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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bien venidos a Mexico

According to my pill box today is Thursday.  That's a good thing and a bad thing.  It's a good thing since one purpose of a "retreat" is to lose all sense of time and date and carry on as if such specifics did not matter.  It is a bad thing as in the world of airline schedules etc., I realize that almost a week of such is behind me.  And there is so much to share!  But before tomorrow's artistic musings I want to catch you up on the adventure; some of you were kind enough to request additional blogs of our time in San Miguel de Allende.

Above is our little "zen house" on a "farm" outside San Miguel.  It is run by a hardworking renaissance ex pat via Canada man named Michael and his herb loving, poetry writing teacher partner named Judyth.  We are in the very high, very dry mountains in central Mexico where the weather is astoundingly perfect and the water fresh.  But I will try to keep this story short.

Bob was not feeling tip top on the plane, should have checked in with a doc days ago, but you know men.  So when we arrived he was in a lot of pain and could not urinate...which he decided to cure with flu meds having the taxi driver accomodate him at a farmacia.  Looong story short by the middle of O'dark thirty he thought he was dying and needed an emergency room.  In Mexico.  On a farm.  When I say dark, I mean I could only stumble towards the cottage next door ( there are three) where I roused someone I had never before met, to borrow a flashlight, to see to hoof it to the main house and rouse our hosts...the seven dogs of the property helped me wake them!  Michael drives us to the ER cautioning Bob that he will need to show pain upon entering or we could sit for hours.  Thankfully, it still being before sun up, there were not too many other souls waiting.  Oh I can't tell a short story.  Bobs dramatic act gave me a fit of nervous giggles which I tried to stifle (he swears it was NOT an act).  Everyone raised their face masks, a door opened, we entered and Michael waved good bye.  

Enters a female, English speaking ( sorta) doctor and she diagnoses a bladder infection.  Now sanitation was not the high light of this hospital, nor was up to date equipment.  But kindness was and even the assistant, who apologized that he did not speak English ( which, side note, I assured him was not his obligation, it was ours to speak his language....where upon he answered, yes, but the advancing jobs will need English....) was very kind and gentle as Bob got a catheter, instructions on drinking agua, and several scripts to fill.  Thank you, come back in 3 days.  We barely found our way out never mind a place to pay ( we didn't) and seeing the sun just rising we sat with the filling waiting room to devise our next plan.  

At the risk of your reading patience I will sum it up by saying that I found a man just opening his farmacia who filled the scripts, then rounded up a taxi to take me and my patient back to the farm which I had only seen once and was very lucky I remembered was on the site of the former chocolateria which the taxi driver vaguely recalled.  And then I gave him every peso, every dollar bill and every coin of any country I had on me hoping it would add up to what we owed.  He recommended an herbal tea, smiled, forgave us and left.

Bob spent the next 48 hours in bed groaning with a fever.  Many times we outlined how to "escape" and each time decided to "give it another hour or so". Progress was slow until one morning he woke up declaring himself well but weak and ready to remove the tubing himself.  Not so fast buster, not on my watch.  

Our farmers and neighbors agreed so they returned us to the hospital ER which now had entire families camped out reaching to the street.  Bad sign.  I explain what we need to the door man, we went around and around, by now I am learning new words and finally we ascertained that if we wanted the zondo out, not changed, we would need to go to the Departmento de Salud.  Commandeered another taxi who knew where it was and kindly explained about the nearby bus stop to get us back to by now we were on the outskirts.  If you know what a health department looks like imagine that, multiply the people waiting by 7 and decrease the space by half.  And believe me, no one, no one spoke English!  Thank god for props like a bag of pee!  

Well, I could regale you with now-funny tales but I will cut to the chase and say that Bob is now well, doing 100% better! free of infection! filled with energy and ready to experience whatever awaits.  We made a jaunt into town for a fabulous long lunch of chile rellenos and quite a stroll around the center of town.  I have done a little painting (very little, understandably) but am ready to dive in with vigor and thoughtfulness.  While our kids are horrified that we did not hop a plane ASAP I am convinced this is the right place to be for now.  I would never compromise health for adventure but all is well that ends well and, as they say, you do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.  Best outcome thankfully.  

My last little insight ( have to leave you with a tid bit to ponder) is something I read before we came that I have thought a lot about.  And that is "you don't always get what you want but you often get what you need."  I would hate to think that there is a reason I need to know how to say "pull out the catheter" in Spanish, but I do know that perhaps, scratch perhaps, I DO know we needed to slow down, rely again upon each other, dispense with schedules, pay attention to our bodies, breathe, quit taking so much for granted.....oh my, God's great universe sure found a way to send me a message!

Hope all is well with you and yours, our lovely-when-we-have it wi-fi is intermident so who knows when, if, this will arrive?  And if it does, I will resume writing about art shortly there after!
Colorfully yours,


  1. I want very much to credit Bob's healing to Starbucks and love of his wife, not necessarily in that order. So very glad all is well and you two are on such a brilliant adventure. Vaya con Dios, my friends!

  2. WoW. That is SOME adventure. Glad everything came out ok (i.e. catheter).

  3. When you can't pee, it is extremely serious. Been there, done that. I always try to travel with some cranberry juice (or concentrate) to fight this sort of infection. It is hard to get enough water intake when you are on the road.

  4. Holy Cow - what an adventure and thank goodness for your resourcefulness. Kinda amazing what one will do under pressure! that guy has got to be very thankful for you!


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