The Next Chapter

October Surprise – our stuff is on its way to the island, according to United and *should* have crossed the border yesterday (September 29). So, actually not an October Surprise, per say, but it sounded good. Hopefully, we will go to customs in Nanaimo and clear it next week (it’s being brought in under bond). I’d actually psyched myself up to losing it, Now, we still have to confirm it’s all there, after surviving many transfers – Cuernavaca to San Miguel then to Laredo, then to Lynwood , Wa. (where it was abandoned, essentially, by the shipper), then to Vancouver, then to Nanaimo. Surely something will be lost. But hey, we’ll have most of it. And I’m actually finding myself suprised (and of course, grateful). It came out of nowhere yesterday when we learned the new freight forwarder had piced up already. Given what we paid the original shipper, one would have expected a little more service. But water under the bridge now.  Don’t look back, you’re not going that way and all that.

I do feel grateful to be here – even if the winter is going to be cooler and grey and rainy much of the time.  Covid hasn’t gone away yet, and I’d rather be hunkering down here. Canada sure hasn’t declined in cases yet (but hasn’t spiked either). Or in hospitalizataions and deaths, although deaths are lower than other peaks. There are still a lot of people in the hospital. If you aren’t vaccinated, Delta is so contagious, that you will get it. And even if you are vaccinated, you may get it but it will prevent serious illness and death unless you have comorbidities.  Nothing is absolute, but vaccinations are absolutely a smart move. I can’t imagine anyone has lasted as a reader this long who is anti-vax. So I may be preaching to the choir 🙂

Okay, isn’t this perfect? I got it from my friend Judy on Facebook. I love this:

Really? I’d be on that all that time. I’d call them all. Starting with Janet Taylor, who died when I was 17 and ending with Jim Kavanagh, who died this past spring. It’s actually pretty good that I made it to autumn with no more deaths. Knock on wood. I’ve always known a lot of dead people – we talked about that before. Quite a few of my friends died of overdoses or liver failure. Seriously. Family, too. It’s more common than you think. What are we all running from? I take it back, actually starting with grandad who died when I was about 10. But then things were pretty calm until Janet. If you don’t count dogs.

She had a little baby, too (Janet). I was reminded of her because I saw an old class picture on Facebook. And after all, it’s Mercury Retrograde. This is when we think about the past and old friends. It’s Saturday night (Oct. 2). One of the first Saturday nights in a long time that I’ve had nothing to do but drink a bottle of cider (haha) and reminisce. We’re nesting, and cocooning for the winter, getting the rental kind of like we want it (within huge limits) and hunkering down. It’s still above 10 at night but only 17/18 in the day. As long as it’s sunny, it’s okay. I have a great sheepskin coat.

So, it’s October 8 now. Holy moly, time flies. Our stuff got here on October 6. They overcharged us and I’m fighting with them but I’m about to give up and just say f-ck it, we’re here, the stuff’s here, the house is almost closed, just carry on with your life. I will fight with them until mid-week next week perhaps, then do that. Patience is a virtue. I’ve spoken with United head office, and emailed their customer service all the details and she promised someone would get back to me so I should wait, I suppose. And just not think about it. I’m getting too obsessive lately. But I’m so sick of people who change their prices midstream once you’ve been effectively taken hostage. But it’s over.

We were just talking about this today and by the time you factor in all of our vet bills and assorted disasters to do with Mexico, this was the most expensive 8.5 years of our lives. And that’s not even starting to touch on the emotional drain being surrounded by poverty and corruption causes.  I must get on that book. Although The Move to Canada Bible is first. And CW has done me a huge favour by handling the complicated visa chapter. Of  course, it’s not nearly as simple as moving to Mexico and we won’t pretend to be the definitive legal guide. You’re going to need an immigration lawyer from the onset if you’re trying to immigrate here.

Then I think I should write The Real Cost of Moving to Mexico. But not going to think of it right now. I need to get centred and focused, I let the moving stuff get to me (wasn’t sure if it was even going to make it) and now that it’s here I can breathe deeply. But I don’t seem to be doing that yet 🤣🤣🤣

I’ve missed writing this blog. I think it’s theraputic. It makes me think things through. Otherwise I’m just like this ADHD tornado jumping from one thing to another. The Squirrel Syndrome. As in, a dog who sees a squirrel and forgets what he’s doing and goes off to chase it, then sees another one and chases that instead and then sees another one … and well, you get the picture.

I can’t say I’ve settled yet. But I shouldn’t expect to until we close that house, and get in it and make a plan. Because that’s the total extent of the plan for now. Aha, I realize we are back to the annual plans, New Years Eve. I think that’s a good time to expect to be settled about our new direction and next plans. Anything can happen between now and then and I know that.  I’m thinking good things. Lots of irons in the fire. And astrologically, it’s a great month. Saturn goes direct on October 10, Jupiter goes direct on the 17th, and Mercury goes direct on the 18th.

Saturn rules self discipline and will keep us on track. So maybe my Squirrel Syndrome will get better. Jupiter went retrograde last December and it may have found you clearing things out and making room for the new and improved — in your friendships, or in your hopes and desires, or physical surroundings. In any event, when it goes direct again, we should be done clearing the room, so to speak, and have a better view of the future. That’s encouraging.

And then there is Mercury – we all know about that. It rules communications and transportation, things stall, computers screw up — all that should get better. Interesting times ahead. Mercury only goes retrograde for a few weeks at at a time, but several times a year. We all know about that one. Once it goes direct, things get back on track and get done. I know it’s been one glitch after another the past couple of weeks. I really wasn’t paying attention to Merc Rx but of course, it’s why these old songs on Jack FM or Coast FM 🙂

I want to do a day of the dead post for Captivatist! I better hurry! Trying to do it this weekend. If it’s up by the time I publish, I’ll link it. Such colour! Such tradition! And these stories, if done right, get widely shared on social media. (I did it, link here: Life in Mexico: Day of the Dead.  The site is coming along. More and more visitors every week, although I haven’t been at it for a bit. The guy who I learned all this stuff from offered me a small retainer — to eyeyball and publish stories on one of his sites once his freelancer uploads them. Easy peasy and I’m going to learn a lot more. Working with him always teaches me so much. He’s the guy who has been paying me to do web blog posts for some time now (since 2013) and traded me Captivatist for my stories on another site of his that was an experiment. He’s brilliant at that stuff.

The sun has been sort of coming out but I’m concerned again about this rental – it’s bloody dark unless there is lots of sun. Yesterday was cloudy and the power was out for a few hours (scheduled, to replace a pole) and I was stunned by how dark it was. We have sunlights and sad lights and lots of bright bulbs in the office and each face huge windows but the rest of the house is dark. And we’ll lose light for another 10 weeks. We are nowhere near as dark as it gets. Oh well, I just have to get out when it’s sunny and use the lights inside – and music – to keep things buoyant.

And I have to stop beating myself up over the fact that this rental was a bad choice. We chose it because at the time, rentals were scarce and it was the only one that fit what we needed for two dogs who fight. It wasn’t really until the end that we knew we wouldn’t be bringing dogs. I miss my dogs. Dead and alive.

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I’m sure thankful I’m in Canada. Seriously thankful. Around friends and family and pretty safe, I think. Of course I miss the weather. How could I not? It was perfect. And I miss some of our friends. I think I’m finally getting a chance to review our entire time in Mexico in the rearview mirror, which is helpful. I really couldn’t do that while we were still in the country and still moving around. I mean, sure, I reviewed our time in San Miguel once we were in Cuernavaca. But was like the whole thing was still in process. And then when we decided to sell the house, that was sure a process, especially through Covid. But now it’s over. The project folder is closed. Filed in the archives.

I do want to go to La Paz again in the winter (probably not this one) and could spend a few months there easily. But it’s super difficult to think of that, when other things are tenuous, still. So, not thinking about it yet. I’ll probably lose my PADI qualifiication (to keep it, I have to do my open water by February 2022). I can do it anywhere in the world but I don’t plan to be anywhere then.

Not sure what’s going on with Covid but it sounds like schools are a big factor in Canada. It’s going to be a long winter. We may even get boosters, although I’m not convinved we need them. CW got his digital BC vaccination card (I uploaded his Mexican info and mine) but I’m still waiting for mine. I check every couple of days. When I called they said upload it again. I’ve now done that three times (it’s been a month and is supposed to take four days). So I just keep it on my daily list and check for it most days. I can use my Mexican certificate in BC, but it’s a bit more of a pain. But those are first world problems. And I’m glad they are required for many, many things in Canada.

I hope you are all playing it safe. We still don’t know how long this will last. The Spanish flu came back in waves for 10 years, I just read. Haven’t confirmed that.

Don’t ask. And I can’t for the life of me centre this image on the page but I can’t get too hung up on it.

Uneventful. My life has been uneventful since we landed really, allowing for worrying about things that didn’t happen. I worried about the shipment, particularly once the shipper abandoned it one country short of his contract and gave me the combination to the lock at a storage until in a country that won’t let me cross the border by land to pick it up. Just one hour south.  It was on my mind a lot, likely because I had to figure out how to get it here. It took a lot of my time. But, it’s over and our stuff is here, even if it cost us more money and more mental real estate than we’d originally allowed for. All’s well that ends well.

And I’ll be able to get my Annie Evans Sculpture set up in the new house. That makes me happy. But I can never remember her name (the piece). Thankfully, I named the file by her name, An Opaque Absence. What does that even mean — Annie? Do tell. Because I can’t remember it for more than 15 seconds 🙂  It’s a small table piece. I was nervous of the horns coming through customs or I would have bought one of her ladies in a boat. It was certainly an expeirence, clearing customs with our “returning goods”. Odd process really but not interesting enough to write about.

Okay. More on the weekend and hope to publish Monday. Depends on how far I get with my Captivatist story.  Famous last words. Time will tell. Ha! Finished it.

Well, it’s Sunday. Thanksgiving, but as noted (I think) we had ours Friday night.  I don’t know that I’ll have much more to say today so maybe I should just publish this now. I do kind of have this lingering doubt that I’ve written much worth publishing. Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow, it is a holiday here. Hmmm. Good idea. See you later, I have a RomCom to imagine, haha. Everybody wants one and I’ve got an angle, I’m just developing it but it’s hard, I like developing stories with other people. Then writing alone. But this is a test. Back at it. I must find this story. Later, gator.

We have set up a back area with some windbreak and a heater (it was a covered open patio) for the bad weather. I need a floor covering of some kind. It’s cool out there already. As in cold. And it’s just begun. It’s nice and green all winter. Just not warm. (This is the view from my desk, so its okay.)

I have to keep my eye on the prize – at least one book and one script (on top of normal work) to complete this winter. I’ll need all the time I can get. It’s what I plan to do with the dark hours…write. If I sleep 8, then there are probably 6 more that are dark. But a couple of those are dinner and TV. It’s just the dark hours from say 5am – 8am that are so hard in the winter. More lights. The office isn’t bad, and a few more will really fix it up. I have lights that mimic the sun. And I think ultimately that things are going to change a bit. Don’t ask why. It’s just a gut feeling.

And so much for the next chapter. No outline  on our next chapter yet, really. Loosely, I guess we’ll get in the house and prepare to travel some. If traveling is allowed by then. In any event, it will be good to have all of our stuff in one place. We should be closing the house in 17 days. I hope it happens then. It will take a week to unpack. And we do have to book our movers (from storage to the house). Did I tell you that I’m hoping for Morocco at the end of March? We’ll see. I kind of have my doubts.

And I’m thinking about a Xolo (Xoloitsquintli) dog. From Mexico. Hairless and very sweet and loyal. Maybe. I’d really like a spotted one.

There are different varieties, I kinda like the spotted or butterfly Xolos. But I’d settle for any of them. Would ideally like an adult. But not until we see how the travel prospects are going. Might have to get him from Mexico but I’m a little nervous of Mexican breeders after all of PJ’s problems. None of them test for the genetic issues the breeds are known for. I’m not going through that heartbreak again. It’s a shame, since they are Mexican. Maybe my friend in Mexico City can find me a reputable breeder. They must exist there.

Wow, Thanksgiving Monday (October 12). The month is half over! Makes me happy. The time can’t go quickly enough until about March, then it can slow down (for the light, and the weather). But I’m going to work, work, work. I’m going to kick ass this winter.  I hope I have good garden space by spring. We’ll see how that shakes out.

I’m going to leave you with a new Bruce collaboration on John Mellancamp’s latest. It’s a well done song, but what I hope they are trying to tell us is not to waste our days in the third act… and not that they are wasted days now. I can’t abide by wasted days. But a good song.

Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind, stay masked. Just for the rest of the winter. We hope. And email me anytime. We still do our zoom on occasional Wednesdays, there are 20 of us on the list, let me know if you’d like to join in sometime. Keep the faith, it will get better. But what a long, strange trip this is turning out to be for all of us!

John & Bruce

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3 Comments

  1. Diane Cole Reply

    Bev, I always enjoy your posts but this one was even more special. I often think of Janet and when I saw her name in print knowing that another old friend has kept her in their heart was wonderful. Her death has always saddened me, so many unanswered questions about a life that ended far too soon. I have tried to find her brother Jackie, but no luck. Glad to hear you guys are settling in back in Canuck land.

  2. Louis Christen Reply

    Bev:
    Nice to read you are ‘settling in’. Yes, seasons really exist in most parts of the populated world.
    Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Think James Taylor. Welcome back to reality.
    Buying a Mexican dog? I thought you had enough of Mexico?
    I keep hoping that you will read the submission I made to Andrews McMeel Publisher. I suspect the key to finding a publisher is to have a million or more loyal followers on a media site like Facebook. Not my style.
    Best wishes,
    Lou

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