3 min read
25 Feb

Until now, I’ve not told everything happening day-to-day, but this week there is so much to tell, starting with the results of the Gala Dinner.  

We raised $147,785.91 pesos ($11,654 Canadian). Quite an achievement for a first-time fundraiser that was organized so quickly and by virtual amateurs.   

The new President of the Foundation sent me a voicemail.  He spoke quickly and excitedly in Spanish, making it impossible for me to understand – except for three words, “Marion…super excelente”!  That was all the thanks I needed to make my time and effort worth it! 

I was so pumped at the Gala that I didn’t get into bed until 1:30 a.m. which was now the morning of the Super Bowl.  Another party with the game as an excuse, held at the same beach casa where i attended the New Years Eve soiree. 

Happy Hour at Oasis began at 5 the next day, Monday.   My friend, Maureen, and I arrived with friends but the time flew and before we knew it, she and I were alone at the bar overlooking the ocean, enjoying the beautiful evening.  We shared a lovely dinner, commenting that  the closed white beach umbrellas below us looked mysteriously like a number of Muslim women in burkas.  That's a difficult image to erase from your mind once you think about it.  Topping off the night with Sexy Coffees, we then headed home.  

A Sexy Coffee is an event in itself.  You watch, fascinated at the various flaming liquors being poured slowly from one silver container into the next, as they make their way down into a heated, suger-rimmed glass half-filled with hot coffee.  The final ingredient is a scoop of ice cream that melts almost immediately.  Sipping heaven! 

One sobering thing happened this week though. Glenys Squires, a friend I've known longer than anyone else, took a bad fall in Melaque, a town an hour’s drive north of Manzanillo.  She happened to look up at something while walking up the street so missed seeing the two concrete steps protruding from a shop onto the sidewalk.  

Glenys fell heavily, her face and shoulder bearing most of the brunt.  Fortunately, her son, a retired paramedic, was with her.  He knew instantly that simple stitches by a doctor would leave her with bad facial scars for life, so he called ahead to Hospital Echauri in Manzanillo, requesting a plastic surgeon be summoned.  

The surgeon, who was waiting for her arrival, repaired the severe damage done to her face.  Images were taken of her neck, shoulder and back – nothing broken.  Stitches were also required inside her mouth, but she didn’t even lose a tooth! The other things she didn’t lose were her constant sense of humour and her positive attitude.  She is a joy to be around. 

When walking in Mexico, you must keep looking down – if you need to look up, you must stop walking, look, then look down again and only then resume walking.  

There are many obstacles such as an unexpected 2” step-up to another level on an otherwise flat floor.   Broken sidewalks, projecting concrete steps, cobblestone roads, wires, etc. are a few of the walking hazards.   Glenys’ accident was a sad reminder, especially for we older people, that falls happen in an instant, not only on icy, snowy winter streets in the cold north but in the tropics too. 

I must admit that I woke feeling a little tired Tuesday morning but I joined my Sunshine Art Group to begin a seascape from a photograph that I received permission to paint from the local photographer. The scene is only blocked in but already it is sold to a friend who saw it on my easel. She said she was outbid on the two paintings I donated to the Gala's silent auction and she didn't want to miss out on this one! 

Wednesday morning, eight of us in two cars drove to La Manzanilla, a small town north of Melaque.   La Manzanilla is known for three things – first, a crocodile sanctuary where you can walk over bridges above the lagoon and around fenced paths to view these huge beasts, hoping none see you as a tasty morsel.  

Second is a small but interesting art gallery where I sold a few of my paintings about 10 years ago. 

Third, and the reason for our trip, Martine’s – my most favourite restaurant in Mexico.  Unless you know it’s there, the rickety wooden steps up to the open dining area are almost hidden by lush growth of trees, bushes and vines.  The open-air restaurant has huge carpets hanging from an upper floor at the back to hide the kitchen there.

Martine is a fabulous chef, his creations unreservedly the best I’ve tasted.  I took his recommendation of fresh lobster and was astounded when my plate arrived with not just one, three lobster tails!  When you go for lunch, you need to be prepared that you are going to spend the rest of the day there because Martine prepares each order himself from scratch.  

The secret is to go with companions whose company and conversation you really enjoy while sipping drinks and watching him preparing many things right at your table.  Don and I discovered this gem at least 20 years ago and went as often as we could every winter and I still go whenever I get the chance.

Thursday morning was the Bocce Ball Tournament on the beach in front of Oasis, followed by a Silent Auction and 50/50 raffle in support of distressed animals in Manzanillo.  Fred Taylor and his wife, who passed away a few months ago, were the founders of the organization that has become an annual event eagerly looked forward to by Bocce Ball players, fans and many others.  . 

Next week Azucena and I are having a debriefing of our Gala and the pictures I took of Fred’s Silent Auction set-up will be helpful to us for next year.

Friday started with Aquafit in the morning, followed by a leisurely lunch in Los Brises, then dinner at friends who live close by.  Marion 2 (I am Marion 1 - we were named by her husband to differentiate between us) prepared a delicious gluten free dinner and appetizers. I'm so glad she loves to cook and her creations reflect this.  Our  animated conversations during the evening lasted until someone looked at their watch and announced “It’s midnight!”, time to go home.  

When I woke Saturday morning, all my busyness of the last number of weeks seemed to finally catch up with me – I felt very tired.   I spent a quiet day with my Kindle on my comfortable patio reading “Killers of the Moon Flowers”.  It's a fascinating story of how the FBI came to be.  A refreshing swim in the hot afternoon sun, then back to my Kindle. 

Today will also be a quiet day before the start of another week chock full of daily social events.  

You might wonder if I will find Ottawa a bore after the almost frenzied activity of my life in Manzanillo. I don't think so.   I’m looking forward to having the alone time to write my life story, a book I’ve been working on piecemeal for many years.  It's time to concentrate on finishing it.

Each decade of my life has been different from what went before and I have no idea what this one will bring.  Could this book project be the subject I’ve been wondering about for my ninth decade?  

Perhaps the weekly writing of this blog is meant to hone my writing skills to finally get my book written?

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