Plucked from a fortune cookie back in Ashland , OR

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Dipping a toe in the Sea of Cortez

Well it’s been one week since we arrived at our new home in Loreto, Mexico.  As you know, I grew conspicuously silent as our move date approached.  This was not due to an unwillingness to share, but rather a fundamental lack of hours in the day.  Turns out the planning, packing and logistics of moving out of the country are about triple the time and energy drain I had anticipated.

Luckily it was all worth it.

This morning I’m sitting at the kitchen bar of an oversized hacienda, drinking an unfamiliar brand of Mexican coffee as I try to describe the almost molecular transformation that I’ve undergone in the past seven days.

It really started a month ago as the Holiday frenzy collided with the need to get the hell out of Dodge.  This year, when the last Christmas ornament was taken down and packed, we just kept going.  Since neither Diana or I possess much in the way of logistical skills, we decided that the best way to get shit done was to start doing shit.

It was random and inefficient.  There must have been a better way.  Still, everything we owned eventually landed in a friend’s house, a storage shed, a donation bin or a dumpster.  What little that remained came with us, including the dog and cat.

It would be hard to overstate the cathartic effect of fitting all your worldly possessions in a 2004 Jeep Cherokee.  Soon, everything we needed–and nothing we didn’t–was making a run for the border.

The trip itself was beautiful and imperfect.  The cat whined.  Things flew off the roof rack.  A check engine light was ignored.  All our traveling money was inadvertently flung into the desert, never to be seen again.  Still, 2,200 miles later we arrived safe and sound and ready for bed.

As I said, it is a week later now, but already it feels like months.  Each day has been a full and complete experience worthy of its own blog post.  Technology like that which I’m currently typing on has made this entire process so much more seamless that it would have been just a few years ago.  But it is good old-fashioned dirt, sky and saltwater that I’m most interested in these days.  It almost feels like the day I saw my first Pong game, except in reverse.

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Yesterday we went to a makeshift farmer’s market staged in a dry river bed at the edge of town.  A couple of kids with a bucket washed all five states off our car for 60 pesos as we bought bag after bag of non-genetically modified produce, seafood, chicken and cheeses.

My Dad, a non-drinker for his entire adult life, tried a shot of tequila and promptly bought a bottle to take home.  He’s too old to be grounded, so we had to endure the singing coming from his room last night.  Going forward, I may insist he keep his hearing aids in so he has to hear it too.

My brother flew here with my Dad and is staying for the first two months.  He offered the groundskeeper, Erilio, a cup of coffee the other day and already it’s become a ritual.  The first day he stood meekly outside the gate and waited for God knows how long to be invited in to work.  Now he sashays in with a hearty “Que pasa!” asks for his “cafe” and gets as much Spanish language conversation out of us as possible.

The other day a good friend back home in the snow sent me a text asking if life was as good down here as I had hoped.  I answered, “The showers could be hotter if that helps.”  He said it actually kinda did.

Now I don’t have the heart to tell him we figured out the water heater.