Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! I actually wrote this last year but didn’t post it. I’ve read it many times in the last year and like it even more now! We are currently in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle not a wee bit north of La Paz and have been in Mexico for about 13 months now so this was written not too long after we had made the jump down to Cabo San Lucas on the 20th Baja Ha Ha. So much to be thankful for!!
Sitting here in the San Jose Channel north of La Paz on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and letting all of the random, disconnected thoughts careen and carom continuously whilst flying over the chasms in my underutilized cranium, coursing along changing patterns of creative… well, you get the idea! But mostly what I was thinking about was being at work on Thanksgiving Get Away Day! How soon will the big boss wander by shaking hands and wishing all a Happy Turkey Day; the unofficial end of the day and an opportunity to get home early to try to beat some of the traffic out to see the parents and get some of Mom’s home cooking!
And so here is where the disconnected random thoughts start colliding! In the good old days when I was still punching a time clock, the anxiety about leaving would start just prior to lunch and build. Will I need to actually come back from lunch or call home and start the process of packing the car? How bad will the traffic be? Should I wait until tomorrow instead? I’m sure all have experienced the frenzy of trying to beat the traffic; especially in car-loving LA! But now that I no longer even own a car, nor live in a city, nor have a big boss (Sue doesn’t count in this missive!) my pre-Turkey Day thoughts turn to how much life has changed and the lifestyle that we have chosen! Being in Mexico makes the Thanksgiving holiday bear less meaning about the plight of the Pilgrims and the opportunity to get away from work for 4 whole days! It doesn’t, however, stop the idea of being thankful and taking stock of the many things to be thankful for.
Just being retired doesn’t radically change the approach to the holiday. There are kids coming to visit, or a hop over to check on the in-laws, or perhaps a trip out to take the grandkids to see Santa Claus at the Mall; but living on a sailboat in a foreign country that doesn’t observe the niceties of an extended weekend only gives you pause to remember how wonderful life is; and how different your lifestyle has become! I could list a hundred things that I’m thankful about but will try not to bore you with my list because I know you are making your own list! I will, however, continue to ramble about lifestyle… and some of the differences between the good old days and the awesome now!
Now, on this day 2 days before Black Friday and the official start of Christmas season, (Costco unofficially started in August with a xmas tree display!) I am sitting at anchor 400 feet offshore of the Cardon Forest on Isla San Jose. Cardons are cacti that can grow up to 70 feet. My view the other way is south down the channel towards an island that from the south looks like a picnic ham and from this side like a whale (ballena in Spanish… one of the few words I know!). The sun is peaking through the clouds and the high winds from the last few days have finally died down. There is no turkey thawing, waiting to be stuffed. No giblet gravy, broccoli with cheese, cranberry sauce, or pumpkin pie on the menu. No sweet potatoes bubbling in the oven waiting for the colorful miniature marshmallows to be laid across the surface nor green beans with almond slivers. Will I miss any of these things? Well, maybe a few… pecan pie for one! Turkey sandwiches on Friday… Saturday… and Sunday, Orange Sherbet Salad for sure, and the rolls with butter to sop up the gravy with. Great stuff and certainly T-Day standards; but not here, not now.
Now, it will be chicken enchiladas, a glass or 3 of wine, and another “wow” moment when the sun heads for the horizon and reds and oranges splash across the sky before the sun finally drops behind the Sierra de La Giganta mountains at 6:30 and it becomes as dark as it ever gets; that time between the sun and the moon where even the stars dare not intrude. But finally, they venture out in ones and twos before suddenly, they are all there, stretching far away into the night; spinning their own little charms and reminding one of another thing to be thankful for.
It will be stopping to make that mental list of family, friends and opportunities! It will be enjoying the moment, living it in the serenity of a secluded anchorage with my Hunnee Bunnee and believing that the best is still to come! How long this lifestyle will last is an unknown but I am very thankful that it IS my lifestyle!