Lonely Days

Lonely.  Now there is a word.  How many pop songs used it over the years?   Hundreds, many of them my favourites because they were just great songs.   The allmusic.com website lists over 1300 occurrences of the word in a song title.  Song writers love it and for good reason.  We can all identify with being lonely. 

For Heather and I at Casa Madera Bed & Breakfast, it hits us every once in a while but very rarely.  When it hits though, it hits.

 The nice thing is that family does come to visit.  My son, Brendan is coming next weekend with a buddy to celebrate his 21st birthday.  I cannot tell you how excited we are over that.  Not that we don’t have friends here.  We do, and they make sure we are never lonely. 

Christmas this winter was a special treat.  My brother, Larry and Heather’s mother, Barbara were here.  That made Christmas extra special this year.  Christmas for both of us revolves around family and having family here this year was wonderful. 

That and our friends kept us busy. 

Christmas Eve at Robert & William Michael’s, Christmas Day dinner at Bill & April’s.  To be surrounded by good friends and family makes it so special.  It was so far removed from our first Christmas in Vallarta.

December 24, 2008 – Christmas Eve.  A totally different Christmas Eve than either one of us has ever experienced.  One it was 26 degrees and there was no snow, ice or threat of slush.  Two, our families were 2ooo miles north of us.  This was the first Christmas either one of us had ever spent alone.  Ok, so we were not really alone but I am sure you get the idea.

We decided that we were going to do the day up right.  Christmas Eve was the day that my family had dinner.  It developed a long time ago as the family grew, people got married and had their spouse’s family to satisfy as well.  That and the 24th of December was my parents anniversary.  It just became THE day. 

This Christmas Eve was going to be obviously different.  We knew three people in town.  Robert and William Michael who were gracious enough to invite us to their Christmas Day dinner the next day.   We knew Marco, but he was in Guadalajara with his Mother and Father.  Other than them we were alone. 

The strangest part of the whole experience was that we were having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit.  For one, it was warm.  The air conditioner was running in the condo.  We were sweating when we went outside.  Where was the snow?  For many of us, even though we hate it, the first snowfall was what jump started us into Christmas mode.  Well no snow here except for the frost layer in our freezer. 

We noticed when we first arrived in town 6 weeks before that Christmas trees were for sale.  It seemed odd to see all of these trees basking in sunshine.  If you took one home you did not have to wait for it to thaw before cutting the trunk and sticking it in water.  Crazy.

We did not buy a tree.  One, where the hell would we put it.  No space in the condo.  We settled for a couple of artificial trees about 18 inches tall and decorated them with some small glass balls that we bought from Mega.  They got set up in the stairway.  There, we were decorated for Christmas. 

Our trees

This brought us to dinner.  What were we going to have?  We did not have a proper stove or oven so we could not cook a turkey.  We could go out but what is open on Christmas eve?  We had never been here before at that time so we had no idea what would be open or closed.  We finally decided on an old favourite as they were just down the street.

Christmas Eve Dinner 2008

Yep, that’s right.  KFC.  The Colonel.  It was a taste of home, what can we say.  I can say, it was freaking great!  It was without a doubt the best KFC I had tasted in years.  Well cooked fresh Mexican chicken done with the 11 herbs and spices.  I could go on and on but lets just say we ate there more than once because it was so good. 

Christmas morning for anybody with children always starts early.  We had been lucky as my children were old enough that they were past the getting up at 5:00 am stuff.   So I was looking forward to a nice relaxing sleep filled morning on Christmas Day.  I could not have been more wrong.

6:00 am I awake with a start to the sound of a bang.  What the hell was that?  Then there was another bang, followed quickly by another.  Well I had to go see what was going on.  I had noticed that Heather was no longer lying beside me so somehow she was involved.  And involved she was, chasing a cockroach around the floor with a hammer!  Bang, missed, bang, missed, bang, missed.  Needless to say she eventually got it but by then I was up for the day.  So much for the sleep in.

Coca Cola Christmas Tree

We had been invited Robert & William Michael’s for dinner Christmas Day and asked to bring a green salad.  We had the lettuce but Heather wanted a salad spinner, something that did not fit in the car when we moved.  It was christmas day but to our surprise all the major stores were open so after we made all of the phone calls home we ventured out to see what we could find.

Nothing, that’s what we found.  No such thing as a salad spinner in Mexico.  One of the stores, Mega, has helpers who double as time share salespeople.  Well the gentleman we talked to that day told Heather she needed to become more Mexican and just whip the lettuce around in a towel like everybody else! 

Two months later we found one in Lans Department store.  It has been followed by many others.  Apparently not all Mexican women want to whip their lettuce around in a towel either!

Dinner at Robert and William Michael’s was divine.  The food was excellent and the post dinner entertainment provided by Los Bambinos was phenomenal.  If you are ever here and get the chance to see them it is well worth the price of admission!  We thank them for making that Christmas special.

Our Christmas presents from home arrived on Boxing day.  It was a nice way to finish the Christmas season and promptly caused Heather to cry. 

Were we lonely.  Yes we were lonely but fate was going to change that very quickly the next day when our doorbell would ring….

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