Colonial Arch in Merida, Mexico at sunset.
…and he snores too. Teddy and I rarely travel together because of our elderly cat but made a special effort to go to a new place for his 60th birthday. When we married he was 24 years old and I can’t figure out how all this time has passed. Teddy went ahead of me and I arrived at Mobile Regional Airport on his birthday. He picked me up in a rental car and we went straight across the fabulous Mobile Bay causeway . Sometimes water that close to a roadway scares me but this was just sublime. We started looking for brown historical sites signs and starting learning the fascinating history of Mobile.
This whole city, named Blakely, was abandoned after an epidemic of yellow fever in the 1800s and everyone moved to the new settlement of Mobile on the other side of the vast bay. Five rivers create a delta into the bay. From our busy metropolis, this was absolute bliss – very few people and polite drivers. We went to lunch at an Oyster place with a great view across the delta. After two glasses of wine I decided ‘we’ would drive to just over the border of Alabama into Florida. It was wonderful. Teddy and Bunny decided that there was no reason to change the habits of a lifetime and had a spat about which direction we should be going in… There was no cell phone service deep in the country and the GPS stopped working. By the time we had dinner in the rooftop restaurant of our hotel, all was bliss in Teddy and Bunny land. 🐻 🐰
Many more posts of a place less traveled and some funny stories.
A miracle happened! I colored my hair a new shade of rose gold and it turned out the same as the picture on the box. Then I went to my hairdresser who cut it rather sharply with a cute little quiff. It is my husband’s 60th birthday next weekend so I wanted to have a nice haircut to celebrate with him. I am still in shock that I will be married to a 60 year old man – whaaaaaatt!!!!
He still looks cute though…
This is the inside Princesa – Toffee. It is hard to get a good shot of her because she is a darkly colored Tabby (mixed with Egyptian Mau). In reality, her markings and fur are exquisite. She has the typical saggy beige fluffy tummy of a Mau and little fluffy Hobbit feet to protect her from the desert heat. We rescued her as a kitten in Cairo but at age 15, I still can’t pick her up. For years she hardly spoke but since the other two Egyptian cats died she has not shut up… She talks about everything with precise vocalizations. “Thank you” for lunch sounds very different from “Clean up my poo stat!” Although she and Katniss have never met face to face, Toffee chats to her through the open window. In some Disney world they would be sleeping together but they are both little ferals, happy in their own worlds. She hunts sunbeams around the house even though I keep the temperature at 76 degrees or above. I move Nana’s orange and brown rug about so that her old bones are comfortable in the sunbeam.
This is the outside Princesa – Katniss. I rudely call her Fatniss because she is a voracious but slow eater. She is probably about 3 or 4, maybe neutered by the local cat people and I think she belongs to me now? At the moment I was writing this, I ‘knew’ that she was outside, so I interrupted this post to feed her with newly clean dishes. The raccoons have been playing with the dishes again and I had to hunt for them around the garden. From time to time, Katniss rolls in the garden and I get to see her lovely white tummy with a black belt (in Karate?) She has a lovely mixture of black and pink toes, usually immaculate despite living outside. She also talks – do they get it from me?? Katniss has a tiny little voice and chats while I feed her. Sometimes the tone is terse when it is cold or wet. She also hisses when she is happy – I think she is just trying all her vocalizations.
They make me happy. ❤
It is not very easy to be vegetarian in our traditional part of Texas. Not only do we rear cattle but the original settlers were mostly German. I laughed out loud when I saw this Stop sign a few hundred yards from my house. Graffiti usually annoys me but this was clever and funny! Although more flexi than veggie, I rarely cook meat and many of the local restaurants balk at me asking for the steak flatbread, for example, with no steak. My weakness is real ham…. Every Saturday I have a ham and cheese Arepa at our local brunch place – they smoke their own ham.
The Germans have been joined by a very diverse group of immigrants including many from Latin America thus the Arepa – maize based flatbread. We live in a very tight series of cul-de-sacs with traffic circles. To stop trucks and school buses churning up the corner, our HOA has put cobbles and more large boulders to deter them. Do you think the vegetarian created this zen stacked rock cairn?
My favorite reading genre is science fiction. This is just a tale of the future inspired by current events. It is written in the first person.
Red line – fortified wall between Texas and Mexico
Green line – almost impenetrable forest between Texas and The Louisiana Wasteland
Gray dotted line – new El Paso territory
It has been 15 years since Imperator Trump became leader of the New American Federation. No longer the 50 United States but some 30 disparate states, many with new boundaries and names. In 2018 we were unaware that medical and DNA facilities were collating data about our ethnicity. Under the guise of scientific advancement, the government had colluded with the data gatherers to make America as white as possible. Anyone with 85% white or Caucasian genes was reclassified as Pure Citizens. All others were no longer citizens but subjects; in a caste system. On rare occasions, subjects could pass as citizens but dare not procreate for fear of recessive genetics. The caste system is not truly based on darkness of color but your worth to this new society.
A Nigerian doctor might be part of Caste #1 but a Guatemalan farmer could be Caste #4. Many people of color fled after rezoning to Free States such as those in the Pacific West (formerly known as California, Oregon and Washington) or to other continents. Curiously, white Neo-Nazis from Northern Europe and Argentina flocked to immigrate to New America and they were welcomed by Imperator Trump. No one dare call him any other name but they can’t control our thoughts. I am now an old woman stuck in a country I despise, the country of my birth and ancestors. Despite my mixed blood, I have 85% Caucasian genes and look as fair as any Aryan. My hair is snow white, my faded dark blue eyes are cloudy and my skin as fair as milk. I am treated with veneration to my disgust; for safety I smile at all the compliments and kindness. Even monsters have some capacity for good, don’t they?
Those subjects who were unable to escape New America now live in ghettos. Some are better than others; just old suburban areas but clearly differentiated. No one from Caste #1 can marry, live or have a relationship with someone in Caste #4, for example. Two doctors of different color in Caste #1 can marry even if one is of Chinese ethnicity and the other Mexican. To the white citizens, they are all less than pure. The 85%, as we are known, live in fully armed and gated communities. A very few are similar to the Mar-a-Lago estates of the old days. Fort Trump is an example with multi-million dollar homes, gilded from top to bottom. Imperator style is ornate and gaudy; like one of Imperator Trump’s many casinos.
When the states separated, I hoped that democracy would prevail in Texas but “Make America White” struck a chord in a Republican State. El Paso had always been blue and was able to create a new territory which is governed and protected by Mexico. New Mexico, mostly Hispanic, is a Protectorate of Mexico. Oklahoma and Arkansas merged into what they once were – Indian Territories. In this strange new world, Native Americans have retained power and sovereignty but are not Citizens. Louisiana is a wasteland; devastated by flooding, hurricanes and poverty. It has become a disease ridden swamp that only Cajuns and other indigenous people can survive in.
Houston too did not survive the vagaries of the increasingly turbulent weather systems. The coastline has retreated further north and Galveston has reverted back to a sliver of sandbar. New Houston has taken the place of Austin as State Capitol. It is a grim city with no rainbows or sunshine. It is full of dangerous ghettos as is South City formerly known as San Antonio. All Spanish words are banned, so Amarillo was renamed Yellow City, a literal translation. Many times over the years I wished I had kept my Spanish maiden name but a white name kept me safe. I whisper it under my breath to remind myself of who I am.
So why didn’t I escape to Mexico or Pacific West? By the time I realized that Texas would succumb, I was a widow and too frail. I live in the Big Thicket in the same house that I always did. The forest has encroached and the roads are barely passable. The ocean is much closer than it used to be and you can smell the ozone on the breeze. Since I was stuck inside the New Federation and inconspicuous, I have secretly volunteered for the Underground Railroad. We are close to the Louisiana border and despite the danger many people are willing to brave their lives just for a chance at freedom. Small boats are guided through swamps by the Cajun Navy until they reach open water. If they are lucky a refugee rescue boat will attempt to take them to safety.
I laugh bitterly because all we used to worry about was a wall.
Doesn’t this look like paradise? Where are the people? Celestún is famous for the breeding grounds of flamingos and the area is a bio preserve. This means that Celestún hasn’t developed as much as other places in Yucatan such as Cancun. It was warm but very breezy as you can see from the waves.
After I walked along the beach, I investigated some of the streets close by. First I saw a group of elderly ladies in various stages of ill health that had been to the local clinic. I doubt their medical care was as extensive as mine but they were happily chattering as they walked home. They had probably known each other from childhood and I looked at them in quiet envy.
There were a few restaurants and one was right on the beach. I really needed a clean restroom but ordered a local beer and admired the view. The restrooms were like most in the area – spotlessly clean, smelling of bleach with that fantastic foot pedal to flush the toilet. There was also a clean wastebasket to put your toilet paper in. The pipes are too narrow and the paper pollutes the pristine environment. I thanked my hosts kindly and walked out.
As I rounded the corner, reality struck me in the face. An old sick dog was seizing in the road. Her eyes were sunken and she was just hours or days from death. I immediately went into triage mode. How could I euthanize this dog, likely a stray? I had left my tranquillizers at the hotel which I could have crushed into some tuna. As I stopped and stared, I knew I could do nothing. My rabies vaccinations are long since out of date. The dog was not mine and it might not be culturally acceptable for me to be the angel of death. In Cairo most people disapproved of animal euthanasia as it was God’s decision when we die.
I walked on with the knowledge that as much as I would like to, I couldn’t live in a poor rural country. In Belize I snuck food out of the hotel to feed the starving dogs because there were no shops. When I got back to the car, Angel, my driver, asked me what I thought of the village. I told him truthfully that it was exquisite and charming. Then I told him about the dog in halting Spanish – to my astonishment he seemed to truly understand my dilemma. Ah, the yin and yang of life.