Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 3pm

A very special day out

The plan of winter lakeside residents Van and Sue Campbell to surprise the 30 children who live at the Villa Infantil de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y San Jose shelter with new shoes and a treat grew into a day-long procession of special events on Wednesday, April 29, the day before el Dia del Niño (Children’s Day). 

Reading through the hot season

It’s time to load up your electronic devices with a fresh supply of books. If you are still insisting that reading wouldn’t be the same if you couldn’t touch and smell the book and turn paper pages, get thee to ye olde library at the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) and take home as many as you can carry.

An honest-to-goodness miracle

I moved here in October of 1990. Never in 25 years have I ever heard of any utility company in the country voluntarily issuing a refund. For that matter, I’ve never heard of them refunding money when the customer begged, pleaded and demanded it. 

Easter Bonnets

While I was thinking about this column the other day, the Irving Berlin hit, “In Your Easter Bonnet,” floated back into memory. Judy Garland sang that song in the 1948 movie “Easter Parade,” which also starred Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Peter Lawford and character actor Jules Munshin. 

Batten down the hatches

Have you laid in supplies for the coming holiday? This is the time of year when lakesiders do emergency shopping, just like Californians restocking their earthquake kit, Floridians in the path of a hurricane and Northerners waiting for a forecast ice storm or blizzard. 

What’s the big deal? Mexicans have three preferred vacation times each year:  August, Christmas and the week before and the week after Easter. 

This weekend is the beginning of Semana Santa (Holy Week), the week before Easter. Schools, factories, businesses and government offices shut down in the city and those city families who haven’t planned trips to the beach come to Lake Chapala for a couple of weeks, a weekend or a day. This weekend traffic will be heavy and then it will slack off until midweek. 

If you don’t have enough coffee, wine or ice, ear plugs (or the items on your emergency shopping list) by next Friday, April 3 – Good Friday – forget it, Just close the door, batten the hatches and like they taught us in grade school, sit under your desk and duck and cover. 

Seriously, the best times, with the least traffic, for a flying trip to the store will be bright and early on any of those mornings. Plan to leave the house around 8 a.m. and return around 10 a.m. You can probably stay out a little later if you don’t plan to cross the highway and don’t want to go to the area vaguely called “West Ajijic.” 

There’s a seemingly strange phenomenon on Easter Sunday. Because there is a widely attended, huge Saturday evening service, the Easter Vigil, which declares Christ is risen somewhere between 10 or 11 p.m., Mexicans celebrate the rest of the night, and very few are up and ready to attend morning Masses. 

As a friend once said, “You could roll cannon balls on the streets of Ajijic on Easter morning and never hit anyone but a gringo.” Not only is that true, it means it’s a great time to be out and run errands without traffic. Don’t worry, most stores will be open. 


An impromptu block party

Who would think that a couple of CFE (the electric utility) guys cutting a tree could draw a crowd and hold the neighbors’ interest for several hours. Evidently any form of entertainment fills the bill when area residents are without electricity, television, and the internet for more than 12 hours.

Unusual weather

It’s a trite old saying proven true … timing is everything in life.