Merida, Mexico Adventure

Being a scholar by trade and all, I am supposed to be skilled at identifying emerging trends. As I ramble around the Keys and Mexico completing my Sunflower Project, I want to share that I have met many, MANY 60 something women searching for a way to grow old alone (without a named partner). Laura (in La Barra) suggested we call this the search for Tercera Vida (Third Life). I embrace this concept and also invite men to join our quest of growing old with grace, style and joy and making a commitment to be considered and deliberate.  Please go to Sunflower Project and add your tips for geezer friendly venues and must visits!

Merida, Mexico
I arrived In Merida on February 15. I stayed overnight in Miami on the 14th since I thought it would be quite rude to arrive at Katherine’s on Valentines Day. This is my second Valentine with no Valentine but my daughter has no sympathy since she believes it is a fabrication of those who rule commerce.  The origins of Valentines Day are downright creepy.

K Hs 2Katherine and I met at a Miami sculpture symposium in 2013. She and sculptor from Guatemala, Keith Andrews, traveled to me for a retreat in Maine  and then Katherine graciously invited me to her  FABULOUS la casa  in Merida. She does not know it, but I planted a sunflower seed for her:



My Haiku for Katherine:
Without Valentine
Arriving in Mexico
This country heals me




Katherine helped my buy my first Mexican phone.
American phone on the left… my new Mexican phone on the right.  There must be a metaphor in there someplace!!

Kegro 2

The experience in Merida was a life memory and the traditional lunches will be joining my cooking lexicon.

My favorite recipe enjoyed at her 2:30 daily comida which was followed by a nap. This is the way to live.  Relleno Negro from  Katherine

Katherine and  I attended a sculpture class with resin artist Manolo Niembro.  We made our own Styrofoam, we wore gas masks and we became chemists. Manolo spoke little English and I experienced  the immersion model of language learning. I almost took a swig of the turpentine, thinking it was water and occasionally  needed Katherine to translate but I would agree that immersion improves comprehension in a hurry!

bestia final

During my short/long life I have been disappointed that there seems to be a scarcity of people who try to develop both the head and the heart. As I say to my students who are obsessed with earning a 100 on every assignment, Smarty with no Hearty will not serve you well in this world. La Bestia displays an exposed brain and a heart stylized tail.  My somewhat blatant metaphor is my belief that Mexico and the feathered serpent have both the head and the heart. Click here to see the evolution of La Besta. Studying with Manolo – a resin sculptor



LA Bestia was finished and  left at Quinta Camelias in Zihuatanejo where I will be all of February and March next year. Certainly not my best work but created with enthusiasm.

mex4On February 23, I moved to Casa Mexcilio, a 200 plus year old hotel owned by Roger and Jorge.  This hotel had  period antiquities and a kitchen which was as it would have been 200 years ago and which I could not pass on the way to my room without standing and gawking for five minutes. I stayed in the Frida Kalo room and enjoyed a cenote swimming hole right outside my door.  On the night I left, Roger opened a bar in his breakfast room and I was honored to drink the first gin and tonic. Roger indicated I was the last guest for the season and maybe forever. There seems to be a trend emerging. Contact Roger at Roger and Jorge also have a sunflower seed on their property:  My Haiku to Hotel Mexcilio:

Pain sister Frida
The Ancient artifacts speak
They tell me secrets

More pictures of Mexcilio

IncidentsI really enjoyed the Santiago neighborhood.  Everything you need is right on the square. I especially enjoyed the Stephens and Catherwood exhibition.  is a must read.  Incidents of Travel in Yucatan is a must read.  They were the first in to the Yucatan and made etchings of sites and artifacts later destroyed by the Catholic friars.


Spanish Language Study
Learning to speak Spanish at 60+ is worse than earning that PhD.   I attended Habla, a Spanish language school. It was one more “you just do not fit in” experience for me. I knew too much for beginner but not enough for the intermediate class.  I enjoyed a small group of self-taught expats. We read a children’s book about Frida.  Right on my linguistic level. Our final project was the creation of an exvoto- like Frida Kalo used to make. Here is mine.

More Fabulous pictures of Merida

merid4 manolos dog


Last but not least, Manolo’s dog. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs,  a xōlōitzcuintli is breed which was an ancient Mayan hairless dog and is still seen today!

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