Note: This is my digital diary.  With props to my journalist niece for framing the concept, this is me being my own journalist.  Too many people live largely uncelebrated and die largely unremembered; everyone else is too consumed with their own lives to make a big deal of yours, so if you want to celebrate and you want to be remembered by current friends and maybe also by distant descendants, you have to record your own life.  I have ancestors about which we are very curious but who left very little behind to help us know them.  I have a few friends who blog about their lives and travel, and that helps to keep them in my thoughts and up to date on their lives, so I know that it is a positive and useful pursuit. 

2023 May 18th. 

    By the end of 2022 the airlines were still in a terrible mess of cancelled flights, stranded passengers, ruined vacations and lost luggage.  We'd had five vaccinations for covid by the end of 2022 and had experienced a fairly mild case of it ourselves in July 2022 - in addition to one in January of 2021, I believe, that happened before they were diagnosing the virus.  That bout resulted in organ damage for me, and triggered a rapid escalation of type 2 diabetes.  We got flu vaccine both years as well, and although covid had been increasing in China subsequent to their lifting of lockdowns and restrictions, we hadn't seen a spread of new and dangerous variants yet.

     We decided to take a chance, and indulge in some "revenge travel" - a current term for the surge in people taking flights to vacation destinations.  The first obstacle was getting Deb's passport renewed - staffing issues and long line-ups and wait times threatened to scuttle any plans we'd dream up, but eventually everything settled and we were able to obtain her passport. 

     Then there was the question of choosing a destination.  I wanted a place where I could walk around a lot in shirtsleeves and that had enough activities of interest to keep me from getting bored, which happens to me on beach vacations if I'm not scuba diving.  We're both getting a little old for scube diving.  So the museums, zoos and botanical gardens of Mexico City seemed appealing.  I'd learned how many museums there are in the city, and that they are relatively cheap and often free.  The city is safe compared to many other cities and to some other parts of Mexico, the people are gracious and helpful, and the public transit system is extensive and inexpensive.

    We spent 33 days there from January 31st to March 5th, and came home to spend a week building our our a large album of trip photos and a long diary entry.

    Upon our arrival, we were confronted with a snow storm and a driveway to shovel out, but our friends had graciously fed our cat, shoveled a path for the mailman, and checked on the house regularly in our absence.  We attended our music groups, which had survived our absence; Arc and Linda kept the Wednesday evening one going.  I have six going throughout the week, including two on Jamulus with Ann Delong, and one at the yacht club with Don, Carlos, Paul and Martin.  Deb joins me for in-person musical activities three times a week at the community centre.

We chatted with Lily and Delio at our first evening back, and made plans to meet on Thursday evenings to speak Spanish socially for one hour, to melt away my frozen oral Spanish speaking ability.  We kept it up weekly with games and conversation.  I resumed my Monday evening Meet-Ups to get more Spanish practice.  Laurence and Joan came for dinner upon their arrival home from Baja, and in April we went to their house.

    We tried to open a parallel AMSF acct at iTrade to manage the cash infusion from Etta Snow's bequest, but were faced with months of red tape and delay over their cautious approach and lack of staff, who I assume were still all working at home.  Many requests that I made to move the process along were met with "crickets" for weeks at a time.

    In April Deb made her version of a quesadilla in a pan which could be sliced and served with a spatula.  We had the Sortwells for dinner to test the dish, and it was a success.  We went for a sixth covid vaccination.

    We began yard work when the snow melted away, took the tarps off the boat and got gas for the outboard, serviced it and started it up.  We launched on the 29th, and I got to work the registration desk.  I germinated peas and planted them.  Our green onions were an early success as always, and I seeded lettuce and radishes.  We ate kale from plants that came back on their own from the previous year's stalks.

    In May I had a very successful medical with Dr. Nicholas, continuing my careful diet and sixteen hour daily fast.  We mowed the lawns for the first and second time, set up the back patio and opened the umbrellas.  Then it got cold again, but some of my beans began to sprout, so I kept them covered to fend off the risk of frost.  Greg and Christine came for Deb's quesadilla and we taught them to play Farkle.  It has been a good month so far.  We tend to lean toward "retiring in place", not moving to a nicer climate or better surroundings.  It is difficult to imagine that we'd be better off anywhere else, in terms of climate, nearby access to shopping and medical/dental needs, and a musical community.  Now we just have to get the boat sold, maybe also the truck, and spend more time traveling locally, camping and playing campfire music, or doing gazebo performances at Rosetta McLain gardens during the warm summer days.