Sunday, July 03, 2011
chatting it up
I need a robe. At the beach, the mornings are hot enough that shorts will do. And with the promise that the day will simply be hotter.
Not so on this July morning in San Miguel. This is the second morning I have been up to revel in the cool. But cool requires something more than shorts. And my robe is hanging in an Oregon closet.
The most obvious difference between Melaque and San Miguel is the weather. But it is a superficial difference. Weather is weather. It is something to be tolerated. To be adjusted to. To be thwarted.
A difference just as superficial are the large stores that service this area. The Mega is huge. But it does not seem to carry anything more than Walmart, Soriana, and Comercial Mexicana in Manzanillo. Just more of the same stuff. Ditto for the massive Bodega Aurrera.
That is not what is different about San Miguel. As I mentioned yesterday, I am finding this trip enjoyable because of relationships. On Saturday night that was exemplified by a dinner party to welcome me to town.
Babs and Billie are both bloggers. I knew both of them electronically before I came to Mexico. Knowing that I like being around people, they arranged a party starting at Billie’s house for drinks and then off to a local restaurant for dinner. Twelve of us. Just the right size for a gathering like this.
Billie and Ned own a stunning house in the hills of San Miguel. Those of you who read her blog know she is an outstanding photographer. But she has used that same eye to collect art objects that truly complement the spirit of her home. They are good people.
Babs and I arrived early enough to chat with Billie and Ned – letting me get caught up the type of things that do not always show up in blogs. And then the other guests started arriving.
John Woods and his wife, Laura. I had never met John or Laura, but I felt as I knew them through his blog. He stopped blogging while he battled brain cancer. I was extremely pleased to see how well he is doing with his medical treatments. He was every bit as engaging as I had expected. Laura is also a writer with a wide range of interests. We had one of the best conversations on poetry I have had in some time.
Jennifer Rose I had met before in Morelia. She is always a pistol. I think I learn more about the personal level of Mexico from her than I do from anyone else. She also introduced me to a non-blogger. A lawyer friend of hers, Robin Page West, who splits her time between San Miguel and Baltimore, and is a published author in her own right.
I thought I was meeting Suzanne, another blogger, and John for the first time. It turns out that Suzanne and I shared email while I was still in The States trying to decide where I wanted to move in Mexico. We laughed about how most of the questions simply have no answers. She is also very interested in her family tree. So, we shared some genealogy tips. On top of that, they also run a folk art importing business.
Stewart and Alfredo, also bloggers, moved here from Chicago after retiring about five years ago. I didn’t get to talk with Stew much. But Alfredo and I sat next to one another at dinner. He is Cuban-American. That gave us an opportunity to talk about my trip to Cuba and the Salvation Army’s work.
Conversation in gatherings where people do not know one another often seeks a rather low interest level. People try to stay within safe boundaries. And that was true of this group, as well – at the start of the evening, But we quickly got to the meatier topics.
And the proof of that is I feel as I learned something about each of the guests that night. Something that lets me better understand the human condition. And isn’t that what life is about?