Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hats and Hair

Hola! Buenas tardes!
Now, don't remind me if it is buenas or buenos. Regardless, I am never going to remember. What I do know is it is the afternoon............

And this morning was not quiet. Horses were going down our street before dawn and while it was a beautiful sound, that is what kept me awake.

The horses were coming down, with their riders, from the ranch country. Beyond the Chalaton barrio is ranch land and the campo, countryside. Many people in town keep their horses up there, so they spent a great deal of time getting up there and back down to town for the Dia de Revolucion parade.

I always enjoy going to this parade, and as I have said many times, it's the ninos who are the most fun to photograph. Since this will my be fourth time to post photos from the parade I have decide to just do something different. If you want to see every school banner and the children marching in their uniforms, every sports team, all the drill teams, the military, the bands, the cannon, all the pyramids, the dancing children, the karate wood block choppers, the cyclists AND the ten teams of cheerleaders, you can re visit the past posts from the Day of the Revolution, November twentieth, or look in the labels to the right where you should find them under events or celebrations, but today you will see.............................. hats and hair.

and there was a lot of it..................
The hats, of course, that everyone goes to the parade to see are those of the vaqueros and their caballos. The photo above is only a small sampling of the sea of white hats that continues down the street. They always bring up the end of a parade with a dramatic entrance. This is what people go to the parade for. Well, aside from seeing their friends and being seen, this is what they go to see, the cowboys and their horses..

It was good to find out they were holding the celebration today. I was very afraid they would go US on us and have it tomorrow so they could have a three day weekend. It turns out tomorrow will be a holiday, so there will be a three day weekend after all. The Tecate store was stacking tables and chairs into trucks and beer cases were going out the door at a rapid speed. Fireworks are going off through out town and I expect a full blown fiesta night since many people will take tomorrow off.

We will also take tomorrow off and head north. Our first trip to the states in almost a year. We are going up by bus to Tucson and then flying to Dallas.

We went to Navajoa last week and got Senor a senior card. When you turn sixty in Mexico, you are considered a senior and a special card can get you a good discount on a bus ride.

Supposedly, the card is easy to get, maybe so if you are better prepared. We thought we had all the necessary items, but we forgot to make copies, so after several trips for copies, and lots of paper work, fingerprints, a break so the worker behind the desk could have lunch, Senor got his card.

A quick trip over to the TUFESA bus line to buy tickets for the express bus, reading the ticket closely on the way home, wishing we could return and exchange them for the express bus, well, it took all day.

So we are taking the not so express bus to Tucson and will probably have to wait at the border for all the folks who do not have any paperwork to be removed from the bus and told, no, you do not get to go to the United States today, but our flight does not leave Tucson until Tuesday, plenty of time to hang out at the border, no problema.

I am patiently waiting for Senor to get his laundry out of the washing machine so I can put mine in. Then I am going to pack. Bag packing will be done last minute by Senor, I am sure just right before the taxi pulls up at five thirty to take us down to the bus station.

So here is wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Que le vaya bien! Linda lou

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bells and Roosters

Day is breaking around 6am now and most mornings the temperature is right below 50 at that time.
I am still an early riser, but not ready to go out into the cold morning at 4:30am.

So I stay in bed for awhile and listen to the sounds around me. Depending upon the day there may still be a party happening and the sounds of the music float across town on the breeze, or maybe the lone bongo is playing far away in the distance, a dog barks next door, someone whistles softly out on the street, a horse goes clopping by. And if it is Sunday, the church bells call for mass and the roosters send messages to one another across the barrios.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Long Walk

Buen dia.

It is 4 in the morning here in Alamos, Mexico, and after a late night with friends and fellow musicians, I am dragging myself from the warmth of a pile of quilts to go on a pilgrimage with my Mexicana amigas.

I was awake most of last night in fear of missing the meeting spot. Eager anticipation and fond memories of last year's walk also kept me from sleep.

The bells of our own Alamos church woke me at 3:00, calling to me slowly, beckoning me out into the cold.

The walk to the old silver mining town of La Aduana to visit the church there, begins a week of holy vows for some people who walk from all corners of Sonora to arrive by dawn on this morning. For others it means party for three days straight, with no work and no vows, punctuated with a lot of tequila.

It is the long walk that keeps me coming back.

Under a moon struck sky, my friends and I link arms as we make our way across the rock studded dirt arroyo. One of us will trip and fall, and arms will reach out to help. The language barrier is no longer noticeable as we attempt to converse in Spanish about children, parents, siblings and inevitably, our husbands. For much of the time we will walk quietly, thinking and wondering to ourselves, solving problems, not solving problems, and then, not thinking at all.

The air around us breathes with shooting stars and mysterious shadows dance across the sand. Along the way, several small fires light the path, their embers fleeing the heat, reaching out to the velvet sky.

For two hours we follow this seemingly never ending path, a path that has been followed before by many steps. We will breathe in a bountiful supply of cold air and relish this time of being together and yet, being alone.

At La Aduana, our faces glowing in the pink and golden sunrise, we sit in the church. Open to the elements of nature, Nuestra Senora de la Balvanera, is small and the wind gathers inside, bringing with it the tantalizing smells from the vendor's pots outside.

We sit quietly, nodding and then standing to kiss the cheeks of friends we see. We watch the long procession of people lay their flowers at the altar, cross themselves and kiss the statues of the Lady of Balvanera.

Back outside, on cobblestone streets we pause to watch La Danza del Venado, the Dance of the Deer, and listen to the mystifying notes of the rattles, flutes and guitars that accompany this ancient Yaqui Indian ritual.

Finally, after warming ourselves with cups of creamed corn, laden with butter and lime juice and hot sauce, we will slowly give up this magic, each of us returning to our homes, leaving a small, but significant amount of ourselves in La Aduana until next year.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Different Little Panteon

Buen dia.
Finally got Senor to the IMSS clinic yesterday, after listening to him cough all night long.
Like a good little boy, he took his note with him, translated into Spanish in case he got sent to the doctor who speaks Spanish only..........ant bite, swollen foot, closed throat, fever, sweats, sleeping lots, not eating, no voice, coughing.

His little translation got him ten minutes in the Room with the Spanish speaking doctor, five boxes of medicine and a jar of liquid. After taking all of this twice yesterday and once this morning he is a new person. I am a happy person. And next time we will not wait so long for me to get happy.

Above is a photo of Levant Alcorn, the man the History Club altar was dedicated to this year. I won't repeat how the altar comes about. You can read that in the post before this one. However, below is a link to a marvelous interview that was done with him in 1989. It is really fascinating to learn how he ended up in Alamos.

And below is the altar. I meant for it to be very educational and included a lot of information about him that I had translated into Spanish. The Catrina was not part of the altar, but she adds a little more interest.

I went to the Panteon around 3pm on Wednesday and lit the candles on the graves we have adopted. The Panteon was just packed with people and I limited my picture taking. I seemed to know so many of the people sitting with their graves that I was not comfortable photographing anyone or any graves.

So I am going to show you photographs of different type of Panteon instead.

The local primary school children were asked to make small scale graves of their deceased relatives. They did this and I happened to be setting up the History Club altar on Tuesday, as the children brought in their altars to the museum. Several large groups of children each walked in over the course of an hour and each child took a turn placing their altar on the courtyard floor of the museum. They were so quiet, I could hear them breathing and the starched skirts of the little girls rustled as they walked. After the altars were placed they were given time to walk around and look at them and other than an occasional ooh and ahh, or other intake of breath, they were silent. It was obviously a moving experience for them.........

Equally as moving for me....................adios, linda lou