Alfred Lord Tennyson said that in Spring a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. Well, in a winter like this one, this old guy’s thoughts turn to sunshine, sandals, T-shirts, and shorts. Especially when he’s been robbed of a trip to Mexico.
Yeah, I shouldn’t whimper, or, as that lady I’ve lived with for 53 years says, I should learn to “take it like a woman.”
But slogans don’t work when it’s 15 below outside and you know that in the Sierra Madre Mountains where San Miguel de Allende is located it’s 80 degrees outside, the sunshine is splashing on the town square they call the jardin, and the red bougainvillea on the hacienda walls sing of margueritas, flamencos, and siestas (What did you expect me to say? Senoritas?).
Every other years or so over the last decade Her Ladyship and I have flown south of the border to San Miguel to escape Winter’s icy massage. San Miguel is a beautiful old colonial town with most of the buildings dating back to the late 1500s, but it is not a resort. No ocean or lake or beach. Although in recent years the wealthy Mexico City types have started coming on weekends, San Miguel still manages for the most part to retain the colonial charm that lures American, Canadian, and European visitors year after year. Some eventually make it their full time home.
What grounded me this year was a rebellious hip that made thoughts of a long flight in coach a bad dream. Bad? Suffice it to say that I have I have become several restaurants least favorite diner following my spectacular efforts to stand up after eating. After witnessing my groaning, gasping performance, one customer said to his waitress, “Don’t bring me whatever that guy ordered.”
Within family circles I’ve become known as The Hip. It’s said that if you make the mistake of asking me how I am, I’m one of those folks who will tell you in endless detail. Frankly, I think I’ve been rather reticent about my issues. In fact, with the help of good doctors and some super meds I’ve made quite a comeback. So much so that we are contemplating a driving trip to Florida to make up for the lost month of February. I just want to feel a hot sun in my face, kick the sand with my sandals, and wear my favorite tee, the one that says on the front, “Not all who wander are lost.” I’d take even an hour in the tropical sun. Anything.
Still, people have been kind, especially Her Ladyship. I hope she understands how painful it is for me to watch her with my nose pressed against the window as she shovels snow, so cheerfully taking on what more or less was my chore. Fortunately, my family and friends know that I have suffered my recent setback with aplomb, grace, and courage. I was raised to believe that “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and that “no pain, no gain.”
And now a higher standard. I have been able to “Woman Up.”
I may even go out and help with the snow.