Tales of Retirement in Paradise
|Chapter 26: We Found the Pot of Gold!|
Polly G. Vicars
Not too long ago, Husband and I returned from a driving trip to Texas to get our yearly fix in the discount marts, depots, and warehouses. On our return trip, we spent our last night in Tequila, Nayarit, in an adequate, if not luxurious motel with no mirrors on the ceiling and no TV of any kind. Always eager to get home, we arose early the next day, ate our fruit and cereal, without which we never travel, and left just at dawn.
|I know I never want to live in a city where horses and burros are not allowed the use of the streets.|
|Nor do I want to live in a city where $$$$ is more important than family or friends.|
|Nor do I want to live in a city where there is no time for siestas and fiestas.|
|Nor do I want to live in a city where I cannot watch the sun rise over the mountains and set over the sea.|
It had rained all night, and was still sprinkling, but the sun was coming up. As we left town and started on the breathtaking drive through the Sierra Madres, a brilliant rainbow appeared so close to us we felt we could touch it. Not only were the colors clear and distinct, but the rainbow completed its arc on both sides right in front of us.
Then to our amazement, a second rainbow, not quite as distinct but just as complete, appeared above the first one. We both thought and spoke, "The pot of gold is here!" We drove on, gaping in awe, as the rainbows appeared to stay just a little ahead of us. Could we reach the illusive pot of gold?
Of course, soon the rain stopped, the rainbows disappeared, and the magic we had felt began to dissipate. As Husband diligently manipulated the van through the curving mountain roads, I was lost in thoughts of that pot of gold. Just as the rainbows seemed always to be just in front of us, I had always thought the gold was out there to be found.
But with the same clarity that I saw those rainbows, I saw that the pot of gold was not out there to be found, it was already ours! I realized that we had indeed found it, not today as we were following the rainbows, but all those years ago when we found each other, and now, in our "golden years," it was becoming full to overflowing. Something magical had come into our lives since pulling up stakes and retiring to Puerto Vallarta, México. (And our 'pot of gold' continues to overflow after the 20+ years we have lived in Puerto Vallarta!)
In thinking back, perhaps the overflow began with coins dropped from a perfect stranger, a local businessman who was simply displaying the illusive quality that seems endemic in Puerto Vallarta - generosity of spirit and deed.
This seemingly simple incident happened soon after we arrived here. We set out to find three exact matching, multicolored Mexican blankets. I wanted to have a king-sized bedspread made of the blankets and needed identical ones. This turned out to be a long, drawn out assignment, as with our limited Spanish and the variety of blankets, we were having no luck.
Passing a small store near our condominium, we saw stacks of blankets; several looked identical. We were not out on a shopping trip and had not brought money with us, but the sight of those blankets compelled us in, money or not. We were greeted by an elderly Mexican gentleman with a twinkle in his eye and a fair command of English.
Sure enough, we found just what we wanted. We told El Señor we had to go home for money and would return later. We asked if he would hold the blankets for us. He let us know in no uncertain terms he wouldn't hear of such a thing. He said we could take them with us, and pay him some time when we were passing by. He didn't ask our names, he didn't write down the sale; he simply wrapped up the blankets and handed them to us. El Señor was definitely not the exception! He, along with his peers, continued filling our pot with those unique golden coins only they possess.
We are never strangers; everyone we meet greets us as valued friends. We are never the objects of ridicule with our mangled Spanish; we are praised for our efforts to learn their language. We are never without help; there is always someone - friend, acquaintance, employee or stranger - who is ready, able and anxious to help. We are immersed in love and warmth from the people who surround us as well as the miraculous sun that shines 361 days a year. (Husband made me admit that there might be four days a year without sunshine!)
Through the seven years we have lived in this paradise by the sea, one thing has not changed; almost daily we have experiences worthy of note with the people we meet and know here. It seems even the gringos who choose to live here are somehow gentler and kinder. (Today, it is the same!)
Living in this salubrious atmosphere, I have learned some interesting tidbits about myself. I know I never want to live again in a city where horses and burros are not allowed equal use of the streets are more important than families and friends - where there is no time for fiestas or siestas, where I cannot watch the sun rise over the mountains and set over the sea. Most of all I know I never want to live anyplace in the world but Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México!
To see more photos of Polly and Husband's life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, click HERE.
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of 57 years, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.
Click HERE for more articles by Polly Vicars.