Monday, February 10, 2014

Signing My Life Away

Arayo reigns over her new pool & hot tub

It  was a power meeting.  Lorded over by Notorio Number 2, we each took our sides at the table. Me with my team, he with his.  Papers, legal documents, were passed back and forth.  "Do NOT cross that line with your signature or this becomes null and void", I was commanded by the handsome lawyer in control.

Oops!  I always did cross my "T's" with too much drama.

"Since this is a legal document, can I use my purple pen," I implored?  

Surprise - "Of course!" Seems some Mexican President or someone only signs in green or red.  Dang, I love Mexico!
Arayo's maiden swim. (Thank you Peggy McLean for the photo)

With each signature, a mass of keys that had rested on 'their' side of the table slid closer to me. On finding one more paper they had forgotten, the keys were snatched back, until I signed - NICELY this time.

And in a quick hour and a half, the deed was done. Thousands of dollars were wired to accounts all over the US to the heirs of the last owner, the creator of my new home, as they received their share of his estate.

With keys in hand, I gathered up Arayo, invited a couple friends, and we ran to my new home.  "An oasis," my friend called it.  As we sat outside, protected from the sun by my gazebo, we watched as Arayo took her maiden swim in her very own pool.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WHAT Have I Done?

With a kitchen like this, I might even learn to cook!
It seemed innocent enough. Take a ride with a real estate agent, see what kind of homes they have in Mexico, and check out the various parts of town. We saw new houses and old, homes in gated communities with retired gringos, and others in the heart of town with Mexicans busy selling wares, caring for their children and visiting on the streets.

Then there it was - THE HOUSE! Maybe it was the stunning pool and hot tub that filled 1/3 of the back yard. The gleaming terra-cotta colored tile floors, or the happy yellow kitchen area which was flanked by open shelves filled with brightly colored glassware.

The living area - perfect for quiet nights at home or for entertaining
My classy new housemate, in his off-shoulder dress
I was captivated by the oil painting of the Mexican witch woman leaning on a cane and wearing a blue mask - surrounded by etchings of Day of the Dead figures.  But, the crowning glory of the home was a 3 x 4 foot framed canvas of a bearded man, sporting an off-shoulder yellow dress!

In the corner of the kitchen was a plaque with a pig in a striped shirt behind bars - a sign proclaimed "When Pork Goes Bad!" Be still my heart.  Whoever designed this house was a soul-mate of sorts.

This was no longer a joy ride.  I'd fallen in love with this home - something I swore no sane person would do. Come to Mexico and immediately buy a house? But I talked to people and it seems many have done the same thing and continue to live here, swearing they will never leave.

I began stalking this house and its very Mexican neighborhood, walking past at 11 pm to check out the activity. I wanted to know about the man who could part with such a home.  Sadly, he had passed away and everything in the house - including the man in the dress and the dozen hand-made margarita glasses - would go as a package at the right price.

I could feel my father, looking with lust at that pool. Something he always wanted but would never have left Kansas to obtain. I could hear my mother, insisting the man in the dress did NOT belong in the center of the living area, rather in the back of a closet somewhere. Mom and I had our disagreements in matters of decor.

After weeks of losing sleep and multiple visits, I made an offer. You see, every time I walked in the door, the world seemed right. I was going to make Mexico home, and would be sharing the experience with my new pal who's off-shoulder dress hinted at the hairy chest beneath.