Thursday, November 5, 2015

Getting Out of Dodge!

I'm finishing up a myriad of minute issues, readying myself for departure tomorrow morning from Sacramento to Guatemala City.  I'll be back in Antigua tomorrow night, where Lacy and Eleanor are waiting for my return.  This has been a most productive five weeks in California.

I have:
  • Put my Roseville house on the market to be sold - and it's supposed to be a good sellers' market
  • Sold my Smart Car to my son's family- Jeff will use it as a commute car
  • Put both the Toyota Dolphin and the Fleetwood Flair on the market to be sold by my nephew and grand nephew - I'm going to miss them both, but now is not the time to have them sitting
  • Had two estate / garage sales - Profits of over $4000!!! Lots of help from Sharan
  • Sold multiple belongings on Craigslist
    • furniture
    • refrigerator
    • freezer
    • washer and dryer
    • Oriental carpet
    • enough yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, knitting books, and equipment and supplies to open a yarn shop!
    • hundreds of cook- and other books
    • dinnerware
    • silverware
    • cooking implements and supplies
    • pots, pans, bake ware
    • microwave
    • All Clad slow cooker
    • counter top oven
    • dishes - China and everyday
    • more
    • more
    • more
I invited a relatively new Canadian friend, Sharan, who lives in Guatemala, to come up to California to help me with, upon arrival October 1st, what seemed like an overwhelming and impossible job to complete in the two weeks Sharan was to be here.  Well, folks, she's a human dynamo!  I can't say how much I appreciated her help and unrelenting encouragement.  I could not have done it without her.  And, my daughter-in-law, Alice, continues to be so gracious with her time and effort.  She'll arrive later this afternoon and will drive me to the airport early tomorrow morning.  Kari, David, Jeff, Alice, and even world-traveling son, Spencer, have all been so supportive.  Thank you all!

I haven't been able to spend the time I would have liked visiting with many relatives and friends.  I'm especially sad that I didn't see my brother, Jim; but, it just wasn't in the cards that I could drive down to Santa Cruz to see him; and, he wasn't able to come up here.  It's one long drive through the San Francisco Bay Area and then also through the San Jose area - both difficult to navigate through commute traffic spots.  Jim and I try to stay in touch through email; so we'll continue that when I return to Antigua.

I've just emailed my Orthopedic Surgeon here in Sacramento to start arranging my second total knee surgery, hopefully for January 2016.  This knee is not as severely damaged by arthritis as my right knee was last year; but, it is ready for the replacement and I'm so looking forward to being pain every day.  Fortunately, this knee only hurts severely when I walk!  But, I like to walk a lot, which has been impossible for almost a year.
Kari and David's home in El Dorado Hills
L to R:  Samantha and Malia, son Jeff's twins - almost 16
I'm going to be very busy as soon as I get to Antigua.  I've been asked to write a syllabus for an English teaching program, then develop a teaching plan, and 'hire' volunteer teachers for a foundation I volunteer for CasaSito, Antigua, Guatemala.  I also have four English students, each of whom I tutor four hours each week .  One is 18, two are 19, and one is 20 .  They're all excited to learn and very conscientious about homework, etc.  I can't wait to see them all again.  I've also collected all kinds of arts and crafts supplies to share with a group I belong to called Los Amigos del Arte; we get together for about 4-5 hours each week and do crafts projects that we then sell to raise money for CasaSito.

Check out the website for CasaSito - a scholarship program for underprivileged Guatemalan kids from primary school through university - ages about 8 - 25.  It's a wonderful organization and I'm happy to be a part of it.

I'll also be involved with my Guatemalan family:  Carlos (my current Spanish teacher), his wife Nancy, daughter Shirley (my Guatemalan granddaughter), and daughter Heisell and her husband and baby.  I have some gifts for them that I know they'll appreciate; it's rewarding to be able to help them out; they are wonderful people, as are most of the Guatemalans I know.
Heisell and Fernando on wedding day
Spring 2015

L to R:  Fernando, Nancy, Heisell, Carlos, Shirley
Wedding Day Spring 2015

Of course it will be wonderful to see Cousin Linda - remember, we met in Antigua almost four years ago and found out we're actually related - her grandfather and my grandmother were cousins in Plattsburgh, New York.  Small world - Linda was born in Rhode Island and has lived most of her life in Chicago.  I'm essentially a west coast girl - and we met in Antigua!!!
Cousin Linda Champagne with baby
Danna Sofia Fernanda Lopez 1 week old
Going to miss Quinn, with whom I shared
a great grandmother / granddaughter lunch
last Saturday.  She's doing so well after her
sad cancellation of her wedding last month.
I so love this young lady!

Rear: old photo of Addison, Quinn, Avery
Front:  Holland, Spencer, Tate
They're all so grown up.
M-P's Antigua casita - my own slice of paradise.


  1. Wow you have been busy, now moving forward and ready for another chapter in the book of your life.
    Enjoy your time in Guatemala and good luck with your second knee surgery.

    1. Just climbed into my bed in Antigua after a long, but easy day of travel. Thanks for the comment, George.

  2. So glad that your life is moving forward. So many people at your stage in life get stuck in the same day after day routine. You are an inspiration Mary-Pat!

    1. Thanks Kevin and Ruth. And, you both are an inspiration for me and so many others. Let's stay in touch!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your life and travels with us. I was amazed that you were able to sell stuff in five takes me that long just to gather what I want to get rid of LOL. You are an amazing woman and so is Quinn....has granny's genes I believe.

    1. Thanks Rita. Yes, the "down-sizing" extravaganza in so little time was quite a feat - with a lot of help. I'm thrilled that it's done and can't wait 'til the house and RVs sell. Then, I'll really feel lighter!

  4. Perhaps our paths will cross again Mary-Pat. Enjoy, and it is a good thing you are doing. --Dave and Marcia

    1. Hi Dave and Marcia:
      I do think our paths will cross again - "who knows where, who knows when . ." I've got to get up to date on your adventures now that I'm back in my little casita in Antigua. I can relax for a few days and catch up with my blog-reading. Hugs to you two.

  5. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with all of us Mary-Pat. We miss your smiling face!! Glad to hear you are "home" again!! Sounds like you will be very busy.....