Shack and a Heap was always a scheme intended to compliment city living. When the grand plan became the only plan writing it’s story needed no title tweak. The tagline, too, came without a moment’s hesitation: Finding home. It seems I have been looking for a long time, at least since I have been on my own. When I was married as our boys were growing up – those three guys and the dog were what made where I lived home. Happily I married someone who cared as much as I do about the place where you hang your hat. Together we worked hard to make our nest happy and comfortable. But since then… while I have lived in many sweet apartments…I have always felt unsettled and transient. My restless brain in a constant “what if…?” state. When change and challenge are put on my plate I eat with gusto.
Even here in this place, in these woods where I have family nearby and mother nature inside and outside my door I know… it doesn’t fill the bill. Aye aye aye! And so, wasting no time, I put my mind to the next adventure. Today I sit on a red-tiled roof terrace in Mexico and butcher the beautiful Spanish language with Alicia who has come to water the geraniums and lavender. Her English does battle with my Spanish – we both smile a lot and say “gracias” for everything. I think patience is her middle name. As she rounds the circular stair to apartment level I return to sitting, planning, wondering…
This morning’s travel, over cobbled sidewalks barely wide enough for one and half people, finds me loaded with a bag of laundry (2.5 kilos I learn) in search of the “lavanderia”. I come armed with instructions in Spanish (cold water – laundry deter for sensitive people – because yes, I am) yet I leave the garage size laundromat wondering if I will see my clothes again. Every day brings these small tasks with steep learning curves and enormous pride for doing things I see local 3 year-olds handle with dispatch. It is sobering and humbling – good lessons for this American.
My days are spent walking, writing, dancing and meeting people. It is now evening and I am recently returned from my first salsa lesson in 4 or 5 years – I will sleep well tonight. It feels an extravagance to have a private class in a rooftop studio even though my USD fares well against the MX peso. My body remembered moves I was sure it had forgotten – only my lack of stamina betrays me. I am thrilled to be dancing again.
I wonder…. is this home? Can’t say until I tick off a few more destinations in the year to come. Unsure of everything except: there are more Spanish lessons in this chica’s future.