beaches of Turkey in their late 70s. She climed a Himalayan mountain one Christmas day at dawn and wrote a letter to her son. Doug died about 10 years ago. My mother-in-law last travelled to BC to visit us four years ago at 90, and got around quite well. I didn’t physically see her again until last fall and she was much frailer. It’s easy to rationalize it before it happens (it’s her time, she had a good life and all that) but it will be difficult. I do chant for a peaceful passing for her, when her time comes and she is ready. It’s not supposed to be imminent, but not too far off. I’m  glad she’s at home with her sons around her.

I believe I’m supposed to have an epiphany today (April 21) with this full moon and all. Not sure that’s going to happen. There are certainly things I could use an epiphany about. The future, for one. I could always use an epiphany about that. The status quo is fine for now, there’s a lot going on. But we do need to make decisions. We’ve been keeping an eye on property listings but all is quiet. The online magazine guy I work for is starting a new magazine so I’m involved with that and it’s taking most of my time right now. Mercury is retrograde until the end of May anyway, so I’ll just keep plodding along.

flowers

We went to Coyoacan again last Saturday and wandered the market and bought some gorgeous flowers – tuber roses and cala lilies. We really like it there (it’s about 20 minutes away). Lots of tourists on the weekend, many Mexican. It’s where Frida’s house is, Diego’s house,  Trosky’s house and more. Great artisan market, great fruit, vegetable flower market, there’s even kind of a flea market. Several large markets within several blocks. Lots of restaurants. Quite village-like. We also went to Home Depot – have been out and about in the van. It’s not difficult driving, actually. At least not down here. It never moves that quickly (not like Guadalajara).

Anyway, the big news was that we closed the house and we are responsibility free now, except for the dogs. We took our house money and deposited it almost immediately into an investment fund for two years. It pays out a guaranteed rate and it pays monthly. We we think is good – it’s passive income and covers our rent down here. We can get a down payment together if we find something we like on the Island (we’ve been looking) – and we’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage if we do, but who knows. We may just stay footloose for a while.

cabo

We’re off to the beach in May to visit friends, we have a friend visiting in June and then we’re scheduled to go see Bruce play. That’s Springsteen. But most of you know that. June has always been my favorite month of the year, many of you know that, also. And then it’s July. I’m rebooking the brunch for May 29. It’s probably asking for trouble, given the volatility of a few things. But you have to live dangerously, I guess. I thought I’d better finish off this damn blog, it’s May already. Can you believe that?

Hope that May is lovely where you are. And Orale!

 

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