So my co-authors, Michael and Karen, are inundated with snow and seriously low temps this (US) Thanksgiving week (see Michael’s post below). By the way, I put the US in parens because if you didn’t know….and if you live in the US you probably don’t….Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving, but theirs is the second Monday in October. Of course, here in Mexico the only people celebrating Thanksgiving this fourth Thursday in November are US expats. But celebrate most of us shall.
However, if Karen and Michael and others in the northern US or Rocky Mountain states are ankle- or knee-deep in snow, here around Lake Chapala we’re having some of our best weather. Highs on Thanksgiving Day are predicted to be about 80-degrees Fahrenheit. The flowers are blooming,
the lemon and orange trees in my yard are continuing to bear fruit,
and if we wanted to, my friends and I could take a dip in the pool. (It’s unheated, but with the cover off during the day and if we’ve been sitting in the sun for a while, the water feels great.)
You might be saying “well, yeah, but with that weather you lose some of the spirit of Thanksgiving.” No, we don’t. Because Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in Mexico so there’s really nothing to make us think about it anyway except the expat calendars available at some local banks and Thanksgiving cartoons that we received via e-mail from our friends north of the border. So we’re pretty much all happy with the weather and then when (if) we realize that US Thanksgiving is coming it’s like “Whoo-hoo! All this great weather AND a big meal. Could it BE any better? Man, are we gonna have a lot to be thankful for this Thursday!”
And living here in Mexico there are a lot of things that I’m thankful for. Of course, all the regular, pretty boring but much-loved things like health and (very small) family. But here’s some of the other things I’m thankful for:
Being able to live pretty darn well on $10,000US a year (and that includes medical insurance, my meds–which require no prescription and thus no office visits down here, a great house with a housekeeper once a week, and a gardener/pool guy once a week);
Not having to deal with really crappy weather or temps more than a few months out of the year (January and February can get a little cold with no heat in the house and May and the beginning of June can get a little warm with no air-conditioning in the house, but otherwise it’s all good!);
Not being worried about crime or foreclosures or lawsuits. Sure, the narcos are going after one another, but they’re pretty professional about it, not like gangbangers in the US. And people aren’t losing their homes for the most part because mortgages are almost non-existent in Mexico. If you can’t afford to pay cash for it, you can’t buy it. And negligence lawsuits don’t really exist here either, which means doctors’ bills are much, much lower and personal responsibility for one’s actions are a given.
Free or very inexpensive entertainment (i.e. weekly band concerts at the plaza or the malecon [boardwalk]; processions and parades complete with bands, floats, and horses; cheap DVDs and movie tickets; and roadtrips to ancient places); and
The fact that I moved to Mexico without knowing one single, solitary soul in the whole country and, within a few months, made some of the best friends of my life.