Mexico


Oaxaca

An entire month before my travel to Oaxaca, I lamented about my upcoming trip with colleagues, friends and family. 

“The flights are so awful.” “I am going to miss the kids.” “Mario is having his big cookout for the 4th.” “I just want to rest on my three days off.”

The day crept up on me and I found myself dragging my body out of bed at 4:45 am to get ready for a 5 am pick-up.  Kissed the babies good-bye and hugged my hubby and off I went to the airport.  A coffee and oatmeal.  A Sky Mall magazine. A few words with my younger brother. A subway sandwich. Peanut M&Ms. A cranked neck.  We were there.

Oaxaca.

Plaza down from the hotel where kids play soccer

My younger sis, Sarah, has lived in Oaxaca for close to three years. She met the love of her life while going to school in the city.  He is a native to Oaxaca – his family lives in the hills abridging the city. We met him about two years ago.   He survived the family orientation. He posseses a calm demeanor, which is perfect for my energetic sis. He is a photographer – she is a writer.  They both love adventure and coffee and dancing.  They decided to “go on this journey together” and marry.  That is the reason for my departure to Oaxaca.

Sarah picked us up in a flat bed truck owned by a Mexican friend of hers.  We drove in the flat bed with the luggage back to Sarah’s apartment and our hotel.  The hotel was quaint and adorable. My room consisted of a bed, a desk, and a bathroom.  There was a courtyard on the first level and a terrace on the second level.  The courtyard had a small fountain with two snapping turtles floating in it. 

My turtles

We went to restaurants, we drank, we laughed, we reminisced.  It was wonderful.  The weather was perfect. No

The crew partying it up at a local restaurant

 humidity. Perfect blue skies. Puffy white clouds.  Large twisting trees. Incredibly difficult hiking trails. Crosses. It did not feel foreign to me – it felt like my little sister’s home.  Her wedding is able to be summed up with two rather opposing adjectives – quaint and spectacular. 

The sister and brother of her husband, Jorge, hosted the wedding in their backyard.

Getting ready for the ceremony

  Jorge’s nieces were the flower girls.  A mariachi band played. They wrote their story as the ceremony and they recited their own vows.  We danced with a live turkey. We drank Mezcal.  We jammed to old ’80s music. And at the end of the night, Sarah looked just as radiant and beautiful as she had the moment before the wedding.  

Dancing the night away

As I stood next to her and looked over at my little brother Jack who is six years younger than Sarah, flashes of their childhood came back to me with a vengeance and it seemed surreal that I was now standing in a Mexican yard watching one of them marry and the other graduate college soon.  There are moments where I feel like life is moving like molasses and the day will never end, especially when Maria and Mario are ont heir worst behavior.  But I see my little sis and bro and I see my babies at age 5 and almost 3, and I know that it in the end, it all goes lightening speed.  As it should, I suppose. Who would want to remain in high school forever?!

Dancing with the turkey

On Sunday, Jorge’s mother hosted a blessing ceremony at the same house.  She cried as she caressed Sarah’s hair and explained to us in Spanish how important it was for her to give a Catholic blessing to the new couple.  Her emotion moved us all.  The Bible verse read was raw and appropriate – one I had never heard before.  She etched the sign of the cross in the air to both Sarah and Jorge and hugged them hard.  It was one of the most tender moments.  We continued to drink Mexcal and beer and eat home-cooked food and soak in the Mexican atmosphere.  We ended the night with a round of pizzas and a game of cards.  Does life get any better?   

Meanwhile, Maria Grace celebrated at her Aunt Susie’s house with all of her aunts and her Grandma Lolo.  They toasted one to us around 6:30 pm (5:30 Mexico time when the wedding

Maria partying with her aunts

 began).  They laughed and partied and swam all night – Maria Grace had a blast with Grandma Lolo who treated her like a princess for three days straight.  She came home with toys and dresses, and coloring books and lots of fun memories. 

Proud fisherman

Mario celebrated with a night at Grandma Ionno’s house and then a trip to Uncle Mario’s house where he caught his first fish.  A catfish he would have you know.  And it was really big he would have you know.  A man’s man.

3 thoughts on “Mexico

  1. Kevin says:

    I like this. Maybe it’s the sense of exoticism that goes with travel, maybe the wistfulness at the passing of time. Maybe both. See you soon. -K

    • marymenkedick says:

      Thanks Kev. I just posted something on your blog but it kicked me out and did not save! All that hard work down the drain! Anyway, in a nutshell, I appreciate the beauty of your trip with Daggy to pick berries. It is those moments that keep us moving forward. Just the sernity of those precious times keep us striving for more even if they only come once in a while (sometimes long while!). Tell the crew I said hello and we send our love! Mary

  2. Kevin says:

    Other people have had that problem, too. I don’t know for sure what’s causing it, but I think signing in with Google before your entry might help. I’m sorry you lost it.

    Regardless, I’m glad you enjoyed the post; it’s fun reading each other’s blogs. I check in with Sarah’s occasionally, too.

    Where did Maria get all those aunts with sombrero’s? That image is the seed for a Latin American, Magical Realism novel, “A Nation of Aunts”.

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