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I write this at 9:20 pm from my favorite hotel, an old hacienda in San Sebastian del Oeste in the mountains east of Puerto Vallarta. It was a lovely drive with hardly any landslides, considering the humongous storm that hit Vallarta and San Pancho and the coast mountains last night. We are on our way to Ajijic tomorrow, down the curvy mountain road into the agricultural valley of Mascota then through sugar cane fields in a shortcut to Lake Chapala. On Saturday we will go to the festival of globos, weather permitting and I sure hope it does. You remember... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
We'll start this one in a field of dreams. One thing I've noticed is that fields of dreams are all different. I think we all have them: that raw material from whence our dreams are born into reality. They can be about things we want to do or about how we want to be. They can be vague or precise visions of the future we desire, or treasure troves of collected wishes, ideas, inclinations, or stuff. They might lie fallow for long periods during which we either ignore them or step timidly around them, not bearing to look. Over time,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I'm going to introduce you to three people in next few posts. I don't know them very well, but I know what they do, which is what I want to tell you about. High up on the east slopes of Mt. Rainier, where, at 6400 feet, the paved road that reaches the Sunrise Visitor Center is the highest paved road in Washington, I encountered Sierra Willoughby. It was serendipitous, as most good things are. Craig and I had taken our time down below in the Grove of the Patriarchs, which we visited in my last post. We drove leisurely up... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I didn't mean to. I had every intention of publishing another post right after that last one. Then my son came for a visit to the Northwest and so did Carol, after which packing happened, which believe me was a long-term project. Then there were all the last minute errands and shopping that are always necessary when leaving the States for an extended time in Mexico. And meanwhile there was the having fun part. We boarded an Alaska jet last Thursday morning. We had one of those dream pilots who fly the plane over the top of every magnificent mountain... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
...Can a Person Take of One Frigging Mountain?? Let's find out, shall we? Last week, we spent five days in another perfect cabin, this one in Ashford, just outside the gates of Mt. Rainier National Park. We'd been gawking at the mountain for weeks, the Seattle area having enjoyed some of that crystalline summer weather that is the reason people stick around up here. These days are like the toy in the Cracker Jack box, the rainbow Easter egg in the spidery grass, the fat ripe blackberry hiding in the sticker bushes. And there was Rainier dominating the horizon, hovering... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
We are on our way to Rainier, once known as Tahoma, "the mountain that was god". We will have no internet for five days. What we will have is more opportunity to explore this little blue planet and what it means to be riding along on it. In the meantime, the Perseid meteor shower approaches its peak. Here in northern Idaho, we've seen a dozen meteors in the past two nights, and we'll be stargazing as much as we can in the coming nights. The Perseids reach their peak this year around August 12, but now is the time to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
We took a little break from trailer park life this week and went on an overnight road trip. From Sooke to our destination--Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island--is a four hour drive. It took Craig and me seven. Oh, those side trips and side roads. Our first one was a shortcut to Hiway #1 that Glenn told us about. Humpback Road, it's called. He gave us a briefing on it, but even so the reality was a hoot. The little road, one lane wide (and occasionally one and a half), snakes through trees and over hills in the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I have two weeks to catch up on, don't I? And truth be told, there's just no way to tell it all. I'm writing this from a trailer in a seaside trailer park on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There's a gale blowing up at the moment. Barbeque is scrapped; we'd blow away before the burgers were medium rare. Another adventure. If I were to try to describe this traveling and this traveling companion, the joy of it all, the sidetrips and the keeping still, the romance and the conversations, the awe and the hilarity, the learning, delicious minutes... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
Come on. Take a walk down this path with me. Watch the steps. Now have a seat on this bench and enjoy the view while I tell you a tale. I brought you here to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, in last week's post. Here, from our little forest cabin, we have been enjoying day trips and back road explorations for the past week. Salt Spring caresses and inspires. We eat farm stand food, we breathe the oxygen exhaled by the forest, we walk. We nap when we want to, paint for hours on the back porch, stay up late... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I woke this morning wrapped in green. It's the first rainy morning we've had in many days. Nature has been good to us on our tour of the grand Pacific Northwest, with many blue-sky mountain-out days. Even today, the rain and sky are soft, the sky white and luminescent, the patter of the raindrops on the leaves of the giant maples as soothing and cozy as rain on the roof of a tent. Craig and I are in the heart of the forest, in a perfect cabin on Salt Spring Island, which snuggles up to Vancouver Island on its east... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I'm sleeping in a tent. It's a nice tent, all outfitted specially for me by my sister. It has rugs and tables, a lamp, a chair, a big cushy new air mattress with lots of woodsy-looking covers (and an electric blanket after I nearly turned into a popsicle the first night), two feather pillows and one of those chair thingies for reading in bed. My sis is a miracle. I fall asleep to the sound of Barred Owls hooting their strange calls through the forest and awaken to the chatter of dozens of different birds announcing the dawn. In this... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
Oh my. I've been receiving a number of emails asking "Where are you?" and "Why no posts?" and "Are you okay?". Thanks for your concern and persistence. What happened was, Typepad was down again when I attempted to post two weeks ago, after which I was caught up in the whirlwind of preparing for my sojourn to the north. But I'm fine. Finer than fine. I'm in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the cool temps, the vistas, and the luscious aromas of cedar and fir and wood fires. It took a while to get here, as Carol and I drove from... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I was running an errand the other day, dropping off a bag of clothes from my now somewhat more organized closet to Michel at the Lloyd's property management and real estate office. Michel will take them to the hospital here in San Pancho, where she is helping out hugely by purchasing and collecting supplies for the 1400 babies who are born there every year, and for their families who travel from all over this area for their new baby's arrival. Some of them come in threadbare clothing, thus my donation of women's things. She says she has enough now for... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
We had our eyes on the weather satellites this week as the first big storm of the season approached the coast of Mexico. It came ashore far south of us with rain and wind, and somehow managed to fling a big rainstorm into Chacala and La Peñita just north of us, but San Pancho escaped with only a cloudy sky, fresh breezes, and beautiful sunsets. Carol and I took a walk tonight to feel the air and see the beach. The sea was choppy with a surface the color of stainless steel when we first arrived. As the sun slipped... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
(***As you can see from John L's comment below in the comments section, there is a way to order the book even if you don't live in St. Louis. He bought one through! John, who is real smart because he's a retired professor, simply Googled Craig's name and the book title, and up it popped. He's expecting delivery to his very own house in Texas on May 19. Thanks for the tip, John!) 📚 🎨 📚 I have news for those of you who have been following this story: Craig Downs' book Found in San Pancho is real, tangible,... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
You may have noticed a problem this past week accessing San Pancho Vida. So did I. Typepad experienced some sort of a hack-attack, which they handled bravely and communicatively, keeping their bloggers well-informed with reports every few hours on their status page. It must have been a frustrating and miserable time for them, solving problems just to have others arise. But they succeeded and likely came out of it knowing more than they did before, which I suppose is all we can ask of a crappy situation...that we emerge with more knowledge and understanding than we had going in. My... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
Lately, I've been noticing reflections. I've been wandering around the house looking for them and taking photographs. Sort of a dopey thing to do, but I've been enjoying it. It's got me to thinking. The first thing I thought was that people, unlike mirrors and windows, need to have some silence in order to reflect. Reflection doesn't have to be solitary, though: people can reflect together, and even in groups sometimes. The little group on my roof at 2 a.m. Tuesday had some moments of reflection in between chatting and laughing. We had joined up at midnight to cook pancakes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
This final post in the Stories with Wings series can only be about... and gratitude. On the night of the show, I and my fellow adult contributors of art were honored sweetly by being brought up on stage. I had been ambushed by a group of entreamigos staff, herded to the stage area, and told in no uncertain terms to stay put until further notice. I had no idea I was going to be offered the microphone once they got me up there and so have no idea what I said except for a vague recollection of voicing my... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
All the work and play of the imagining mind now become a story...a story with wings and a life of its own. And, oh the stories our imaginers created! Indira and the volunteer corps constructed giant stand-up and pop-up books from the children's work, which flowed from the hand of our little writer into the rest of the big room. This one is The Gorilla Ramón, by Ceiba Marilud and Maia Ilmar. Loosely translated, it says "There once was a gorilla who wanted to live in an igloo. So he escaped from his cage and went to Alaska. He was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
The night after the Circo de los Niños, much of San Pancho re-congregated at the huge remodeled bodega that is entreamigos. At times like that Saturday night, this center of our community comes to life in a spectacular way, creating new appreciation and lasting connections. This year's fundraiser and art show was titled "Stories with Wings". For months, the children of San Pancho had been drawing pictures and writing stories from which adult members of the community created art, turning entreamigos into an art museum and a showcase of collaboration. Indira Santos Aznar, aka Indira the Magnificent, conceived and designed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
There we sat. Nearly all of San Pancho plus who knows who else, as we numbered over a thousand that starlit Friday night in the Plaza del Sol. And there they beamed: our own stars, over sixty of them, the children of the village performing with joy and confidence and exuberance. Parents and volunteers told me that the previous night, when the children had a complete dress rehearsal in front of their families, there were some cases of nerves. This night, you'd never have known, as they performed as if they'd been performing forever. Their four and five hour practices... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
This is the big weekend we've been waiting for and working towards: Circo de los Niños tonight, and the art extravaganza "Stories with Wings" tomorrow. More to do today, so I'll see you next Friday with photos and on the spot coverage. Have a great week. 🎈🎈🎈 Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
And I'm not the only one. San Pancho is bustling with mostly behind the scenes activity in preparation for our big weekend of March 21 and 22. It's interesting to me that so many of the people I meet at entreamigos or on the street who are entirely absorbed and occupied with the upcoming fundraiser seem to be having so much fun. Secrecy abounds: hardly anyone knows what anyone else is up to and nobody's telling. I found some hints today, though, as I am a sleuth reporter. Take a look at these! And how about these? Not much, I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
One might think, in a sleepy little Mexican village like San Pancho, that nothing much ever happens. One might think, down here in a podunk pueblo in the farm state of Nayarit, that no one of particular interest ever visits, much less lives here and pays attention. One might even think that life goes on in a monotonous sort of way with no true surprises to spike adrenalin and create a buzz not unlike a 747 taking off right down our six block main street. One would be so wrong. If you've been reading this blog for a few years,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
Last week I promised a preview to a very special event happening here in March. Well...we're not quite ready for the unveiling yet, so I'll tell you next week instead, and it's worth the wait. However, something else happened on Tuesday that we residents of San Pancho think is pretty terrific. At 9:00 in the morning in our beautiful refurbished plaza, our new weekly market, Mercado del Sol, began selling its wares. In the shade of the brick arcade, shoppers wandered from table to tantalizing table. Brita's organic vegetables were a big draw. I brought home a bag full of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2014 at San Pancho Vida