Tuesday, May 2, 2017

“On the Bus Again, Just Can’t Wait to Get On the Bus Again”

“On the Bus Again, Just Can’t Wait to Get On the Bus Again”
            With appropriate apologies to Willie Nelson, I’ll soon be “making music with my friends.” We all know that I haven’t a musical molecule in my body, much as I love a wide variety of music.  But this music to which I refer is metaphorical music.

            Tomorrow I’ll board the posh Primera Plus autobus from Zapopan to Mazatlan where I’ll meet Kathy, who will fly in from Victoria, B.C. Rock and roll! This is a special time for us. Over years of vacationing together, Kathy and I grew accustomed to having a couple weeks of “girl time” to ourselves before being joined by her husband, Richard. However, the last three years, their Mexico trips have been focused, first, in search of a house in which to retire, and then, trips to mold their chosen house in Etzatlan to their needs.

            Don’t mis-read me. I love Richard and I love being with him. But, girl time is different. We talk about things differently. We have different interests. Our timing is different. Verbal intimacy happens. Oh, I can’t explain it.

            Richard retires in December this year. We’ve given that gentle man advance warning, now and then, Kathy and I will need to disappear for a week or two on a girl trip.

            This week we will stay at Kathy’s resort on the beach, spend hours lounging beneath a palapa, banter with beach vendors, a dozen or more of whom we know by name. We’ll nab Carlos for pulmonia rides to our favorite places, the Mercado, the Plazuela Machado, the Angela Peralta Teatro, the Callecita Restaurante. We’ll hop a bus for Cerritos and walk the rocky beach. We’ll be “going places we’ve never been, seeing things that we may never see again”.

            We have no big plans. We don’t need plans. We’ve learned not to make plans because both of us tend, on the way to “there”, to say, let’s see what is over “here”. Often we never make it to “there” but we surely have fun along the way.

            Then, bonus! The following week Crinny, Kathy’s sister, will join us. Oh, look out, World, here we come! “We’re the best of friends, insisting that the world keep turning our way,” and isn’t that what life’s all about anyway, even if the “vacation” is roasting hotdogs over a fire-pit in the back yard?

            Today I’m at loose ends, bouncing between those last minute jobs and being treated by friends as though I’m going on a journey to the ends of the earth. My last load of laundry dances on the line. Leo brought me tamales for breakfast, made by monks who sell them after the 8:00 Mass.

            I meet with the young men to discuss messy jobs they will do while I’m safely out of their way.  We planned it that way—at their urging. I’m sure neither want me poking over their shoulders asking questions, interfering.

While I’m not in their hair, Josue will take down my metal patio roof and rebuild it with a structure insulated against hot summer sun. He will paint the underside marina blue. Leo will chip away the window glazing on all my casa windows. Remember when windows were glazed? This stuff is a horrid, thick black goop, applied thirty plus years ago, dried, cracked and impossible to clean.
I’m glad to vacate my house for these jobs. When I return, the work will be finished, the potted plants and furniture back in place, the mess cleaned up and disposed. I’ll be blissfully unaware of any problems the men might have encountered.

I’ll be gone a mere two weeks but everybody insists on “going away” meals. Ariel and Lani took me to lunch at the laguna near San Juanito Escobedo. Tonight Carol and John are taking me to Casa Blanca in town for dinner. When I get on the bus in the early morning, I’ll still feel stuffed.

Going to Mazatlan from this mountain town is like entering a different country. The ocean instead of mountains. Sounds and sights are different. Air is redolent of sea-mist, heavy, humid, and soft, rather than dry, crisp and dusty. Our ears discern regional accents. The streets are a “different busy”. Sights and people are long-time familiar to us. For Kathy and me, Mazatlan has become a “home town”. It’s all good; it’s our kind of music.

We are of the generation that talk, eyeball to eyeball, hours at a time, without electronic devices. We tell stories and explore ideas. It’s our kind of “music”.

However, we have talked dreamed returning in another life as an all-girl mariachi band. I’ll be lead singer. Kathy wants drums and trombone. Crinny on base. Oh, what a world we imagine!

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

April 27, 2017

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