Saturday, October 31, 2015

When You Want To Go And You Want To Stay

When You Want To Go And You Want To Stay
            When you want to go and you want to stay and your mind is in a muddle with more questions than answers—that’s me—I do what’s next on the list. That’s one answer I give myself. Oh, I have an entire warehouse of questions with multitudinous solutions.

Today I leave the other possibilities packed away on the shelf. Each “possible” thinks it is important and has a nasty habit of popping out to entertain me in the middle of the night. Oh, bother.

            But my plane ticket is purchased. Nothing must be decided or solved today. Time will iron out a good portion of my questions and quandaries. So I’ll fly off into the wild blue yonder to come to earth in rainy, humid Mazatlan, there to stay for the winter.

            I wanted more time in Montana. I whizzed through Havre when I yearned for a week. My visits in Harlem and Glendive were much too short. I’ve a list of people I didn’t get to see. Ditto for friends in Washington.

            Not only that, I found myself yearning to return to Montana. In a flurry of activity I collected applications to senior housing in several cities. My actions generated energy in other directions. Out of the blue, not knowing my thoughts, a family member invited me to share an apartment in her home. Two days later a friend invited me to share space in her house. Both situations appeal to me for different reasons.

Or, I could stay in my apartment in Mazatlan, where it’s always “summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.”  Public transportation eliminates a need for an automobile. I live two blocks from the beach. Oh, what is a poor woman to do? See what I mean?

That’s the upside. The downside is that I am very much alone, decidedly alone, unmitigatedly alone. Missing family and friends is what plunged me into this swamp of decisions in the first place.

On the other hand, now that I don’t have to deal with pain, surgery and recovery, I could volunteer to hand out programs at Angela Pealtra Teatro. Or volunteer to read books to children (in English) at la biblioteca.

I could fly to the States more often. I have options. I don’t live in a cocoon.

Whatever I do, I’m sure to find adventure. For example, one of my last days in Washington, my friend Vidya and I took a cruise on a Washington State Ferry over the Straits to Coupeville.

The two of us plus my two fully-packed suitcases struggled to get through the turnstile for walk-on passengers.  Vidya finally turned her ticket the proper direction so the reader on the screen flashed green to let her pass through to the other side. We wiggled and jiggled and squiggled one suitcase in an attempt to get it through the skinny turnstile. Finally we lay it down and scooted it beneath the barriers. Slick. Ditto with second suitcase.

That left me standing outside while Vidya with all my baggage looked back from inside. Try as I might I could not get my ticket to let me pass through the turnstile. In fact, it gave me an ugly “honk” of rejection.

Finally I raised my arm and waved at her. “By, Vidya. Have a good flight. My passport and ticket are in the turquoise bag. You’ll find a bundle of pesos in the same pocket. Once you get through customs, take a cab to my apartment. Say ‘hello’ to my friends. Good-by.”

Eventually an employee of the ferry system arrived and unlocked a gate to let me through. Vidya reluctantly returned my ticket and passport.

In typical fashion, once we boarded the ferry, we stood in the elevator a full five minutes chatting before we remembered to press the button to take us to the passenger deck, a common elevator occurrence with me and my friends.

Today, without further mishap, I’m on my way home. Family and friends have filled me with good food, memories and love. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Where are my pesos? Did Vidya give me back my bundle of pesos? I need my pesos.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

September 17, 2015   

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