Editor´s Note

In light of this week’s Wellness Latina column extoling the virtues of gratitude and the fact the American Thanksgiving is just around the corner I thought I’d gather up a bunch of the things I’m grateful for and share them with all of you.
Living full-time in Mexico has its challenges. It’s not an extended vacation. In the time I’ve been here I have learned many hard lessons and while the frustration and tears were (are) a necessary evil, the education I’ve experienced has been invaluable.
1. Sunrises and sunsets: If you’ve caught the pink morning sky after a rainfall when the jungles are glowing green and the trees are a symphony of birdsong, then you know what I mean by breathtaking. Equally stunning is the streaks of rainbow that slide across the sky each sunset. The mountains on our back and the ocean in front of us and all that it encompasses – for this I am grateful.
2. Delicious flavours: There’s this Birria stand back in Los Sauces that has been in operation for more than 20 years that serves the most amazing Birria quesadillas. If I could, I would eat them everyday… On Sundays they open at 5am to service the crowds coming home from the clubs and by noon, they’re sold out. If you ask nicely, I’ll tell you where it is.
3. Markets, Markets, Markets: I admit I miss shopping at some of my favourites shops back in Canada; of being able to know where to go to find that thing that you need to finish a project. But here I am grateful for the many options we have from crafts to fresh fruits and veggies, used clothes to kitchen gadgets, there’s a market for just about everything. And they are much more interesting and less guilt inducing than buying yet another unnecessary table setting at Homesense. I can make a conscience effort to support small, local businesses.
4. Learning patience: It has taken (is taking) over a year to fix my car. Now when the inevitable call comes for more money, for another piece that we need to fix/buy and yet another reason why my car doesn’t run. I shrug my shoulders and carry on because – what else can I do? Perhaps I had the patience of a saint before moving here, but was never really tested or perhaps the slowed down, laid back attitude of life on the beach has taught me to accept that you can’t change what doesn’t want to change, either way I am grateful to be able to let go.
5. Time. When I head back to the Winterland friends and family inevitably ask, “How’s Mexico? What keeps you there?” What I am most grateful for is my time. Here I am free to set my hours as long as my job is done. Some days are really hectic, filled with long redundant lines and tellers that I have plenty of patience with, but others are leisurely breakfasts of birria quesadillas, walks on the beach, browsing the markets, swimming in the river, volunteering with the SPCA, meeting friends for sunset drinks, watching a movie and gorging on a TV series. I am especially grateful for no more commuting.
I suppose if you’re here on vacation they you are grateful to be away (from that giant frozen storm that has consumed most of the US and Canada) and if you’re lucky enough to live here I’m sure you’ve got your own reasons for being grateful. Try listing a few out. It’s not as easy as you may think but the payoff is worth it – apparently being grateful is also a great way to lose weight, which I would be very grateful for…

7 comments

  1. Madeline … you rightly deserve all the things you give thanks for this Thanksgiving Day, and for all the work you have given this past year plus as Editor of the Vallarta Tribune … your readers give you thanks also.

    The Thanksgiving Day Holiday in the U.S. is a time families get together in remembrance of the English Puritans who founded the Plymouth Colony in 1620 and came up against the cold winter like the east coast is experiencing today, and without the skills necessary for survival in the new world, the friendly Indians brought them food, and taught then the skills necessary to provide for themselves.

    Perhaps the people of the world should be giving thanks that the English Puritans survived to found and develop America, and the freedoms that our form of government has provided to all that come to America to live and work, and others who share in our bounty.

    I of course have lived in America all my life, and each day give thanks that I was born in San Francisco, CA with its temperate climate and weather. Most of all being born in 1936 and grew up at a time that I was not drafted into the military, met my wife, graduated in school with honors, and had a 55 year steady working career.

    How amazing all this this is when one considers that the United States has only existed for 238 years , the planet for 4.5 billion years, and the universe some 13-7 billion years. Then consider that there only some 311 million people presently living in the United States out of some 7.1 billion population world wide.

    So on Thanksgiving Day my family will gather for dinner at my oldest daughter’s home, in San Ramon, in a large home on top of the hill overlooking the valley . If only the English Puritans could have imagined how their dinner of thanks would be shared by so many in the year 2014.

    1. Heidi, I apologize for the delay. The Birria stand I speak of is on Avenida Los Torres behind Macroplaza on the corner beside the church. Sold out by 2pm everyday. Totally worth driving across the city for.

  2. Yes, there is a rest of the story regarding the American Thanksgiving Day Holiday … that has not been recorded in much of the history books, for whatever reason.

    The story begins with the King of England requiring all of his subjects to give their allegiance to the King and become member of the state church and religion, or else leave the kingdom, or be killed.

    A group of British subjects left for Holland, and after some time, a group of around forty left for the New World, and a new life. When they arrived, the weather was very bad and cold. Since there was no houses, stores or roads or services , most of them stayed on the boat. After the first winter, a number had died. including the wife of the leader.

    In the spring the Indians taught the colonists how to plant corn and obtain other foods. The group decide that each person should work at growing the food crops, and whatever amount they grew, was theirs to do as they needed. When there was a surplus of food , they decided to share it with the native Indians.

    This was the first thanksgiving … which became the motto of the community and the early thirteen colonies … No work, No eat. Today the Nations motto is “In God we Trust”.

  3. No American Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without sharing the traditional prayer . One that may be shared again this year by many will be given as follows:

    Heavenly father, we thank you for this food , and to remember the hungry;

    We thank you for our health, and to remember the sick;

    We thank you for our friends , and to remember the friendless;

    We thank you for our freedom., and to remember the enslaved;

    May these remembrances stir us to service, that your gifts to us may be used for others.

    Amen

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