Thursday, February 01, 2007

After finally watching the one movie we brought with us, I stayed up until 1:30 this morning, then got up at 7:30. It is now 1:20 in the afternoon. I’m sitting at home, composing this journal entry where I can sit comfortably. When I’m finished, I’ll carry the laptop up to the rig where my provider lives, prop it on the plastic case, and transfer everything into blogspot. First thing this morning, before I could get out for a walk, the veggie man came along, so I spent the next hour and a half washing fruits and vegetables, setting beans to soak, getting shrimp and lobster pieces out of the freezer for tonight’s dinner, chopping vegetables for pico de gallo, making breakfast, eating, washing dishes, gathering laundry in case the laundry man came along (he didn’t). Then R and I rode our bikes up to the end of this road, where the fish camp is. There are a couple of open-air restaurants there, and several people have set up tables in front to sell jewelry and so on to the tourists. I had a moment of what I thought was kismet.

Yesterday, you see, I spent a lot of time working on my mother’s biography, which is also the story of my childhood and that of my sisters. I was thinking of my paternal grandmother’s bedroom, remembering the little table by her window where she kept a rubber plant and a lovely, glossy brown and white speckled seashell about the size of an avocado. When I looked at the vendors’ tables, there were about two dozen of that very shell displayed on one of them. I asked the man at the table how much they cost. He said no, they weren’t for sale just like that. They were for making these – and he pointed at some shells near the front of the table, on each of which he had etched some godawful thing like “Souvenir of Mazatlan” or a dolphin or whatever. He was selling those for 50 pesos and up. Why would anybody do that to a perfectly good shell? Anyway, he wouldn’t sell me an unvandalized shell, so I went away empty-handed. So much for kismet. The experience wasn’t entirely without benefit, though, because it got me thinking about my grandmother and the shell. Where did she get it? Had she traveled? Assuming that those shells are really from these waters (and I know that’s a big assumption), does that mean that she traveled to Mexico, or did she just buy the shell at a shop? I only knew her as a widow of around seventy, and I don’t remember her talking about having traveled in her youth.

People were older then, do you notice? I don’t mean just that as we get older, people look younger to us. That is certainly the case. I mean that even now, when I see a picture of my maternal grandmother (none remain of the grandmother with the shell), she looks like an old lady, and I know that these pictures were taken when she was still quite young.

I am also here to tell you that as we get older, we all start looking alike – at least, that’s the case if my RV park experience is anything to go by. I’m thinking of buying a bunch of name tags – the kind you get at conventions – and passing them around whenever we arrive in a park. I only recognize people, the men in particular, by their RVs and their dogs. I think there are really only about three men, and they just keep changing hats and walking back and forth past me.

Anyway, after our cycle ride we went for a walk up to the rock at the top of Playa Bruja and back, and now I’m going to have a well-earned cup of tea before I go up the hill to post this. I think I’ll be having an early night tonight.

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