Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bienvenida a Estados Unidos! (GGW 13)

Whoops.  Had to take a little side-trip there!

Just got back from sunny (well, sunny with occasional thunder-showers) Mexico.  Girls Gone Wild - 2013 Edition!

This trip was, pretty-much, a carbon-copy of last year's trip (in terms of where we went, what we saw, and what we drank - err - ate!), so I'll just link to last year's slide show post (which I never did figure out how to embed!!!)

Random Mexico Photos

Okay now, requisite disclaimer:  This is post is gonna be mostly-rambly. Consider yourself warned!

This year's trip was quite a bit different, in that it was something of an Emergency-Emotional-Support trip.

See, ever since Hubs and I went to visit them, and we discovered that Hubs really doesn't like the Mexican Ex-Pat Zone (Lake Chapala and surrounds), we girls decided that GGW Weekend needs to be an Annual Thing.  No Men Allowed is what I'm sayin'!

So the original plan for GGW Weekend (Maiden Voyage - 2012), was for the girls to ditch their spouses and spend a 4-5 day weekend catching up, perusing Artsy Fartsy zones, and yakking endlessly in Girl-Speak (mind-numbingly dull for the spousal units!).  In fact, last year, D's husband had flown back to the states - just so we girls could have our "Hen-Fest."

So this year's trip has been "cooking" since March (when I purchased the airfare).  In the meantime, D lost her husband most unexpectedly.  That was a total shock and major blow to D:  I mean, he was many years her senior - and plagued with (hereditary) cardio-vascular issues - but he was also the poster-child for good, clean, healthy living.  Seriously, he was like Mr. Iron-Man Triathlete, right?!  So, on his last day on earth, he awoke to watch the Tour de France.  Did his usual 100 push-ups and 100 crunches and - no doubt - ate a light healthy breakfast of fruit and granola (or something), then went on a 2-1/2 hour bike ride (Basically - just another normal day for them, right?).  Well, when he got home, D greeted him as he was walking his bike back into the house.  Next thing she knew, he was slumped-over, lips turned blue and in an instant - he was gone.  He died right in her arms.

I mean, it was as beautiful as something-like-that can be - but HOW TRAUMATIC!

In the weeks following his demise, D had been very busy handling legal affairs, estate settlements, planning "Send-off Parties" ("Celebrations of Life" whatever you wanna call 'em), in multiple countries/states (They were quite the "Movers and Shakers" - back in their busy-career days).

Through it all, she had many friends, neighbors - Gringos and Mexican nationals alike - offering her food, support, rides to wherever (and more-than-a-few scumbags of-the-male persuasion who actually "hit on her" at her late-husband's celebration - Urgh!) (She is incredibly gorgeous and, at age 50, she is comparatively young amongst the Ex-Pat population - therefore, quite a "catch" in her own right!).

Annnnnywaaaayyy...  Tactless Scumbags aside, she really does have a good support network down there - is what I'm sayin'.  But in the weeks after her husband's passing, she relied most heavily on daily phone-calls with her mother - back here in the states.  Welllll...  Just a few short weeks after her husband's death, her mother's health took a turn for the worse.  Her mom passed just 6 weeks after her husband.

So the "tone" of my upcoming Mexican Fiesta had changed significantly.  First, I wanted to confirm that it was still okay for me to impose upon her hospitality during this difficult time - to which she replied "Are you KIDDING ME?!  You are my beacon of hope!" (or words to that effect!)

So long-story-short (Too late!!!), much of the weekend was spent reminiscing about all of the good (and bad) times...  Many tears were shed...  There may have been a Complete Nuclear Meltdown at one point...  Then, a little bit of gentle "Butt-kicking" was in order (since my friend had found herself on a bit of a self-destructive path - understandable, given the circumstances).  Toward the end, there was definitely more laughter than tears, and I'd like to think I played a small role in getting her pointed back in the right direction.

And I feel good - for having had the opportunity to help a very good friend through a very rough patch.

Secondary to all of that: I feel good because - prior to my trip - I had gotten a steroid injection.  That, unfortunately, seems to be the only thing that kicks my skin condition to the curb.  Not really a viable long-term solution, but I'll take it for stuff like international vacations - just to ensure that I am able to walk and function like a normal person.

I'm rather enjoying this whole "normal" thing - now that I'm home.  I've actually been able to do crazy stuff like: "I think I'll check out the Saturday Farmer's Market" and just put on a pair of shoes (Yes, SHOES!), grab my car keys and go.  Or "Gee, we're out of milk" and - again - slip on some shoes, hop in the car and go.  Or, crazier still:  "I think I'll go out and tidy up the garden" (Gawd, that sounds so refined, doesn't it?!).  So I ripped out the last of the tomato plants and assorted summer veggies (left the pepper plants - they've still got some fruit that's almost ripe).  Filled the green-bin, I did!  And that is pretty damned cool if you ask me!!!

(Srsly - this really is a "treat" for me right now - to be able to walk without pain!)

Oh how I wish we (the doctors and me) could find a REAL solution to this completely f**ked-up condition!!!

Anyhoooo...  Sorry for the rambling, but I really wanted to take a minute to kind-of "count my blessings" - as it were.  Normally I absolutely HATE this time of year.  Autumn with it's shortened days, and cooler nights *always* brings me down!  But we are having an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful Indian Summer, this October (Jeez!! October already?!!).  I am up and walking - and I intend to squeeze every last micron of Vitamin D out of whatever sunshine we have left, right?!

And with that, I will add one picture of a couple of Talavera Planters that I picked up in Tonala, this last trip!

Adios!  And I hope to get back to posting bona fide "content" someday soon...!


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