31 March 2012

Into the Bush Again

[Something is not right about that title, but I cannot determine what the problem is. I will keep using it anyway.]

Rick sometimes recalls his time in Vietnam where he received his copy of the Central City Newsletter of the 1960's in the mail on occasion. A fellow Marines from New York, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles would sometimes grab his Newsletter and do amusing interpretative readings of the Social Section for the other assembled Marines, much to Rick's embarrassment. I cannot recall how that Social Section was titled back then by Mr. Lewis, but our entry of this last Thursday might have read something like this:

Rick and Steve were guests Thursday afternoon in the home of Mr. And Mrs. Michel Pellerin, formerly of Quebec, Canada. Mr. Pellerin is recovering from recent surgery. Refreshments were served by Mrs. Pellerin, and a good time was had by all.

28 March 2012

At the Nature Preserve

I may have made a little quicker comeback from my fever yesterday than I ought to have what with going on Fred's tour of the botanical garden. I lost all of my tacos in the middle of the night again last night. I am doing nothing but sit on my ass today. On the other hand when you are medicare, as Rick and I both are now, it is nice to have a health problem to talk about. Neither he nor I have previously had any health problems to talk about. Perhaps one of these horses we are going to ride in the next few days will throw Rick and destroy one of his knees or something. Then Rick will have a health problem to talk about, too.

27 March 2012

El Charco del Ingenio Again

Every time—every single time—that I get full of myself and start crowing about all this freedom that I enjoy, something occurs to jerk the reins. This time a fever put me down, chained me to my bed for 48 hours. Some little virus. I have not been sick at all since toward the end of 2009 when I had this very same thing. A fever, a general ache, and n.v.d. As I said back then, a fever south of the Tropic of Cancer is a different experience. But I am up and around again this morning. It is all fragile, isn't it?

25 March 2012

Weber RV Park & Tennis Courts

I shall give you a little feel for the place in which Rick is living. First, a little background.

24 March 2012

Rick Drives

Just after leaving Mineral de Pozos I turned the truck over to Rick. His first drive in Mexico. He was up to it. Driving in Mexico is different, particularly within the city of San Miguel with its narrow, winding cobblestone streets. As many of you know, Rick is not the most calm, most serene person in the world. He pulled it off well though.

22 March 2012

Rick at Pozos

Mineral de Pozos is a partially inhabited former mining town about 40 minutes to northwest of us a little further up into the mountains. Much of the town is in ruins. In the surrounding countryside there are various abandoned mining complexes, some dating back to Spanish colonial times and some dating back only to the 1800's, such as the one Rick and I hiked through today. I have been around a little. To this point and probably for the duration, Mineral de Pozos is my favorite place in this world.

A Note of Explanation

Rick and I are headed out to Mineral de Pozos today, my favorite place in the world. It is a partially abandoned mining town surrounded by abandoned mining complexes. In the meantime I wish to offer a note of explanation in advance regarding matters that will crop up from time to time here.

21 March 2012

Into the Bush

Rick and I took Monday off. Siesta and all. A lot of quiet meditation and prayer on the patio, too. So we were ready for Tuesday, and we were a little tired of the city.

19 March 2012

Rick's First Weekend

Rick and I both woke up at around 4:30 a.m. in the hotel in Matehuala because we fell asleep early. Old goofs cannot sack in no matter the circumstances. That was Friday morning. Rick was nervous of course. So we took off without waiting to eat breakfast and headed on south. We bypassed Monterrey by jumping off that four-lane in the state of Nuevo Laredo and took the back roads up to the central plateau through the mountains. A spectacular drive, but it is impossible for amateurs to take decent snapshots of mountains like those that give any feel for what they are really like. 

17 March 2012

2,000 Miles in One Big Gulp

What a run that was! Talk about hauling ass!

Rick and I took off from The Stove Restaurant at about 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning after breakfast with the boys. The plan at that point was to get to Texas before stopping. That's all. I had some vague idea that we might eventually get to Corpus Christi and visit a pal there. Maybe spend a couple of days there resting. Then get down to McAllen on the border. Rest there for a day, and then cross the border.

14 March 2012

Why Is the Pickup Truck Here?

What am I doing back here with the pickup truck in the first place? I need to review the bidding in order to explain that.

The truck is now fitted out with a new tool box and a decent spare tire.

Three years ago I drove into Mexico in the pickup with a little camper trailer behind it. The Mexican government gave me a temporary import permit for both the pickup and the camper trailer. Temporary means temporary. Sooner or later you have to bring those vehicles back out of the country. You can only sell a vehicle to a Mexican and nationalize it—that is, get a Mexican title for the Mexican who is buying it—if that vehicle is ten years old or more. Even then you have to go back to the border to do that. This is my probably incomplete understanding of all of this anyway.

My original intention was to take a grand tour of the country and come back out. Then I got stuck in San Miguel de Allende because of the appeal of the place to me. I lived there for fifteen months in the little camper trailer. Finally, I rented an apartment and took a shower. There the little camper sat then in storage, slowly deteriorating away. I needed to get that camper out of the country and get the temporary import permit for it canceled. I needed to do that before the camper deteriorated so much that it was no longer road worthy. Hence, the reason for this latest trip north with the pickup truck. The camper trailer is now sitting in my parents' barn.

I nearly waited too long. One of the tires on the camper disintegrated in the middle of nowhere in Mexico on my way to the border. Threw tread all over hell. Which is a story in itself because I had never before even peeked at the spare tire mounted on the back under a canvas cover. I had no idea if there was even a spare tire there. Luckily, there was. It was in good shape. It even had air in it.

So why do I not just fly back to Mexico now and leave the pickup truck here? Well, because, goddamnit, I need my pickup truck! And the poor people of Mexico need my pickup truck, too. The poor people of Mexico live in want of many things. One thing they live in want of is a ride. The poor people of Mexico love to ride in my pickup truck. In return I get to see Mexico from the bottom up.

And now Rick is going to help me drive the pickup truck back to Mexico. We leave tomorrow. Life could not be better.

Here Rick is working on the truck helping me get it ready to go. Rick likes a clean cab inside.

13 March 2012

Let Us All Pray for Rick's Safety

I must admit that I was a little frosted when I first heard Sunday afternoon that one of the Protestant congregations in town had joined in a group prayer that Sunday morning for Rick's safe return from Mexico. That quickly passed, however, when I put it into the perspective of my lifelong acquaintance with him. I first met him in Kindergarten in 1952. We have now both recently qualified for Medicare. Even when we were off on our separate ways in our peak earning, high consumption years, we maintained contact.

07 March 2012

Open Sesame

I well know that as the *saga of the safe has developed over time, many of you—Rita for one—became convinced in your hearts of hearts that the safe would never be opened. Today, I echo the words of our Savior . . . Oh, ye of little faith!