Leave Taking

Lately I have been thinking about the concept of leave taking.
How did these two words become joined in the notion of taking
leave? We have been engaged in numerous rituals of leave taking:
saying our goodbyes with good friends over good food; going out
for a drink or two; having a final cup of coffee together; and
just stopping by to say goodbye.

Leave taking has a more materialistic component also. Should I
take or leave these clothes, these books, these trinkets, these
pictures/paintings, and these shoes. Taking them with us to a
new setting or leaving them behind.

We have had the requisite garage sale, which was surprisingly
successful. We still had stuff to dispose of and in the end we
simply put it on the curb and watched it walk. Even the trash
bag containing worn, torn, and tattered bits of clothes walked.

I was reminded of a friend who described neighborhood garage
sales as places where neighbors exchanged trash. One person’s
trash is another’s treasure.

We are down to the bare bones. We are not returning with as
much as we brought. We brought an older dog who died here and
we are leaving with two new puppies and two rescued cats. These
four combined are smaller than the dog we brought. There was no
sense even mentioning the word “leave” when it came to pets.

Leaving with less than we originally took. Makes sense.

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Mexican Bugs

Walking past our pool I noticed an unusual black object floating.
Upon closer inspection I realized it was some kind of beetle. It
had a hard shell back and numerous legs and antennae.

I was familiar with the typical Mexican bugs, such as cucaracha,
but this was different. So I googled “Mexican bugs” and Google
provided me with entry after entry of Volkswagens.

Yes, VW’s are prevalent here, especially the “bug” versions. They
run forever and are easy to park in a crowded city. I never did
find the name of the dead bug floating in my pool.

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Our Journey North (Part 1)

It feels like the trek north began this morning.
After arranging the carriers for the cats and dogs
we loaded the vehicle to determine the best use of
space and gain some understanding of how much space
is still available for an assortment of various and
sundry things like paintings, books, and tools. It
appears we may have more room than anticipated.

The real reason for loading up the menageries of
pets was to take them to our vet for check-up on
their health and well-being and obtain necessary
documents for their entrance into the US. All is
well, for the time being. Just in case we did
purchase some pet tranquilizers. What the humans
will use is another matter.

The first hurdle is over. We are engaged in a
variety of rounds of “last visits.” What we will
miss most is our relationships with a wonderful
group of friends who have become like family here.
We are in the process of a long goodbye.

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Hold Your Tongue

How does one hold’s one’s tongue
I was told this when very young
when my father was upset and hot
after I called my brother a snot.

This morning in the dentist’s chair
my tongue caused the hygienist despair
trying to clean my teeth I discerned
that holding it I have not learned.

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God’s response to all these prayers

When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood!

Isaiah 1:15

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Round and Round

“The wheels on the buss go round and round, round and round,
The wheels on the buss go round and round.
All though the night.”

I want to add to that “The wheels in my mind go round and round.”
Yes, all through the night.

As we prepare for our move north there are a thousand and one
hurdles to jump: selling our old car, buying a new car, repairing
broken screens and doors (thanks to two cats and two puppies),
preparing for a garage sale, scheduling goodbye sessions with friends,
reviewing the road trip with pet friendly hotels, scheduling two
closings, scheduling a temporary place to stay until the new house is
ready, scheduling son Josh’s flight north, managing to cut off service
for our electricity, water, phone, and satellite TV, ordering new
bedding and furniture for the new house, emptying the refrigerator and
pantry, and packing what few things are going north with us.

Some of these tasks must wait until the last minute but that doesn’t
mean I don’t think about them. I go to bed tired and I awake tired.

To top it off I listen and watch as the US of A is engaged in protests
over protests. So athletes want to show their concerns that not all
members of the land of the free really have equal rights; so what,
that is their right. With the assistance of tRump, who ably deflects
our attention from his tax cuts for the rich and his denial of support
for Puerto Rico and his selling off portions of our National Parks for
mining and his dismantling of health care and his corrupt administration
and the investigations into his ties with Russia, we see protests against
football. How silly. They are not disrespecting the flag or national
anthem. They are not breaking any laws. White America does not like it
when other Americans point out the problems in our country.

Too bad. We are not a perfect nation, get over it or deal with it.
Don’t kill the messengers some of whom are veterans and they do love the
country, the flag, and the national anthem. Allow them their right to
free speech and enjoy the game.

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A no good very bad day!

We have been debating how we will travel back to the US of A with two Yorkie
puppies and two street cats. The options were to fly or to drive.

To drive we needed to obtain a reliable vehicle since ours was thirteen years
old and increasing unreliable. So we had a couple of leads of expats who
wanted to sell their autos which were plated in the US. That is important,
because most cars in Mexico do not meet the US Standards for emissions. We
would not be able to obtain a title in the US. Plus, when you bring a US
plated vehicle into Mexico and then stay for five years, you cannot own a
foreign-plated car.

Well, upon our return last Thursday we learned that the first choice was not
going to sell at this time. So we went to plan B. We arranged to see their
car on Sunday morning only to receive a Facebook message, on Sunday morning,
that they were not going to sell at this time. After a contact on Facebook
inquiring about other options we had a new lead on a car for purchase. After
as series of messages back and forth we finally learned that the car still
had a lien on it from a US bank with more due than it was worth.

So then began an all day fiasco of looking at flying. We sat on hold numerous
times. We tried Travelocity and found a fair of $141 per person in addition
to more fees for two pets in the hold and two pets in the cabin to Miami. After
booking we were informed that the airline had just increased the price to
$330 person. No thank you. We still would have had to drive to Michigan from
Miami. Flying, plan B. Fly to Houston and drive. United had a reasonable far
so we booked it. Then we called them to arrange for the pets. The two puppies in cargo would have to have separate crates AND we needed to pay for a broker to assist us. We paid the extra fees plus trip insurance only to be informed by the airline that Mexico did not allow pets to be processed on weekends or holidays. United only had flights available on Saturdays or Sundays.

So let’s cancel everything on United and start over. After waiting on hold for
over an our we managed to to cancel our flights and fees at no charge. However,
we needed to call the insurance company directly. So we waited on hold for another hour. The call center, as we discovered in previous calls, was in a
foreign country. I have no problem with that but only if they are competent
and are understandable. This time it was almost impossible to understand him
because of his accent and the speed with which he read his cue cards. He had
to repeat himself frequently but he wanted to sell me another policy for
another flight, which I did not even book.

Okay, by now it is late afternoon and we are exhausted and we have dinner plans with friends. During dinner we talked about our no good very bad day. We said
we were on to travel plan c. That meant buying a car from a dealer here that met US emission standards. On Monday afternoon we spent a couple of hours driving around looking under the hoods of new and used cars for the emission standard tag.

Success! We found a small, used SUV that will hold our animals in their crates. Our friends, who speak Spanish, negotiated the price. We wrote the check and
began the paperwork process. We will own the car by Wednesday.

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