People and Faces of Puerto Vallarta. No. 13.

Sad to say, our stay in Puerto Vallarta will come to an end in another week. But before we leave for our next adventure, I want to leave you with a few words and pictures. We found that being  here nearly 4 months has had a very enlightening  affect on both of us. The people of Mexico are not rich by our standards, but they are rich in so many other ways, and are anxious to share this wealth. It never is forced upon you, it just grows, until you come to the realization that something is different in how you feel and view your world around you.

They have so much they want to share; their wares, their stories, their culture, their way of life. But it doesn’t end there, they are also interested in you as a visitor to their country, where you are from, how long staying, what part of town, are you enjoying your stay. They go out of there way to make you welcome and comfortable. You become their friend, their amigo, you find yourself interacting with them. The following pics are just a small example of the opportunities we had to try an capture this.

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This gentleman with a great face was selling hammocks.
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More street music.
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This lady was selling hats, fans, and tiny hand made dolls.

There is a texture here that just has to be experienced, to be absorbed. But that takes time. A couple of weeks here just wets your appetite. Hospitality is spoken here. It is a universal language, one that we all could experience and learn from. I am looking forward to home and our new adventure, and plan on bringing a bit of Mexico with us. We will be back next year. Until then, adios.

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A dancer who will be participating in the 11th Puerto Vallarta Folkloric Dance Festival.

Wanderlust

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Thru the Lens

This year at the lake, we have been surprised, blessed and entertained by a number of visitors to our trailer. Due to the fact that this year we have been putting out bird seed, which has attracted both fur and feathers. To capture all this activity, I got to play with my first DSLR camera, and I have to say that the results have been very rewarding. It has been somewhat of a trail and error approach, (heavy on the error) but I am slowly mastering the beast! We do have a black bear that visits the park, but I guess she is camera shy. So we sit patiently on the deck, cameras in hand waiting for old friends to show up and maybe bring a few new friends with them so we can share the details with you.

The flowers and butterflies were discovered as a result of our many treks on trails, and kayaking in the surrounding area.

If you get the opportunity, grab the camera, even a point and shoot works well, and experiment. You might just be surprised what your results can be.
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Look Waaaay up……

“Look up. Look Waaaay up.” These were the words spoken by Bob Homme,  aka “The Friendly Giant” at the beginning of each of his shows, as a group of small children sat around him. First uttered in 1953 in Wisconsin, and later aired by CBC television for many years.

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Words that do not just apply to children. Just watch people walking by you on the street. The sky could fall and they would never see it coming! Get into a busy elevator, and everybody is staring at their feet. Why are we like this? What are we scared of  letting in? Living in our own world, in our own space; as if to say,  go away, do not bother me. Sorry, I do not have an answer.DSC_0810

So, if you do look up, what is the worst thing that could happen? Probably nothing, unless you are being swarmed by a flock of pigeons! DSC_0654

There is a whole new world open to you just by lifting your head. It is also good for your posture, your breathing, your simple awareness of all that is around you. Just what is over that rise ahead, around the next corner? Keep your head up, the world is coming at you. DSC_0793

What do you see when you look up at this tree? Something that is dead and no longer of value? Or do you see a home for birds, a source of food, a shelter. Once magnificent, still significant as a sculpture in Nature, just waiting to be discovered.DSC_0915

There is so much of the world to see and experience. Look up, acknowledge that it is there, unglue your eyes from your electronic devise. You will be pleasantly rewarded. It could blow your mind. sunset clouds

So as you bustle about in your busy world, take the time to look out and about, and up. Not always an easy thing to accomplish in this disturbing world, but worth the reward. Starring at your feet all day as you navigate life is no indication of the opportunities that can lie ahead.

Look Up, laugh at the world, and let it smile back at you!

 

…let no man break asunder.

Partnerships fail. Mine did. This in itself is not earth shattering news. It happens everyday and in all facets of life. But this one was personal. It wasn’t sudden, I saw it coming, but apparently I was the only one. Flags were up all over the place as to the dangers ahead; but they were ignored, possibly hoping that they were not for real.

Like travelling down a rough gravel road and believing that it would improve somewhere around the next corner, I kept going. Even though you try to find the smoothest part of the road, I finally submitted to the fact that to accomplish that was to get off.

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Travel with caution, lose gravel ahead.

Sounds easy enough, but that took me from a rough road to an emotional roller coaster. But even coaster rides come to an end, dumping you off humbled, emotionally drained and confused. The word failure comes to mind; both to yourself and to others.

Time and reflection can go a long way to prying a person from out of a rut. And so do friends. Family can help, but mine was in a divided camp. Still are; I hope time will help heal that wound.

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Sailing. A new horizon beckons.

That rough road? It is a lot smoother now. There was a paved way out around the next bend. I took it. In the real world, partnerships come and go, it appears to be a way of life. And so, my adventure through life continues. A special lady I know keeps saying that “life is good”. She is now showing me just how good it can be.

I wrote more details in a previous blog. New Beginnings

Partners

My Three Moms

In keeping with Mother’s Day being just around the corner, I thought I would write about three ladies, whom I grew to admire,  all for different reasons, and who have played a large part in my life.

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My Grandmother, on my Mother’s side was born  in 1893 in Lutes Mountain, New Brunswick. In my very early years, in a small village in Québec, I remember her as a kind and gentle lady. I guess you could describe her as the family matriarch. She pretty much ran the house. She looked after the farm animals, did just about all the cooking and baking, as the others were away at work all day or all week. She was always my ‘at home Mom’ while my Mother was in Montreal working.

She was always there when I “hurt” myself, with a quick fix and a sympathetic hug. But when I misbehaved, she would just scold me and threaten to tell my Mother when she got home, but by then she would forget, or did she really? Our entertainment  was the radio, piano or playing cards. It seemed the only game she new was cribbage, and I was always the elected opponent; and I always lost! When not in the barn, she kept herself busy in the kitchen, either cooking, baking or canning. Is it possible that maybe this is where my love for the magic that comes from the kitchen started?

At that time in my life she was really my first ‘mom’. I suspect she played a bigger role in my life than I was to ever realize. She passed away in 1959 of a heart attack. I regret not getting to know her better as I grew into my later teenage years. Why do these thoughts always seem to come too late? She was a warm, gentle and  caring person. She won me over. I think it was her smile.

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The second lady in my life, and maybe I should have considered her my first, was my Mother. Born in 1917 in Montreal, first of three children. She had a great work ethic, as shown by her grades, her drive and ambition. Her family was not well off as she entered the workforce at the end of the depression, but determination and tenacity paid off.  Divorced very early on in her marriage, due to the fact my Father was running around, she unfortunately developed a very bitter and condemning attitude towards males in general. The telling outcome of this is it also turned her into a overbearing and critical person.

As I matured, and got to understand her better, appreciating her take on life, I got to recognize and maybe feel some of the turmoil my Mom was dealing with.  But that burden did not slow her down. She was a hard worker, no job or task was beneath her. Her drive was to be respected. Despite her bouts of anger and impatience, she still had a softer side. As she moved into her senior years, I could see her mellowing, but just a little bit!

I feel that we became a lot closer  when she had to enter a retirement home, and a lot of the responsibility of looking after her fell to me. It was during this period that I realized just how helpless she had become,  how little could be done about it, and how inadequate  it made me feel.  But never the less, she soldiered on. In her last few years she no longer knew who I was; had to wear diapers, and her food was rendered to mush. Life had brought her full cycle. My visits were very painful. Mercifully, she passed away in her 90th year, battling to the end. Despite the demons that she had to live with, I have to admire her for her strength, determination and a ‘get out of my way I have a job to do with no guff from anybody’ approach. I wonder how much of all that has rubbed off on me.

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The third lady of influence is my mother -in-law. Though her oldest daughter and I are no longer together, I cannot dismiss the impression she has had on me. The daughter of an Irish immigrant, she loved conversation, especially the telling of stories. They were always the highlight of our visits with her. She raised ten children, three girls, seven boys in a small two bedroom house. She was always eager for company.

And what a wonderful sense of humour. Very seldom down, and always wanting to do something during a visit, generally a trip to her favourite restaurant. I am always impressed by her kindness and generosity, and regard to me as if I were one of her sons. Over the years I developed an utmost admiration and respect for this lady. She too endured hardship in her life, but at 92 she harbours no ill feelings towards anyone. Always ready with a smile and a hug. There are a lot of, lets just say, not so great mother-in-laws out there, but I feel that I have been blessed with mine. A true emerald of the Isle.

Three ladies, three stories, three different memories,  all garnering my
Admiration. On May 8th, take the time to honor your Mom, if not in person, then in memory.

The Weird, Wonderful and Unknown

This weeks photo challenge is abstract. I found four subjects which I think qualify. Tell me what you think. I may need your help on the last one.  P1000647

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Iphone pics, 2016 073

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The first one is the sun’s rays  on the water and reflecting on the sandy bottom.

Number two is of a growth (parasite?) we came across on a downed tree.

The third one was taken on our flight to Mexico at 35,000 feet of a frozen body of water over Arkansas. This is my frozen dragon!

Now for number four. This was floating in front of our dock. I must say it really spooked the grand kids, and it had me very curious. I think it is part of a root to an aquatic plant. Readers, help me out on this one.

There you have it. I must admit this was a bit of fun trying to come up with the unusual. Hope you enjoy them.
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This Dragon Flies

Most insects are a nuisance, biting or stinging. This one doesn’t bite even though they have serrated teeth.

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They have been around some 300 million years and continue to fascinate people of all  ages. Their larval state in water can last up to 2 years, while they devour other insects, fish, and even each other. When it emerges from the water, it’s exoskeleton cracks open and releases the insect’s abdomen. The wings come out to dry and harden over the next several hours or days.

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Dragonflies can fly  up or down, hover, and also mate in mid-air. To survive they must fly,  as that is the only way to catch their prey. A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes a day.  Hundreds will gather in swarms to migrate; some for short distances, some average around a 100 miles a day, and one, called a globe skinner will travel 11,000 miles back and forth across the Indian Ocean.

IMG_0019Their head is comprised  mostly of two compound eyes, which gives them almost 360 degree vision.These beneficial insects have survived since before the dinosaurs. I hope that their future is guaranteed (that will be in part up to us) so that coming generations can benefit from these unique creatures. It makes sense to me that any insect that can eat up to a hundred  mosquitoes a day is worth protecting.

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I look forward to their arrival each year at the lake; being entertained by their ballet like dance, hoping that a few will land on my hand. But alas,no such luck, they are to occupied securing their Future.

Newfoundland Adventures

This weeks photo challenge is landscapes. I chose some examples from my visit last summer to Newfoundland. A rough and rugged terrain, but yet extremely beautiful.

 

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Table Lands – Gros Morne
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Table Lands – Gros Morne
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Trail near Salvage
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Elliston

My camera was my constant companion, as over every hill and around every corner the landscape was beckoning to me to explore.