ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - When Sanders and Pat Lamont arrived a few days ago, one of our biggest concerns was that the heat might be a shock to their Northern California constitutions. Their life in Camp Connell since November has been largely in cold, often snowy conditions with skiing as a major form of exercise. Evenings have often been spent huddled around their woodstove keeping warm.
We didn't really need to worry. Since they arrived, we have had nights down below 60 degrees and came within an inch of lighting a campfire last night.
A campfire, no kidding.
And then this morning, in the hours preceding our second animal clinic in a week with Rocio (the vet from La Manzanilla), the hills were shrouded with fog and everything was soaked with dew.
Fog over Arroyo Seco hills
The clinic was a success again, with Rocio treating four dogs, including the rapidly improving Capitan. Several young neighbor girls, including Brianda from across the street, came to observe Rocio at work. And Brianda jumped in to help with the last dog, handing Rocio the various instruments, hypodermics, and medicines as needed. The girls also went along when Rocio hopped on the quad to make two house calls away from the Pink Flamingo.
They seemed a little in awe of this professional woman who has her own successful medical practice in La Manzanilla (and Arroyo Seco, obviously). She received a gift of two baby ducks from Brianda as she left.
Anna holds a neighbor's rabbit at one vet stop
A puppy's first time on real grass
The Lamont's - as the Admiral and I had hoped - helped spark us to play some music, an activity we never seem to have time for after days of projects. After realizing that all three restaurants in Arroyo Seco were closed last night, we opted for reheated leftovers and getting out the musical instruments.
Sanders and the Admiral played a half-dozen instrumental tunes while Pat and I - and neighbor Juliett - provided enthusiastic drumming, and the occasional dance step.
Perhaps tonight I might drag out my ukulele and see if the group can stand a reprise of The Letter by The Boxtops and maybe even a chorus or two of Rodney Carrington's Dancing With A Man. That's a tough song to translate, but perhaps best left untranslated, now that I think about it.
Juliette and Pat handle percussion duties
Ironically, perhaps, we have barely made it to the beach, other than a quick foray two days ago to Tenacatita for lunch and to check out the new electrical connection at our Tenacatita beach lot. With the cooler weather, it hasn't seemed quite right to break out the boogie boards and snorkel gear, though both are standing at ready. I'm also not sure how warm the ocean water is at this moment.
But Sanders and Pat have been getting some serious quad time in, zooming around the village and last night to Playa Chica to check out the sunset. The sunset was shrouded in marine-layer clouds, though even at that, the colors were dramatic.
Heading for the beach to see the sunset
Sanders, Pat and the Admiral on the quad
But of all the adventures and strange sights of the past few days, this morning's visitors to the village were a first in a winter and spring of firsts.
The front gate was wide open - an invititation for villagers to come in and bring their various animals for our vet friend Rocio to examine and treat. And while there wasn't exactly a steady stream of people, quite a few folks did stick their heads in, in some cases just to check out the place and get a quick look at the now very-green grass in the center of the property.
But one group late in the morning looked a little odd - dressed waaaaay too well for people interested in getting dragging in their pooch for a vaccination or a flea treatment. The men were dressed in pressed white shirts. The women wore longish skirts. And they were all carrying a lot of pamphlets in their hands.
They were part of a truckload of about 15 Jehovah's Witnesses who had descended on the village making the rounds to give out The Watchtower.
Larry, an amigo from La Manzanilla who had accompanied Rocio to Arroyo Seco (and who is a big booster of Cisco Amigo's) quickly told the Witnesses that the clinic was very busy at that moment and we really did not have time to placticar (to chat...).
And that, in fact, was quite true.
Witnesses canvass Arroyo Seco