Tag Archives: life in Mexico

Modern Day Marias–Lynne, the crafter

It’s important to remember that Maria didn’t live in the time of Walmart. Everything was hand-made by the women of her community. Was Maria particularly talented in textiles? Was she an excellent baker? Did she have other creative skills?  Why were these things never mentioned by those dratted bible writers?

Today’s Modern Day Maria, Lynne, meets the arts and crafts aspect of a virtuous woman as described in Proverbs. “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.(Proverbs 31:13,22,24)

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My name is Lynne and originally from the Oregon and Washington areas but now live just north of Ensenada, Baja California. We are fairly new to living in Mexico as it has only been 15 months. My husband and I met in Oregon and were dating other people but became good friends then later ended up together. We have been together for almost 19 years and married for 18. What is funny is his older sister’s children and mine were friends, such a small world sometimes.

My spouse was not legal and it had gotten to the point he was like in jail in our own home, no more driver’s license, only able to do odd jobs but took care of the house and yard. We were in limbo with the attorney as it took 3 years just to get data/information on my husband and decided life is too short to wait for possibly years with no guarantees for him to be able to get his papers and who knows how much money for not having a sure thing. Played with the numbers and determined we could sell the house and basically retire or semi-retire in Mexico, this would allow my husband the freedom to do as he wants without worries of immigration so we made the decision to move. I knew the final decision came down to me to actually move here but I was ready for us to move on to another phase in our lives even though he would end up having a lifetime ban from the US.

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It has been a big change for us but not just from moving to Mexico as much as us being together all the time since I’m now retired or semi-retired (not sure which yet). Sometimes when things are not going just right, he will mention I was the one who wanted to come here but he is happy we did come. We care for each other very much but we both have our days. For my spouse, the change has given him freedom and for me, it has been a transition of working in a more stressful type environment for many years to not working. I’m looking forward to getting into my artsy/craftsy phase of life.

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As to family and friends even though we don’t physically see each other very often I feel we make the effort to connect through Messenger or Hangouts via phone and video. We have set dates and times to video with the grandchildren along with talking to the kids, relatives and friends. When we do physically see people it is more quality time. I consider our move no different than if we had moved across the country. I would say if anyone, my mother has been the most difficult over the move. She constantly was making negative comments but over time this has stopped. I think some of it has to do with her seeing us on Facebook everything is going fine. I would say the hardest thing for both of us has been the family (kids and grandkids) not being physically around us especially my husband as we had part of the grandchildren almost weekly in the US, I can go visit while he can’t. We hope to finish getting through the passport process for my husband and see about a visitor’s visa to vacation in Canada so it will be easier for our immediate family to get together.

My spouse’s family are not located near here but have always gotten along with his siblings and children in the US. I have never met his mother or siblings in Mexico. He plans to see his mother for the first time in more than 25 years and the place he was raised this coming year. I’m not comfortable going since it is Guerrero which has had a lot of issues and he hasn’t been there in so many years to understand how it may have changed.

We were fortunate to sell our house in the US and buy/build our home. We are not sure what is next, I may do some part-time consulting in the field I was in – Geographical Information Systems (GIS) or sell some of the Arts & Crafts I enjoy creating. My husband is thinking of working independently as a plumber or handyman. We may look at some other options but are not rushing into anything. Whatever we decide this will supplement what we already are receiving.

The focus for the last year has been on the house but that is finally getting to the point we can start doing other things. We are craftsy people and enjoy little projects. Would like to see Baja and mainland MX over time, maybe do some house/pet sitting. I want to become involved in our community but not sure what at this time, up till now we have just contributed to different groups. I love the idea of contributing time to a group south of here that builds small homes for very poor families up in the hills.

For us, this is our next phase in our life together….

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This is so worth it…

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Modern Day Marias–Cali, the nomad

In Bethlehem, and later in Egypt, how did Maria manage household affairs?  Did the merchants take advantage of her youth, her inexperience, her foreignness?  Did she long for family?  We know that after the threat King Herod presented ended with his death, Jose moved his family back to Nazareth, where both he and Maria were from originally.  Did Maria  “considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard”? (Proverbs 31:16)  

Today’s Modern Day Maria, Cali, is still searching out a home and community.  Unless you too have left everything behind to start out on this journey of finding home you can not understand the incredible effort such an undertaking requires.  

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In 2010, my husband was arrested for a crime he committed 8 years prior.  He went to prison for 2 years and then was deported with a ban for life in 2012.  I sold all of my possessions and left for Mexico with our 2-year-old.  We have been here 5 years this coming May.

Coming from a life of parenting alone for 2 years in the US due to my husband’s incarceration, I had already been living a life without family support and often felt alone.  Since moving to Chihuahua, Chihuahua we have experienced a ton of support and love from my husband’s family. For many of them, it was the first time meeting me. There’s not a lot of activities for kids here and the city is most definitely not the prettiest, well, not in my eyes anyway,  but I love the family unity I found.  They help give me strength to make it day by day.

Although I’m improving, I continue to struggle to speak Spanish which means I don’t socialize much. The people seem nice and often approach us to make conversation. Although I will say that when going to places to buy things, we are usually asked to pay more what they would offer the same service or product to a Mexican.

Since realizing that we will not be returning to the US, we are no longer tying ourselves down to this city but spreading our wings and adventuring to another city called Puerto Penasco. It is my dream to live near an ocean. Also, there is a large mix of Mexicans and Americans there and I look forward to socializing more with them.

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Chokis

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Last night, someone finally killed our dog Chokis. He’d had several attempts on his life these past few weeks. We’d almost come to believe he was invincible.

One day we came home, and he rushed up to us to show us the wound on his head where a bullet had grazed him. His hard head protected him, but he was puzzled by the injury. Then last week, I was sure he was dying. He didn’t jump up when I opened the door with his dog cookies but lay there thumping his tail in pleasure and bleeding. It looked like he had a confrontation with another dog and sustained injuries. Well, he was now a teenage dog, and these things will happen when there is a lady love involved. Slowly, he recovered and was up and about again. But last night was the clincher.

He had ingested poison. If you’ve never witnessed death by poison, let me assure you that it is horrible. (See 101 Perritos ) We had a puppy accidentally poisoned once, and so knew the symptoms, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch. Chokis rammed the door and gate several times trying to outrun the demons pursuing him. When he couldn’t get in (we were afraid to let him in) he turned and defended his family from the phantoms with the last of his agonizing strength. He finally lay down at his post, even in death putting his body between us and perceived danger.

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The list of who did NOT poison him is much shorter than the possible assassins. (See Hate Thy Neighbor, and Good Fences make good neighbors unless your neighbor steals it)

The borrega guy mentioned once he wasn’t happy with Chokis as he found him inside his animal corral. There was an opening for the borega guy’s own dogs to go in and out freely and Chokis just followed them in one day. Well, the borrega guy’s own dogs were killed a few months ago. So maybe he didn’t do it.

Then there is the cow barn guy. He lets his chickens run free, and at times, there are fewer chickens that return than went out. He blamed Chokis. I will admit, Chokis does like to chase chickens. For that reason, we banished him outside the gate. Not that he eats them, mind you. He just chases them and well, sometimes they just die, of fright most likely. He doesn’t eat them. I don’t think he likes the feathers.

Then there is the chicken feather guy. He is always a likely suspect. A few months ago, my husband’s brother B’s two dogs were poisoned and his house broken into. At the time he didn’t have anything worth stealing in there, but of course, the would-be thief didn’t know that. B is pretty sure that the chicken feather guy did it.

Or it could have been the horse guy. He recently returned from El Norte (US) and is back to his old tricks. He likes to prowl about in the early mornings and “forage” for construction materials or food for his malnourished horses. Chokis’ barking kept him away from our street, but his presence did not go unnoticed.

Chokis will be missed. He was a bit exuberant, but his love for us was never in question. He accompanied my son with the goats. He provided an escort for me wherever I went in La Yacata. He slept in front of the door and kept away strangers. He waited under the mesquite tree for us every single afternoon.

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The last picture of Chokis. He loved my son’s archery set!

It’s hard not to become depressed when death is such a constant companion here. The trick is to focus on the brilliance that is life and acknowledge but not bow to the shadows such brilliance creates. For today, though, we will mourn Chokis. The remembrance of his faithfulness will live on in our hearts.

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My Life in La Yacata–the video

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Well, it took all summer and then all of September–but my son’s video about our life in Mexico is up!

If you haven’t already–click on the host’s page Growing Up Around the World and give it a “like.”  Heck, go ahead and comment if you want!

Or if you’d rather see it here–well go ahead!

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