Summertime… and the living is easy

Summer is the best time in (central) Mexico – the time I love the most – it’s lush and green and verdant, if I may.  Perfect temperature running highs of mid 20s and lows in the mid teens (Celsius). And I’m not there. I’m on the damned Island. Or is that Island of the Damned? Because that’s what it feels like sometimes.

Anyway, we decided we wanted to buy a house on the Island because prices are going crazy and all those mainlanders are selling out and coming over here (like we did, 14 years ago). And there is a near 0% vacancy rate so we could rent it out easily. And the bank is lending money at incredible interest rates. And we are Canadian residents and pay income tax every year like everyone else (we spend as much time as possible in Mexico, yes, but our financial center and all of our roots are in Canada).

And one day, we will want to spend most of our time here again. Our company is here, our credit cards are here, our bank is here. But where to go when we do want to spend more time here? Not wanting to get priced out of the market while Rome burns, so to speak, we thought we’d better buy again. Buying a house is easy and fun. Or at least it used to be.

So, off I trundled to the Island. CW was with me for the first leg. I can barely remember half the houses. I saw all of them, often the day they came on the market because if they are any good, they are gone the next day.

In that kind of hot market, everybody is an asshole. From listing agents to owners to financial entities. I’ve never tried to buy in a seller’s market before. I hate it. So we went back to Cuernavaca.

Then I came back on a short job on the mainland for a few weeks. Wandered back to the Island, where I saw more houses, many I wouldn’t even view in a buyer’s market – and the prices keep going up. That’s the market reality today. So I guess no house on the island for now.

We even put in an over-asking offer on a float home. It would have been perfect. We were outbid. Normally, a float home stays on the market on Vancouver Island for eight months to a year. Go figure. Is it us, or the market? LOL. The real estate agent told me that even in this market, she has never been in such competitive situations with a client. I’ve now had two months of it, off and on. And it’s Mercury Retrograde (until September 5) so I’m done. There’s beating your head against a wall, and then there’s beating your head against a wall.

I’ve been back and forth from the mainland to the Island – we had a big birthday party on the mainland, my dad’s 85th in early July so I hung out for that. And then I was house (and cat, if you can believe it) sitting. And I finally shipped our small storage locker on the island and it will somehow turn up in Cuernavaca sometime in the near future, by early September.

I have been back and forth from the mainland to the Island more times than I can count and it’s not a short trip. The car ferry alone, dock to dock, takes almost two hours. Busy, busy, busy. I helped Buffy and Mark move and that was a couple of weeks of solid work. But it’s nice to be useful to friends and family who have opened their doors to us many times. Ditto with house and cat (!) sitting. Speaking of which, domestic cats are savages. Enough said.

I was going to be in Vancouver in mid-September anyway, because we have had a trip to Amsterdam planned since late last fall, and we tied it in to YVR. So I might as well stay now. Very shortly after that, I’ll head back to Mexico. And then we aren’t moving again for a while. No way.

We had sad news this summer. Old Junior, my white dog, died. He died at home – having had normal (if slow) days previously. He’s been getting older for a while (12 years minimum, as we got him as a young dog estimated to be 9 months but may have been a bit older). All in all, it was a really good death for him and a really good life. We really miss him though. It’s funny – I didn’t take to my computer immediately. And haven’t yet. I have a title for the story. But I’m not sure exactly what I want to say. He’s my boy and always will be but I can’t find fault in his death – it was coming and it came and it was okay for him and us. My heart is broken – always. And I can burst into tears if I think too long about him. But he had a good life and a good death. Everything dies. I’ve finally accepted that. I guess that’s good. I’ll miss him. But we do need another dog. And Rosie needs another dog friend, too. We’ll see after Amsterdam.

And then Auntie Ann died. She was married to Uncle Bob and lived in Florida. She was my Auntie-Auntie Ann (and he my Uncle-uncle Bob).  Uncle Bob was married to Aunt Mary, my mother’s sister. When Aunt Mary died (some time later), Uncle Bob married Auntie Ann, who was my mother’s widowed sister. To Bob and Mary’s kids (my cousins) – she was Auntie Mom. And she was the last of my mother’s siblings – that generation of the maternal side of the family is no more.

Anyway, she was, as my favourite cousin Mary Ellen says, ‘a pistol’. She went to the horse track, hosted poker games, always said what she thought. I like to imagine that I modeled myself after her. She was the wild one – the one I always wanted to be. She once made me a ‘human bag of popcorn’ outfit, no questions asked (and, don’t ask). RIP, Auntie “Em”.  May all your bets be trifectas.

We missed packing a box of photos from storage (we still have one storage locker, we’ll go through that one likely next year). So I took the big green photo binder, which I’d half pre-filled before the 2012 pilgrimage to San Miguel. Intending to ship it one day. In any event, I *love* the cover. I got it at a yard sale but it’s bloody huge and heavy and I’m not going to use up that much space on a container. As much as I love it. So, I took all the photos out and put them in a large envelope and took a photo of the  cover and I will take the actual photo binder (or album I guess it’s called) to the thrift store. It’s pretty hard to let it go but I figure someone else might be inspired by it.

So, with no photo album, what do I do with the photos? Well, I happen to have a couple of sets of photo clip string lights. And we have long, long halls and lots of white walls. One can be a travel sequence, one can be a houses we’ve lived in sequence (better be a long wall) – even a dead friends, family and dogs sequence for Day of the Dead.

So, the twilight of the summer is upon is and the season draws to a close. I’m going to get out of here before the weather turns at least. I’ve been away from Mexico for too long this summer. Sure, work is good. And having a house up here is good, if we had one, LOL. But I’m happy to get home and start unpacking boxes from the storage locker. I’m sorry I didn’t post for so long but I’ve really felt a little like a ping pong ball. And I’ve been waiting for the revolution that I’m sure is coming. Only watching from afar, somewhat but felt in the middle of it for a flash second when I thought Kim Jong Un might actually launch one of his nuclear missiles and here I was in the flight path instead of safe in the mountains of Mexico with my face masks.

I’ve really been ranting about pinche, pendejo trump lately. It’s time to get this man out of this office. I can’t go on another rant, I just can’t. If you’d like to see the severity of my disgust and my bad mouth, friend me on Facebook. But please, read this story from Current Affairs about the Nazi he just pardoned: Do People Actually Know How Evil This Man Is?  This is the man who is in charge – someone who idolizes liars and bigots. I can’t. Must stop.

I will leave you with a Rodney Crowell song, written for Guy Clark on his deathbed and performed by Rodney, John Paul White and Rodney’s ex-wife, Roseann Cash. Great video, too. This may be a repeat, but I don’t think so. Hasta luego.

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