A hammock in the sala??? How can this be???

I am sure these were the words of our dueña Alcira when we first moved into #60 Calle Mazatlan.

I had just arrived in Mexico and a (kinda like) family member took us right to this little doll house and we rented it… I loved it from the get go… Only a few steps from the beach and we did go swim every single nite at sunset… with out fail… it was a fantastic time.

We actually bought a big rubber boat and took it to the island… It did not look that far at all… However… once we started on our journey… it was a long long way out there… Thank the universe some fishermen tied us up to their boat and got us back safely… It was a great adventure though!!!

Kids came every day to borrow the broom to clean up their places and ask for bananas and help with different small jobs we needed done.

I gave a few art lessons at #60 and loved it… played my uke a lot in the evening and the kids would gather on the porch to sing at the top of their lungs… we did not care how it sounded…. we wanted only to please ourselves… and we most certainly did… ANY TALENT??? NO SE… BUT WE HAD THE MOST FUN IN THE UNIVERSE.

Usually after the music session we would walk across the road to see all the egrets that had gathered in the estero… It was totally white over there… what a sight to see… They were not only in the water but up in the trees as well… every nite they would be there waiting for us to admire them as they put on their show for us.

The chickens were always running in the front door and out into the back garden… It was Mexico and I knew I had arrived.

My two daughters and my mom and granddaughter came to visit and we had huge Italian meals prepared by mom out in that back garden with the candles… wine… and tons of different pastas… and great salads like only my mom could make… and all the lovely flowers around us completed the fabulous scene.

Mhali, my granddaughter, who was only one at the time would shoo the chickens away at meal time… She said they should not be in the house when we were eating. But she would be putting food down for them on the ground next to her place… We laughed a lot and had a good good time.

Top Photo: Mhali and I in the “hammock in the sala” when Mhali was almost one year.

Mhali with friends on the beach with one of the many beach doggies she fell in love with. (Mhali and her mom moved to Hawaii, but came back to live in La Peñita when Mhali was about 5 or 6 years old. This is when she would go help Lin Chimes walk the dogs along the beach in Los Ayala everyday. As you can see from the photo, she still loves animals.)

While my family was here we took an extensive trip through Mexico. We ended up in Guadalajara as they were going to fly back home from there. My purse got stolen in Tonala with quite a bit of money in it. My own fault for having that much money on me and not paying attention. I had told my mom to watch her bag and keep it on the table in front of her. Then mine was the one taken because mine was not in front of me as I was too busy bouncing Mhali all over the place. Someone could clearly see where my attention was and successfully made their move.

When I got back to La Peñita I was so sad and beating myself up for not being more careful. About three days later Alcira came running over to the little house and said there was a lady on the phone who said she owned a jewelry store in Guadalajara and found a black plastic bag next to her garbage can that evening. Inside was my passport, visa, address book, photos… literally everything that was in my leather bag that had been taken… sin dinero. Of course, I did not expect that to be in there. Alcira explained to that lady what had happened to me in Tonala and within four days I had all those items back in my hot little hands… que milagro!!! I don’t feel that would ever happen again. I guess after crying and fretting I just turned it over to the good ole universe and let it go.

Alcira had such concern and compassion. I will always remember her kindness. She is a tremendous lady. Once again, thank you Alcira!!!

Mhali with her puppy just before she turned 15 years old. Quite a difference. She is quite the young lady!

The kids in the hood (most of whom are married and have their own kids now… scary) would come and help me wash in an old cement sink outside and on the side the house and they hung the clothes all around on bushes and lines… totally fun for them… I always had treats for them and we would do simple little art projects when the laundry was finished.

One Christmas we got an old branch off a tree and made many different types of decorations for it… We invited all the parents of the kids to come to a Christmas tree open house to see this fabulous Mexican type creation… We served refreshments and sang together… Those were the days my friend.

One bad memory… I saw a dog die of poisoning in front of this house… I was totally freakin… I nearly left Mexico after that happened. I just could not believe there was nothing I could do… and no one else seemed to care. Thank God we have better care for animals now. I know they still get in trouble from time to time… but folks do seem to care more… Gracias a Dios and JBAR!!!

We started a” keep the street clean” project way back then. The kids would not dare throw a piece of paper or candy wrapper down in front of my eyes. Some of us got paint and decorated garbage cans and allowed the kids to put what ever design they wanted on them. Then we bought plants and surrounded the cans with the plants… Beautiful… just lovely… until some jerks stole the plants and the cans.. WHEW… LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FOR ME!!!

I mentioned the hammock in the living room… Yes… what fun and the kids loved that as well… they would swing to the ceiling and it scared me a little how high they would go… but all was well that ended well and it always ended well.

Suspect I better end this story… But these are my memories of my days in the sweetest little house in La Peñita… Was there I think about three years… and all of them were delightful. I love my house now for sure but nothing like the first years in Mexico.

About the Author: Barbara Higgins has lived in La Peñita for 13 years. She also went to Bucerias to live for a couple years and then returned to little La Peñita. Before that, she worked as Director of Fundraising and Public Relations at St Jude Midwest Affiliate in Peoria, Illinois and Director of Fundraising at Children’s Miracle Network, Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso, Texas. Both were very rewarding positions and allowed her to learn a lot about sick children. Barbara allowed the children to be a part of the fundraising program, so they were in her office a lot… helping with all the different projects that the people of the community were doing for them. It really was not like a JOB at all… It was a total pleasure everyday

This story is the third in a 6-part series. Click here to read “Enchanting Little House in La Peñita: The Intro” to learn how this story came to fruition, along with other stories in this series.

This story was submitted by one of our readers. If you want to join in the fun and share your stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Tosia@JaltembaBayLife.com