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No pasó nada / Nothing Happened

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher

A decade has come and gone since I moved to San Miguel. The first week, I stayed at my ex-wife's. Better friends than we were husband and wife, still, I happily moved into my current residence, on November 24, Thanksgiving Day.

I have the first floor of a four-room house. Humble as it is, as the last house on a short dead end alley, behind the church in San Antonio, it has what many palatial residences in town lack, quiet. That is, when the church is not having an amplified event in their back patio. That's always a trial.

The bells I've gotten used to. The recorded chimes every hour from 9am-9pm, however, are harder for me to ignore. They play a butchered version of the Red River Valley at 4pm, to which I cannot help but sing along: "Can I sleep in your barn tonight, mister?"

My landlady lives upstairs. Eighty-four years old, she is from an old San Miguel family. Her grandfather married a Chichimeca. Her father moved to Mexico City, where he convinced the powers that be to start the Bank of Mexico. Mexico's first paper money had his signature on it, as a guarantee of its value.

La Señora tells me that the largest of my rooms, my study, was the first edifice, other than the church, in San Antonio. It was built as a home for the caretaker of the church when the whole rest of what is now a packed, bustling colonia was orchard, pasture, scrub and a soccer field or two. She bought and expanded the caretaker's abode with money she made translating the book Aztec into Spanish. She recounts, that, at the time, westward from this place, except for two houses on what is now calle 20 de enero, it was open country to the Presa and beyond.

I'm not sentimental, and I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving for a long time, but I thought I should commemorate the coincidence of Turkey Day and my ten-year anniversary. I asked la Señora to attend and invited a couple of young Mexicans over. Untraditionalist that I am, I made an Indonesian tempeh curry. Romeo brought a bottle of wine.

There, at the first toast, wine glasses raised, I proposed, in Spanish, "I used to say, 'in my country,' but now I feel that Mexico is 'my country,' so I will say, 'north of the border.' North of the border today is Thanksgiving [Dia de Gracias]. Today, what I am most grateful for is to be here with you in this wonderful land with its wonderful people. ¡Viva México!" Clinking glasses, everyone responded, "¡Viva México!"

Last week was busy, with many things for which to be grateful. Chief among these is that I have found a way to collect the best posts in my social network into articles, pictorials for this magazine. Here is one, the first one, on Dia de los Muertos.

It's me waking up and taking advantage of resources that were already available, that were just waiting to be ordered and presented to the public. Maybe this is what is meant by, "Everything is perfect." Abundance is here, but we have to accept it.

Almost ready to present these new compilations of posts as new sections of my magazine: art, fashion, food, culture, home, real estate, health... I invited a lot of artists and businesses to join Lokkal, SMA's social network, and post. You, dear reader, are welcome to do the same. (See www.lokkal.com/red.)

It was me taking the bull by the horns. It was a lot of work, right up until 6pm Thursday, when my guests arrived for dinner.

Dinner, the company and the food, was great. I put some extra coconut milk in the curry because I had been heavy-handed with the curry paste. When the night grew cool, I wrapped la Señora in a shawl. She enjoyed herself immensely, going back upstairs a little before midnight.

My younger friend's stayed until 1:00, after which, leaving the dishes in the sink, I went back to work, readying my newsletter for publication the next day, finally going to bed at 2:30.

Friday morning I woke at 9:00 and went back to work. There were last minute edits in articles, per the requests of the authors, and a few more events, just found, to announce. It's a lot of information to present, dozens and dozens of links and pages that open when you click on them. It's a good that I like details and puzzles.

I try to publish my Friday newsletter before noon. But I was still hard at it, when, the afternoon sun shining through my open door and the church bells chiming 1:00, the gardener, who tends the property across the alley, looked in and said hola. At this, I pushed away from my desk and stepped outside.

We wound up trimming back an over-exuberant plant in my garden that was crowding the way and spoke about razor wire that the church was putting up and the neighbors, over a year ago now, but still news to him. I had spoken with this gardener before, but never so long and never on a busy Friday.

Mexicans remember, rather, they never forgot, that, while work is a means to an end, life is made for living. You can hear it in their frequent laughter. You can see it in their readiness to celebrate. They are good at enjoying.

At the end of the day, after publishing (at 2:30), after the dishes were washed and another batch of emails were sent, I was proud of myself, for all the work that I had done, but, also, for the work that I had not done. I felt good that at the height of it all I had stepped away from my computer to chat leisurely with the gardener. So, the newsletter would get published a half an hour later; so what? No importa. No pasó nada. My first decade in Mexico has done its work.

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Dr David and his merry band believe that the new expanded Lokkal will change the world, city by city.

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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