Yesterday I found a clean notebook and set out to blog about last month’s events. The pen saw the paper and (we all) felt a brief moment of panic. It’s the first time that’s happened to me in nearly four years. I know I set by the wayside all my half-written articles for the holidays, but write fright…that is just plain weird.
In November I suffered a severe reality check when I finally accepted the fact that I have gone through my one-time wad of money from the Hawaii home sale. With the settlement I was able to move here, buy a house and fix it up, create a new life and live for nearly three years. I am pleased with my decisions and I am happy. But I have a worrier’s genes and battle fret and anxiety all the time. A little herb helps with the anxiety, and Pablo helps me overcome worry. We make a good team and with his youthful energy, creative ideas, and stick-to-it-iveness along with my idealistic positivism, we make things happen! I am finally re-learning to NOT live to worry, but to just live to live. And this is a good thing because it was specifically THE POINT of the move.
Pablo and I invested time and money in the construction of four bodegas and ten rooms to rent. The project was completed in mid-2009 and it is now a source of income for us. The rentals are low-cost, simple rooms with only a bath and a bed. But they are always occupied, and are an excellent transitional place for some of the village folks who work in the city. Pablo’s vision is to see a medical clinic there one day. That is easier said than done, of course. There is no medical service out in San Pedro Nohpat or Kanasín, and our location is convenient for the folks in those surrounding areas. Pablo put the word out on the internet and has received a few interested callers from the medical profession. This is a live and learn project, and until it blossoms we collect rent money every month.
If you have been following this blog you know that we opened the swim school in March 2008. Since then, Pablo’s taught most of the kids in the neighborhood and some adults to swim. In 2009 the first cold front hit us early in October, putting a quick halt to all swimming activities until spring. Yucatecans are funny about swimming and the weather; it is strictly a summertime activity. We even had to shut out our faithful pool exercisers this winter because it got super-cold.
Earlier in ’09 I rented out the upstairs room, but that didn’t work out. I rented it to the wrong person and it put me off renting for a while. In November the reality check woke me up and I put the upstairs room as well as the two front living rooms on the internet to rent. The response was overwhelming, so much so that I made a couple overbooking errors. In the long run though, we have perfect renter #1 upstairs, an engineer from Mexico City. He decided to stay here for nine months. Up front is perfect renter #2, a young guy from Spain working toward his dive instructor’s ticket. He’s staying for four months. In the heat of it all, I ended up renting out another room, the “office”, to a Cowboys fan from San Diego(perfect renter #3). And when he departed, perfect renter #4 moved in, and is still in the office now. The ambience at the house is positive and friendly. The email inquiries were flying through November and December and interest continues to this day. If I owned the house next door I could probably rent that too! Pablo painted over the swimming school sign to make way for room rentals
Meanwhile, my reputation as the cat whisperer provoked a few opportunities for us to take care of pets over the holidays. This year the “sitting” responsibilities branched out to art galleries, houses, newly laid sods, dogs and iguanas. Over Christmas we each had to sleep at a different place, feed of a set of pets, water lawns, and come home to take care of our pets and renters as well. My writing was limited to emails. My internet time was consumed mostly by Farmville and Yoville because I was too scattered to write. Our holiday was a true trip to nowhere, because we had to pack suitcases and vacate our own bedroom due to my overbooking idiocy. We were living out of the car, but sleeping at the most incredible places, surrounded by amazing beauty and wonderfully appreciative animals.
Around the 10th of January things started mellowing out. All the owners came home. We unpacked our suitcases and moved back into our own room. The perfect renters are content, and peace has been restored on 75th Street. Now I find myself less drawn to Farmville, and more drawn to this blank paper. Time has come to move the miles of piles again, finish those unwritten articles, and rewrite the book I wrote. Or write another one. Try again, so to speak. I’ve been easing myself into writing mode again with insane blabbering emails, and today I had the wherewithal to sit here and publish this. Here’s hoping 2010 is a better year for everyone, a great year that draws us together as people, to love and live and let love and let live. ¡Próspero Año Nuevo!