While I was rummaging around inside the refrigerator deciding what to put on my hot dog, I was remembering a recent conversation with Diane regarding moving back to the United States. This wasn’t the first time we have discussed this issue. In fact, the last time it came up for serious discussion was about a year ago, just after my 3rd heart attack and subsequent coronary bypass surgery. I was feeling very vulnerable and felt compelled to move back to Florida to be closer to my son and the superior VA care that had just saved my life.
Diane lovingly listened and nodded and offered supportive comments. She certainly wanted what was best for me although I knew at the time how much she loved our life here in Cancun. I mentioned to my son that we may move back to Florida and he told me that he may not be in Florida for long. He and his girlfriend were discussing moving “out west”. Hmmmmm…the smack of reality across my face.
I had already decided to steam this plump little sausage rather than pan-grill it. I don’t eat a lot of hot dogs (see above reference to coronary bypass) so this was a special occasion. I chose to go with a regular store-bought, pre-packaged and sliced bun, over and above several available bread choices that we had in the house. Now, I only had to decide if it should be toasted.
I eyed the usual condiments lined up on the shelves of the refrigerator door; perhaps 5 different mustards, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickle relish, several bottles of hot sauce as well as my favorite and moderately spicy Salsa de Casera. Then there were the exotic and oft-overlooked possibilities such as a couple of jars of pesto, pickled onions, black and green olives, 4-5 bottles of salad dressing and finally, some of Diane’s amazing home-made chili leftover from dinner a couple of nights ago. There were also several cheeses along with three different types of onions. The possibilities seemed almost endless.
Look at all the choices and combinations I was considering for a simple meal that would take only minutes to prepare. I wanted to make the best possible choices that would provide the best experience, given the possibilities at hand.
My experience in preparing a simple hot dog is a clear metaphor for how we all live our lives, isn’t it? We all want to make the best possible choices which will provide the best experience given the possibilities at hand, right? I’ve now lived long enough to know that the choices we make will often bear fruit long after the original criteria for making that choice have been forgotten. No worries. If things aren’t working out, make another choice. After all, nothing is permanent.
This last discussion about moving back to the states was much shorter and far less emotional than previous conversations. Our landlord had approached us with an opportunity to extend our lease for 2 additional years. He’s moving away with his young family and wanted to ensure stability with this property. The truth is that we could easily return to the states. From Cancun, the flight to Miami takes about 1.5 hours. In fact, being retired and maintaining our “stuff” at a minimal level allows us to move practically anywhere on the planet that we choose with little effort these days.
But the larger truth is that our life as expats here in Mexico is a grand life. We have slowly assembled the big and small things, one on top of the next, to create a very comfortable and affordable existence. We have friends, some that are here year-round and others that return seasonally. The current exchange rate on pesos has provided us with the equivalent of increased income. We have favorite restaurants, a local neighborhood bar with the best Margaritas in town, a dry cleaner complete with seamstress, a great local pharmacy, a free physician for routine care, wonderful modern super markets and quaint local shopping mercados. We are surrounded by a rich Maya culture, modern infrastructure and, oh yeah…the Caribbean Sea at our doorstep. The climate suits us (okay, the heat of the summer can be oppressive some days) with zero chance of snow in any forecast. I still appreciate the beauty of our surroundings every minute of each day. Living here has also facilitated a great writing gig with an international magazine which I truly enjoy.
So, although we discussed moving back to the states once again when the extended lease opportunity arose, we simply could not find a reason to do it. Yes, I’d love to be closer to my son but he apparently has his own life these days. He is quite busy managing and growing his successful business, he is in love with a wonderful woman and they are building their lives together. We talk on the phone regularly and I see him when I return to Florida for my routine VA medical checkups.
I recently told Diane about a sale I saw on a recliner for the living room. That settles it. If I’m buying a recliner, I’m home!