Life in a Senior Residence Community is challenging and cherished.

Posts tagged ‘Mexico’

Two Book Events in Alamos

Three months have passed since I last wrote a blog. Looking back, I think that life was too full of living to allow time for writing. Several book talks, a trip to San Antonio, the holidays, family…On New Year’s Day, I promised myself I’d write a blog at least twice a month. Then, January passed and I still hadn’t written anything. I arrived in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, and life is slower here.

There is more time to lie on a chaise longue in the portal to read. More time to gaze off toward the mountains. Rather than writing, though, I am promoting the book of stories by the gringas of Alamos. The final title is Our Stories of Alamos, A Pueblo Magico! , available on

The plan was hatched two years ago when five of us women were having lunch at Terisita’s Bistro and Patricia Hamilton declared, “The women of Alamos are fabulous! We ought to write a book! I’ll publish it.” We all agreed and that was that. Within weeks, we dispersed to our other homes rather far away. (more…)

24 More Woman Writers in the World

Last Saturday, 24 women gathered at my little house in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, and I encouraged them to write their stories. The goal is a collection of tales about expats and their relationships both with themselves and this small, colonial pueblo tucked into the folds of the foothills of Oeste Sierra Madre.

The workshop began with ice cream cones (I believe ice cream in the morning fosters courage). Then we launched into a series of three-minute writing exercises to prime the creative pump. (more…)

Hello From Mexico!

From deep in the sun-washed South East corner of Sonora, Mexico, I finally sit down to write a blog for the first time in weeks!

In the small, historic pueblo of Alamos, last week, all week long, tourists from Mexico and abroad, local Mexicans and gringos listened to 400 musicians from all over the world. A Mexican clarinet quintet; a piano, viola, violin trio from Russia, a Polish pianist who played Chopin’s Polonesa op 53 with such vigor, his glasses bounced on is nose. Vietnamese opera soprano Sumi Jo, charmed the audience when she flirted with the conductor. Various rock bands played out on the edge of town near the cemetery. Puerto Rican salsa music had dancers in the street. In the church and the palacio and the streets and even in a stone alley with excellent acoustics, music poured over Alamos from every direction.


How Did I Get to Alamos

In my previous post, I talked about how  a few of the women of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico planned to profile each of the fabulous women there  and ask them to write the story of how they arrived in Alamos. Here is MY answer:

Curiosity. I’d always been curious. In Coquille High School biology, I asked, “How does the water get up the corn stalk?” She answered, “It’s God’s will.”

During rush week at University of Oregon, I asked, “How much is your mortgage?” My father had said, “The higher the mortgage, the less money for good food.” In those days, I was slender and hungry so I pledged a sorority with no mortgage. (more…)

The Stories of the Women of Alamos

Last month while I was in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, five expat women friends and I had lunch and planned a project that we now call “The Fabulous Women of Alamos.” We hadn’t planned to plan anything, but as we chatted, Patricia, the newest among us, said, “You know, the women of Alamos are really fabulous. I bet they have great stories to tell.”

We sat at Terisita’s black and white tiled French Bistro, enjoying our grown-in-the-backyard greens, and talking about our friends, the fabulous women of Alamos. Bernadette, a painter and photographer, said, “I should take photos of all the women and we can have an exhibit!” (more…)

Hola, Yo Regresso!

I am back after spending the month of March in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.It’s sort of an end-of-the-road place. Over an hour from the beach, no golf courses, not much shopping. Alamos appeals to artists and writers, naturalists and history buffs.

In the 18th century, it was one of the richest cities in the world. Silver, dug from the mines, funded the string of missions up the coast of California. Families from Alamos were among the first to settle in San Francisco. The now fractured El Camino Real that leaves Alamos runs up the San Francisco Peninsula to Mission Dolores by the Bay. Burros laden with silver bars labored to Vera Cruz where ships took 20% of the treasure to the King of Spain.

In 1988, I visited Alamos for the first time because someone told me it was full of arches, and I like arches. Three sides of the plaza are bordered by arches. Arched portals still front the mansions now converted to homes for Norte Americanos who began to arrive in mid-20th century. They restore what the Revolution, disease, and depression left to ruin.

Alamos is a tranquil town of about 10,000, including 250 expats. Still strongly reminiscent of times past, it is has one foot in the present. When I heard a horse clop-clopping down the cobbles, I looked out the kitchen window. A boy, about twelve, was riding bare-foot and bare back on a fine sorrel horse, and talking on his cell phone.

Then I took my glass of limed ice water and retreated to the casita where I shut out the heat of mid-day and turned on the fan. My goal during the month was to complete the chapters in the final section of the book I’m writing. The one about the three Peace Walks of the late 1980s.  And I did it! Sometimes I wakened in the cool of the night to write for a few hours, but mostly I hid out in the adobe casita during siesta time. I now know the value of taking writing retreats. Being away from the duties of home freed me to accomplish my goal.

All I have to do now is complete the chapters in the middle of the book, decide on a cover, get a photograph for the back cover, and check every paragraph, every line, to be sure they are as good as I can get them.

Ah, the life of a writer!

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