Letters from Lorraine XIV
Two years and two days ago on August 25, 2021, I drove a rental truck with my fellow road warriors, Pearl the poodle and Agatha the mannequin in the front and my worldly possessions in the back, onto the ferry boat in Vineyard Haven. That day which seems like yesterday, began our nearly three-thousand-mile overland journey to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
What was it like and how has our adventure fared? Well, you’ll just have to buy my book to find out!
Seriously though, it has not been easy, nor did I think it would be, but there are and have been, many days of pure joy.
And these joyful days usually involve my dogs (I now have four), discovering a beautiful Mexican landscape, the song of a bird I have never heard, a work of art, the exquisite details on a home or building, or watching a Mexican mother and child sell their handmade wares on the Ancha (a main street in SMA).
Yes, there are many, many things to celebrate since moving here but I will always, I have come to realize, think of Martha’s Vineyard as my home because it is. How can you live in such a magnificent place for forty-one years, nearly half of anyone’s life, and not think of it as your home?
But like all great places, they change and sometimes, so do you.
I wanted before my time was up on this planet, to experience life again in a foreign country as I did in Ibiza, Spain at the age of twenty-three. And more than that, I wanted the opportunity to spend my days with abandon ─ writing, exploring a new country, enjoying my new home, meeting new people and loving my dogs.
But it has been difficult finding “like” friends, although this fact is true anywhere in the world you may go, especially as you get older. I have found a few “like” friends and for now, that is enough.
But you know what is not difficult? Accidently running into or naïvely having personal encounters with certifiable CRAZY people! And I don’t mean ha-ha crazy, I mean CRAZY.
Dear lord, what is happening to humans? I think the pandemic did a number on us and for the moment folks, this is all I will say about some of the truly, seriously screwy people I’ve met.
But, GOLLL─LEY , WTF?
When not working on my book or taking care of the livestock in my house, I have opened my life up to important causes that are close to my heart. My neighbor Sara and I rescued two sweet, innocent street dogs about six weeks ago. These adorable one-year-olds were dumped in our neighborhood and we just couldn’t turn our backs or shut down our dog-loving hearts to them.
We did all the required things one does when rescuing street dogs ─ had them neutered and spayed, vaccinated and dewormed. However, these are the easy things, finding them homes is by far the hardest and a near impossible task. Fortunately, though, we found them a home with my gardener Pedro who lives in the country and so far, so good. Next week Sara and I, along with a huge bag of dog food, will go visit the now adopted, hopefully happy little critters.
For the past several months I have become involved with an organization that is working on a community project to save our Presa (reservoir). This large reservoir not only provides water for agriculture, it is a wildlife habitat for our beautiful resident and migratory birds, but it is also a fabulous body of water for the local kayakers. And last but not least, it is a beautiful water view for many San Miguel neighborhoods, especially my neighborhood of Los Frailes.
San Miguel’s Presa, like most reservoirs and waterways in Mexico, and for that matter, rivers and lakes all over the world, have been inundated with highly invasive water hyacinths. It a serious problem and like many ecological challenges today, it is exacerbated by climate change. This intrusive plant has now covered 70% of our Presa and the days are rare when you can see even a glimpse of its blue-green-gray water.
Typically, of course, little to nothing has been done since the invasion began two years ago. But now the residents and state (we hope) are beginning to pay attention and I want to play a part in this.
So, five weeks ago, every Saturday morning, I worked our organization’s information, and fundraiser promotional table at my neighborhood’s Los Frailes Saturday Market. And, if you know me, you know how I love working tables, remember my political table in front of Cronigs?
Ten days ago, the Rescatemos La Presa Allende, our organization, had the fundraiser we had been promoting at our local neighborhood restaurant Flor de Jamaica, and it was a huge success!
Our goal, besides educating residents on what is being done, was to raise $60,000 pesos for the fishermen’s grinding machine to make the dried hyacinths into mulch, compost and brick making material. We raised over $100,000 pesos and are now well on our way to buying two grinders, one for green lirio (hyacinth) and one for dried lirio.
This is my news for now, but I do want to say, if all goes well, my book should be finished, printed and available by mid-November. By the way, next week I am researching self-publishing companies so, if anyone out there has a suggestion please email me. And again, if all goes well, I will be on the Vineyard late November for my first ever book signing!
Lorraine and her crew,
Pearl, Ruby, Mike, Molly and little Olie the cat.
This is the link to our Rescatemos La Presa Allende