Is Something Wrong with Me?

Have you ever hosted a party and no one came? Have you ever opened your home for friendship and fellowship … and nobody came? It happens to me … ALL.THE.TIME.

Now, I’m not talking about regularly scheduled group events when it’s my turn to host. I’m talking about times when I personally invite people into my home.

I wasn’t part of the “in crowd” in school. I had friends but often felt like I was on the outside looking in. But, even in high school, I hosted a baby shower for an older friend … and no one came. So, you see, it’s not a recent thing.

I was asked if I’d like to teach some fellow knitters how to do lace knitting. I was excited to be able to share my skills with others. So, I opened my home on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mondays of the month for that purpose. The 1st Monday, 1 person came (thank you very much). I was pleased and hopeful the “curse” had been broken. Now it’s been 3 consecutive Mondays and no one has shown up. A few have let me know they wouldn’t be able to come, but otherwise … crickets.

Let me back up just a little. I’m an extrovert … married to an introvert. In many ways, we balance each other. However, he is perfectly happy at home with his books or puttering in the yard and silence. For me, I can handle that for about an hour and then I’m crawling out of my skin. I need to be with people. I need noise, I need conversation. I need physical contact.

When I worked, my extrovert needs were met pretty well. When we retired we immediately moved to Mexico where I was involved in 2-3 different weekly activities that were usually within walking distance. I got my “bucket filled.” I made friends; we went shopping in Guadalajara or Chapala; or out to lunch … just because. [It didn’t hurt that the cost of things was a lot less there than they are here in the USA.]

But … now we’re back, almost a year, and I’m lonely. I feel isolated. My hubby is happy “doing this thing” all by himself or with others, makes no difference to him. Me … not so much.

Now, I don’t have a large fine fancy home like some others do. But it’s clean and nice. I don’t have a lot of money like some others; we have to account for almost every penny. But I’ve visited other friends in their homes which were no finer than mine. I live in a nice well-established quiet neighborhood. It is not fraught with crime. It is safe. But no one comes.

Even with church activities, when the school year ends, it’s as if fellowship just comes to a screeching halt, except for worship. You and I both know everyone doesn’t flock out of town to go on vacation ALL AT THE SAME TIME FOR 10 WEEKS! But also, everything doesn’t have to revolve around worship and prayer. I like to play board games or just go window shopping. I NEED PEOPLE!

I see friends’ posts on Facebook about their holiday barbeque, dinner or  whatever, with friends and neighbors … our house is quiet. Only immediate family for holidays and we’re a tiny family. Not much conversation, if at all. Dinner is cooked … and over … and back to “same ol’, same ol’.” I fondly remember a few small groups “back when” where we did almost everything together … Sunday group meetings, shopping, camping, playing Nertz or Mexican train … even holidays like Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving … all of them … together. Then kids grew up, left home … and it seems everyone left, moved away or something … Except us. We’re still here.

When others open their home, I join them if I can (and let them know). Sometimes I even ask for a ride (one car home here) so I can be there to support them. For some reason, that doesn’t happen for me.

So, today I cleaned and dusted; made brownies; was prepared to make special cooling beverages (you’ve got to try my basil slushy); sat down and waited for someone to show up. Again … crickets. My husband came in from doing yard work, got a glass of water and just sat in the living room with me, happily not saying anything. It got kinda creepy. Then he asked if he could have a brownie. I told him I didn’t care … he could have the whole thing if he wanted. He looked at me funny.

After waiting almost an hour, and becoming more and more disheartened, I went upstairs and began my pity party. I don’t do pity parties often. In fact, rarely. But I felt like I deserved one. I crawled into the bed and just stayed there for awhile in the dark. I felt like no one really liked me. I felt like my presence was apparently merely tolerated. I mean, when I come to their homes, they actually act like they like me. We converse, laugh, crack jokes, eat together, pray together.

So WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

After 66 years, you’d think I’d figure this out, but ….. …… no. So, you tell me: because I’m not getting it. But I AM getting really tired of it. I’m tired of being lonely. I’m tired of feeling isolated. I’m tired of feeling merely tolerated. I’m tired of being on the outside looking in.  And I don’t want to “get a job.” I’m retired. People tell me to “get involved.” I’m still looking for that special something. Obviously, I can’t create it myself because NO.ONE.COMES!

And now that my hubby and my son are gone, I just may go and have a good cry.

And eat a brownie … an 8″ x 8″ brownie.

I miss Mexico … where I felt like I had real friends.

Needlepushers Ajijic Spring distribution in Mezcala

Since many of my Needlepusher friends are not connected with FaceBook, I’m posting links to the pictures here on my blog of our distribution in Mezcala on March 3, 2015. I hope the links work for you.

Distribution at Jardin de los Niños Encarnacion Rosas in Mezcala

Needlepushers Ajijic 2nd distribution in Mezcala at Escuelas Primeria

Let’s Dance:  Hopefully video coming soon!!

 

 

 

 

I’ve Been Remiss….. or … Dia de los Muertos

I’ve been away waaaay too long. Not sure why. Maybe I just lost my creativity for awhile…or maybe I just got too busy enjoying my new life in Mexico to write about it. I’ve taken lots of pictures of different events.

So. I guess I’ll have to start blogging about some of them.

I’ll start with Mexico’s celebration of Day of the Dead on November 1 and 2: Better known to the locals as

Dia de los Muertos.

On these days they celebrate the memories of their past family and ancestors. Some actually believe that on this day some may decide to come back to visit. Many people go to the graves of their family member(s); take with them some of their favorite foods and beverages. We have a friend here, Francisco, who takes the afternoon off from working, goes to his father’s grave with some tequila, sits and talks to his father and “shares” the tequila with him.

Actually, American-style Halloween has taken a tiny foothold here for the children. Basically they go to the expat’s homes usually by invitation and trick or treat for candy. Now that Ajijic has a Walmart, there are costumes galore for them to choose from. We had some children come from the complex where we live, but we also had some come from a futbol team whose coaches live across from us. Mike was totally in the spirit of the evening by dressing for the occasion. When they’d come to the door he would jump out of the guest room window from behind the bushes and try to scare them … didn’t work.

November 1 is the day for honoring children who have passed away. Parents go to the cemetery and leave a trail of candies and the child’s favorite things from their grave back to the house. This way, if they should return on that night, they will be able to find their way home.

November 2 we went to Chapala to walk down Calle Cinco de Mayo which had the most elaborate shrines and activities for Dia de los Muertos. Many of these shrines honored families and others where in remembrance of celebrities and dignitaries from Chapala area or Mexico in general.

You’ll notice the picture of the shrine to Cantinflas….there is more information on him at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0134594/

Cantinflas - Mario Moreno Reyes

If you’re old enough you may remember seeing him in very old movies, most memorable to me is the original Around the World in 80 Days.

 All during this season you will see what are called Katrinas. These are sculpted skeletons, usually female, dressed up like real people. They come in all sizes…

teeny, like my little one for Boonie

and huge like the one in Chapala on the main crossroads into town,

and … ahem … living …

like this guy who talked, walked and generally scared the patootie out of some people. He was very interesting. I believe he was a living shrine to his grandfather.

And then we had the “walking dead”. All along Calle Cinco de Mayo  we met people dressed up as skeletons representing various specific people or even just groups of teenagers out enjoying the night.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then, of course, there’s the Girl and the Ghoul.

Hasta luego!

A Walk Through La Floresta

La Floresta is a neighborhood on the east side of the village of Ajijic. It is right next door to our little puebla of San Antonio Tlayacapan. Our neighborhood of Los Lirios is one long block from the eastern edge of LaFloresta.

Mike and I walk through here regularly on our morning walks. This post will just show you various homes and things we see on our walk. In subsequent posts I’ll discuss various choices of security and the various types of driveways.  Yep, I said it … “Driveways”.

One side of Camino Real

The main road through La Floresta is Camino Real and is an extension of Ramon Corona (our street in San Antonio Tlayacapan) to the east and Constitution in Ajijic to the west.

All of the streets are cobblestone and then they add speed bumps to rattle your teeth even more.

Most of Camino Real is a boulevard, with a large walled center section where one can walk, walk their dogs, or as you will see, post their horses for hire.

Walking path in the median

There are trees growing in the middle of the street, protected by a rock ring. Sidewalks wind their way around trees. Did I mention, it’s illegal to cut down a tree here without special permission from the municipality? In many cases you will find tree roots taking over where a wall lost it’s battle. Makes for interesting views.  If a tree has died and is not in danger of falling on anything, residents just plant a vine at the base and before you know it, you’ve got a lovely vine and flower covered dead tree.  Everything is lush…remember, springtime year around.  Many of these flowering plants have no dormant season.

Also, there is a yacht club and lakeside hotel in La Floresta too. There are $500,000 USD homes and homes for $150,000 USD. Large and small, well-kept and a little run down. Many of these homes are owned by wealthy Mexicans, some who live in Guadalajara and come down to lakeside for the weekends. There are also a couple of nursing and assisted living homes. One has a basset hound named Whiskey.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hope you enjoyed your walk through La Floresta with us. We certainly enjoy it. Almost every day.

San Antonio Tlayacapan

Our Little Village of San Antonio Tlayacapan

We try to walk every morning and have several routes to choose from. This post basically will have pictures of our walks through our little village of San Antonio Tlayacapan.

Mike usually walks in the street and I walk whenever possible on the sidewalk. I finally figured out that my small feet don’t work too well on the cobblestones in the streets. Mike’s big clod-hoppers work fine.

First of all, anywhere you are Lakeside you will see flowers … lots and lots of flowers. All colors. All shapes and all sizes. We also notice that most homes are behind a high wall or wrought-iron fence … sometimes very colorful or covered with vines. We see narrow cobblestone streets. Beautiful nice homes and a very crude fisherman’s hut. The malecon on the lake boasts beautiful views and a park and walking trail …  and it was a cloudy day when these pictures were taken in August, 2011.

There is the obligatory church and jardine (central garden square). The school, the bus that runs from Jocotepec to Chapala to Guadalajara and back.

There are all sorts of sights to see. This is where we live.  Just watch …. and enjoy. We do.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rodartes visit Lakeside

August 17, 2011

Each Sunday we head out about 9 AM northward toward Tlaquepaque to worship with the church of Christ in Tlaquepaque.

Because of the August rainy season, the church is meeting in the home of Jose Rodarte, their minister and missionary supported by Eastside Church of Christ in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Jose Rodarte

Tiny membership, during our first Sunday there were about 12-15 in attendance. There are about 4 men who conduct the service. Someday we will actually remember their names.

Thankfully, there is one young woman who speaks English very well and she was helpful with finding the songs. We don’t have our numbers down yet. Jose was gracious to have the 3 points of his sermon on the white board in both Spanish and in English for our benefit.   Kay is pleasantly surprised that she is understanding more than she thought, although not as much as she’d like. And since that first Sunday, he has provided us with his notes in English so we can follow along for the full 1 hour and 20 minute sermon. And, Trevor Rodarte has sat with us. Trevor is 11. Although we don’t communicate well, we manage to get the songs found with his help. He’s a very sweet young man. And he knows more English than he lets on.

Trevor Rodarte

The first Sunday, we can bearing gifts for Trevor, age 11, Cars II hotwheels, Eastside Youth Group T-shirt and sweatshirt. He immediately put on the sweatshirt — and it is AUGUST!!!

Nellie Galiana Rodarte

Nellie is age 3. Mike had bought a little sundress for Nellie with large pink and green tropical flowers on it. Kay knit a sweater and cap to match. Nellie was grinning in spite of being tremendously shy. Then the big gift for Nellie. A pink poodle with a purple and red dress and hat (see the family picture at the bottom). Now she was thrilled to see us. Maybe she won’t be so shy from now on.

Kay gave a Spanish language version of Focus on the Family’ The Truth Project to Jose and explained that this was a very very good teaching tool for those who might be skeptical about the “truth” of Christianity.

The following Sunday, Nellie shook Mike’s hand and he melted. He’s in love for sure. He told Kay later that if she’d sit in his lap or just give him a little kiss on the cheek he’d buy her anything she wanted. I don’t blame him. She’s a real charmer.  After we had unpacked more things, we brought some Veggie Tales movies for Trevor and Nellie and also Focus on the Family’s Froggy World DVDs.

We invited the Rodate’s to come visit our home in San Antonio Tlayacapan the next Wednesday. Mike wanted some input on the tiengue (open air market) and how to select a good papaya and mango and explain to us what some of the vegetables and fruits were that we did not recognize.

After the market we drove to the pier in Ajijic to show them the lake, the malecon and Vino Blanca.

Nellie and Vino Blanca

 After introductions to Vino Blanca we walked on the Malecon to a playground where Nellie and Trevor played for a while.

After about 1/2 hour of play we went back to our house, had some hamburgers and hot dogs, then Trevor, Nellie, Sophia and Kay went for a swim. Mike got in for awhile but spent most of the time talking with Jose. Nellie was very hesitant to get into the pool at first but after about 20 minutes we managed to get her into the little float ring Mike bought for her. We had a great time in the water for about an hour.

Later we said our goodbyes until the following Sunday. And Nellie has been friendlier each consecutive Sunday…and Mike likes that a lot.

Trevor, Pink Poodle, Jose, Sophia & Nellie