Those were the days …

Is it because I’m getting older? Has six months of social distancing worn me down? Or have I truly become more introspective? I suppose the “why” doesn’t really matter, but I think about the past a lot more than I used to, especially my early childhood.

I’ve always had vivid “living memories”. I remember people, places and events from the past. I talk about them (and write about them) often. But deep rumination is new to me. I find myself trying to chronologically piece together the circumstances, chance encounters, and twists of fate that made up my world during the first 18 years of my life. I then go one step further and try to recall how these situations affected and shaped my actions in the years to come.

Sometimes a memory and the corresponding future action are easy to figure out.
I am the eldest daughter in a family of eight children. I helped my mom with chores and childcare because she obviously needed an extra pair of hands. I felt I could manage, none of the other kids were remotely old enough, and so I stepped up. Crossing our (very quiet) street with a baby brother in my arms and a toddler-brother hanging on to my waistband is a very early memory. We three made it safely across but a panicked neighbourhood lady came running up to me. Oh my goodness! What are you doing? What’s wrong?

Now, it’s not hard to understand why she got upset. I was only 3 years old. But at the time, I felt utterly confused, I couldn’t see that I’d been careless. I carried the baby around all the time. I made no distinction between the safe confines of our house and the unknown perils that waited for us outdoors. My mother heard the other mom calling something alarming like … Marg, Marg, come quick … and she did so.

After some nodding and mumbling between the two of them, Mom returned us to our side of the street. She didn’t fuss at me but I remember her saying I shouldn’t do that again because I would worry people. I suppose I didn’t completely appreciate the import of her advice because 3 years later, I received a similar admonition for letting those same two brothers walk to school with me. That time though, it was Sister Constance, the principal of the parochial school I attended who phoned my mother to come and collect the 2 smaller boys. I can still see her, hurrying along, while pushing the buggy with two more (smaller) children.

Thinking about those two incidents, I realise that from an early age, I considered myself capable. Acting impulsively didn’t worry me, but of course, I didn’t fully consider the consequences of my actions. The fact that I never “got burned” as a child encouraged me to move on to bigger challenges. At 18, I insisted on accepting an Assistant English Teacher’s position in southern Peru. Then at 24, I moved to southeastern Mexico.

My wings got clipped once I had a family, but yes, I am still like I was at 3 … ready for adventure … I hope that we get a vaccine soon. My need to be active and on the go is still strong. I don’t want all these “golden years” to pass me by, and yet, I think I am making the best of the situation. Thinking about days gone by is not my only activity… I am working on a new book, I’ve done some painting, and oh yes, picture sorting. The ones included with this post are of Stephen as a baby in his bassinette and of my brother, Peter and Me with Dad, in front our house and Mom’s vegetable garden. Ah yes, that was the year we crossed the street.

I don’t really remember why I took my little brothers and did that. To get to the other side? I guess that was it.

And here’s some accompanying music… “Those were the Days”, by Mary Hopkin, 1968

Be kind, be careful, be safe…

I met this young mother who brought her daughter outside to read… Lovely

I’ve been absent from this blog for quite some time… indeed there have been many “Changes in our Lives”.

The pandemic began on March 13th… nearly 6 months ago. The weeks crawled by and I found myself with COVID hair (AKA an over-grown haircut) and COVID size pants (No explanation needed) I needed a mani-pedi. I wanted to go out (anywhere!) And the wine rack was nearly empty.

At first I felt the need to express my views about the pandemic but after a while, what was left to say? I don’t like bemoaning my fate… so many have it a lot worse. And I noticed something else…

Creativity is the only thing that can save me. I painted more than I wrote and I cooked recipes I’d never tried before. I had fun.

In July, I needed to make a trip to take care of some business in Canada, which showed me that living “in times of Corona virus” is not much different, no matter where you go. Here I am… back in front of my laptop, and instead of writing much here, I did a piece for Yucatan Expat Life. Read it at this link

I look forward to some easing of the precautions. But I hope we can keep our perspective and not surge again.

In Canada, I read this and I think it is an appropriate maxim for us all. wherever we are:

Be kind, be careful, be safe…

Becky’s Work


Becky Gebser… today’s featured artist

Good morning all… a couple of weeks ago, I participated in a 10 day art challenge. I had to post one piece of my art work every day, for 10 days.

I had a lot of fun doing this and once I had completed the challenge, I needed to nominate another artist to take the next turn. And I chose Becky Gebser. She accepted reluctantly (to be honest, it is a bit daunting in the beginning) but for the past 10 days she has shown a variety of her paintings and drawings

When I asked if she’d like me to show her work on this blog, she agreed.

Becky Gebser and her husband first came to Merida for a visit with his parents, Su and Walter Gebser who were long-time members of Merida’s international community. Becky got to know her way around the city by accompanying her mother-in-law to various events and get-togethers, and indeed, this is how I met her. When Su and Walter’s health failed, they wanted to remain in Merida, so Becky and her husband moved here full time to help out. Becky and I discovered our mutual enjoyment of painting, and we’ve had great conversations about favourite painters and so on. We have never painted together though… something we hope to do when we are able to once again move freely about.
Becky likes to work in different styles and mediums… Enjoy!

Day 1 How are you doing in these uncertain times of worldwide pandemic? Acrylic on canvas.

Day 2 – I wanted to drop you a few lines. I put them down fast. Life drawing group, 5 minute gesture drawing


Day 3 – Jake the Dog My 150-lb big friend who helped big time to get us safely to Merida by land and truck. This is from my watercolor pad, in memorium to him,


Day 4 of 10… So long ago but here’s Lady in Bath, with Red Cat.


Day 5 – Seated Man, graphite stick.




Day 6 – Men Seated


Day 7 – Balance Act


Day 8  Father’s Day – Walt & Su, my in-laws, are posing for a photo in their living room


Day 9 – Sunny Cenote Siesta Pastel crayon on paper.


Day 10 – Reclining on Draped Water Acrylic on canvas


Becky has nominated Monica, another artist friend to carry on the ten day challenge… take a look at her facbook page: