Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Another Thanksgiving - how comforting to make another cycle around another year and we are still here, still thankful.  I hope this is how you are feeling too.  It is the simple daily blessings that nurture us and keep our hearts topped off with gratitude.  God's ways are so perfect:  with the overflow of thanks we become givers ourselves and grace overflows onto others making more thanksgiving.  I imagine that this is what is meant by Glory, that God's goodness is perpetual.

This has been a good year with the farm growing in ways that we can see and enjoy.  The trees are maturing and making flowers and fruit.  Wally made an addition to our guest house and made it so much nicer.  We made changes to our house too, making our living room into an art studio for me and a bedroom for our god daughter, Chayo - yes, our family has grown too.  A new source of water coming from the mountains and crossing our land has been another great blessing.  In fact, this has been a year of expansion.  We are feeling a kind of happy anticipation but we don't know what could be ahead, only that now is full and we are thankful.

New art studio
Studio and Chayo's room - a shared space

Wally has become the go-to-guy for everything that doesn't work in the gringo community.  That keeps him on a learning curve with man's high- tech toys.  If he isn't familiar with it he figures it out by studying it on the internet and now he often knows more than the experts because his experience is much broader and hands-on.  I am exceedingly proud of him because I see him behind the scenes teaching himself how to repair and rebuild things better.  From computers and satellite antennas to converting his fuel-injected Porsche to a basic carburetor - he always sees how things could be better.  But then he is a special genius.

My week has a more predictable routine.  I pick up Chayo for the weekend on Friday.  Saturday we prepare for selling at the farmer's market which is every Sunday morning and attend church.  I am teaching Chayo about finances through a hair bow business.  She works long hours making beautiful bows while I bake and she sells them along side my cakes at the farmer's market.   On Monday I take her to the school bus and then later in the afternoon I teach catechism to 10 lively kids between the ages of 12 and 14. 

December will be a busy month.  Christmas is celebrated in a big way throughout Advent and also Chayo and her brother,Robert will be baptized on the 19th.  There are extra church and school activities too and our tradition of gifts for the children on our road. 

Today we had a new young veterinarian come from San Blas to treat all 10 dogs and surgically care for a large hematoma on the ear of Sparky.  It is not the first time or the last that my dining table has doubled for surgery.  Dr. Marcos volunteered as a surgeon for a couple of our monthly clinics so I had assisted him before.  It would be maddening to take 10 dogs for a visit to a vet.  This is a great new development and I feel the prospects of a lasting friendship growing.

And so we are looking to a new year with hope and expectation.  Which is what we wish for you.  Savor this season.   I end with a poem:

I have been trying to read
the script cut in these hills—
a language carved in the shimmer of stubble
and the solid lines of soil, spoken
in the thud of apples falling
and the rasp of corn stalks finally bare.

The pheasants shout it with a rusty creak
as they gather in the fallen grain,
the blackbirds sing it over their shoulders in parting,
and gold leaf illuminates the manuscript
where it is written in the trees.

Transcribed onto my human tongue
I believe it might sound like a lullaby,
or the simplest grace at table.
across the gathering stillness
simply this: “For all that we have received,
dear God, make us truly grateful.”. 

---Lynn Ungar,  Bread and Other Miracles

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