Little things mean a lot

Back when I was a youngster [seriously….a little kid,  not even a teenager], there was a popular song called “Little Things Mean a Lot.”  It was a sappy song that I didn’t care much for….even at my young age….but living down here in Mexico, little things really DO mean a lot to me….and to my cat.  [More about the cat later.] 

I don’t know if it’s because I’m old that I appreciate some little things, or because I’m supposedly wiser, or because I’ve always appreciated the little things and now that I’m older AND wiser, I appreciate even littler things. 

One of the little things that mean a lot to me is all the “souvenir” type things that I brought down here with me to Mexico when I moved about three and a half years ago.  Apparently they also meant something to me when I was moving from national park to national park, because I was always took them with me, but having such a finite [small] space in the back of my pickup when I moved here, I sort of felt that it was silly to bring them with me.

But the longer I’m here, the more I appreciate them and I was happy to learn that my friend Jonnie, upon returning from a month long stay in the US a couple of weeks ago, brought back the same types of things.   While I didn’t ever own anything inherited or fabulous as she did, she still came back with the same types of things that I hauled down with me. 

I brought, for instance, this cap from Death Valley, where I worked for three years.  I don’t ever wear it, but I like looking at it hanging on the “coat” rack in my bedroom.  Just like I enjoy seeing the feather boa that I bought for myself [and of which I bought two more for my friends Dom and Tina] when I was in Vegas on vacation one year.  And the boa I actually DO wear sometimes! 



Or how about this plastic tiara that my friend and coblogger Karen gave me when I worked at Flamingo in Everglades National Park, Florida.  Karen and I were great fans of the Sweet Potato Queens books by Jill Connor Browne, and Karen felt that she and I deserved a tiara like they wear.  I always tried to wear this on my birthday.  Going to work in the office?  Gonna wear the tiara.  Doing gift shop inventory?  Gonna wear the tiara.  And I still wear it on my birthday.  Because Karen is right….we DO deserve to wear a tiara at least once a year!



And, of course, I have some pictures.  Not that many, unfortunately.  Through a series of misadventures and/or moves, I lost a lot of pictures and albums.  But I still have, and love, this picture of my son Steve and me at Lake Powell, Arizona.  It has pride of place in my china cabinet here in Mexico.  A picture of Steve cavorting in the Crater Lake area, coupled with a close up of my cat right after she found me, sits on my bedroom bureau so I can enjoy it, too. 




I also brought with me the going away album that my friends at Petrified Forest National Park [primarily my friends Dom  and Maria] put together for me.  Not only does it contain pictures of my friends and acquaintances [including our UPS delivery man!], most all the pictures have a handwritten note from the person in the photo…..and, in honor of my move to Mexico, they’re almost all wearing a sombrero!  I’ll do another post about that, but here’s the Certificate of Appreciation that they came up with.  [Makes you just wanna be my friend, doesn’t it?]

Before I ever had an inkling that I might wind up living in Mexico, my friend Pat Lynn and her husband Larry took a trip from Flamingo in Everglades National Park to Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and brought me this ashtray back as a souvenir.  How much I love it is that I’ve never used it as an ashtray, even though I smoke.  Now, that’s reverence! 


My friends Sheila and Dave from Flamingo were down in the Florida Keys once and happened across a beanbag doll that reminded them of me.  They bought it and brought it to me, and after all these years and even though my hair is no longer that color, it still reminds me of myself as I was then, and of my friends. 



My friend Shep and her family have been great friends of mine since I worked in Death Valley.  Even after I quit working there, I would go back to visit them and on one trip she gave me this refrigerator magnet.  She loved it and although I don’t really know what the significance of it was for Shep, I still have it….and it’s still on my fridge door, as it has been for many years.


After I left my job in Death Valley, I went out on the road installing computers at motel front desks across the country.  After about a year, I happened to have a day of leisure in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  My friend and sister installer Lori and I got a couple of kick ass rooms in a beach hotel there and then wandered down to the Ron Jon Surf shop.  They had lots of great stuff, but living literally out of my suitcase meant that I could only carry a very limited amount.  So I opted for this mesh laundry bag and I still use it.  It’s at least 15 years old, but it’s in great shape and whenever I glance at it, I think of my days on the road and my friend Lori….even though I haven’t heard from her in at least 12 years. 


See, that’s why little things mean a lot!

Oh, I promised to tell you about the cat and why little things mean a lot to her, too.  As I wrote to my friend, Lawrence, the other day in response to his asking about the cat, I have never known anyone….human or animal…. that loves a good BM in the morning as much as Lukita!  I know it’s not something that we oldsters talk about much, and neither does the cat, but when she comes in from her morning ‘ablutions’ if she’s had a good dump [to put it politely], she is like a kitten again! 

She runs through the house, jumps on me, and has a grand old time.  So it’s obvious to me that Lukita also enjoys the little things in life! 

And just in case you want to hear the song of which these random thoughts reminded me, here’s a link:


About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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4 Responses to Little things mean a lot

  1. Jonnie Harker says:

    Yep. All I brought back were a few more clothes and sweaters, pictures, and mementos!!! I left all the inherited stuff behind once again. What I really need is a dumpster. I have learned that after almot five years without all the “stuff” I really don’t need the “stuff”. Funny, it really isn’t all that important anymore. Now I am in collecting really good friends, like you!!!!

  2. Barbara says:

    yep, jojo, friends and memories are really all you need to collect. and YOU don’t need a dumpster, you need a Goodwill truck or something similar. because there’s somebody out there who needs and/or wants something more than just friends and memories!

  3. Gigi says:

    We love our little things, too! I look around and see tagua nuts, sea shells, a Santa Clara del Cobre vase, god’s eye I made at a Huichol fest in Ajijic, molas, a tiny gourd and old man sold me in Jocotepec, old man of the woods face carved by someone in Arkansas, and more things I’d keep long after I gave up other stuff. Given enough time, all my belongings will be souvenirs – clothes, rugs, dishes, etc!! Wonder if you can find souvenir sheets….

  4. Dominique says:

    I still have my Boa too, my family looks at me funny if I try and wear it…especially to church… Miss you and Lucky lots!!!

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