Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 3pm

A rewarding birthday

Articles in this paper are usually informative, factual, entertaining and helpful. A small notice about a group called the Lunch Bunch solved my recent birthday dilemma. 

The ‘d’ word: preparing for death

Here’s a topic most people want to avoid – death. In this community with its higher than normal percentage of folks of a certain age, conversations fill with euphemisms in order to avoid the “d” word as we learn that someone has been “lost.” Now that is a bad choice of words. The location of the deceased is all too well known. We sure don’t need a search party to find him. There’s a hushed tone that accompanies conversations about those who have “crossed over,” or “passed on.” The truth is, their life has ended, they died, and sad as that is, sooner or later, we are all going to die. 

Tolerance and patience

It’s the end of February and thankfully lakeside is overflowing with winter visitors. The annual boost to the local economy is, as always, so anticipated and welcome. Still, with the stores, restaurants, events and streets filled to capacity, we all need an extra dose of patience. 

Talking about time

Can there be a place that is any busier or where residents have any less time than lakeside in February? There are more meetings, musical presentations, fundraisers, plays, dinners, dances, events, games and lunches than can be recorded, let alone attended – even for those who are still on north-of-the-border time. 

It still seems to take some of us a long time to realize how much we don’t understand about things that seem as if they would be universally the same … and aren’t 

Take time, for example. Our early lessons centered on the predictable revolutions of a minute hand moving around the sun-shaped clock. There it was in black and white. Each completed circuit marked the passage of one hour; 24 trips around the circle earned us the right to tear yesterday from the desk calendar. Even in pre-digital format it was clean, clear and neat. 

The time that shaped our youth and personalities was rigid, perhaps not quite as set in stone as were the sundial hours Ben Franklin considered when he said, “You may delay, but time will not.”

School bells, factory whistles, noon sirens and church bells marked the orderly and precise passage of time. Our mothers and teachers, confirmed with Emily Post that arriving less than 15 minutes early constituted being tardy.

The power of search engines

A recent conversation proved again the power of search engines and the scope of even seemingly obscure information on the internet. When a new friend described her ongoing efforts to collect folk music, especially songs for children, I mentioned the story-song my Grandmother Hatfield always sang while rocking the little ones. 

A wonderful place to live

Any one at lakeside this time of year who says they are bored truly is afflicted with an “inside” problem. It seems to me that it’s not a matter of finding something to do but to decide which of several events, fundraisers, concerts, and classes to attend. 

Sure hope you all are taking advantage of the vast array of entertainment and learning opportunities. This past week there has been everything from ukulele classes with U.S. instructors to an array of fundraisers and the LCS Mexican Fiesta. In the coming week you can study in a theater workshop, learn authentic Mexican cooking or hear Russian poetry and Russian classical music. 

What a wonderful place to live! 


A list of resolutions

Most of the folks I know seem to be divided into two camps – those who are vociferous in their rejection of Facebook and those who cheerfully admit their growing “addiction” to the social media site. Those who avidly avoid Facebook participation have concerns about privacy and the time the vast site can absorb while others tout fascinating bits of information gleaned from the site and the bond that keeps them up-to-date with distant family members and friends.

While glancing through this week’s flotsam and jetsam of inspirational quotes, cartoons and quips, and messages about lost dogs and fun destinations, a gem from HumanitiesNebraska.org, “12 Humanities Nebraska Resolutions” caught my eye, and my imagination. With more than 11 months of 2015 stretching before us, it’s not too late to make this list of resolutions not only a goal, but a challenge. Take a look: 

–Read a classic work of literature

–Attend a festival that celebrates a different culture. 

–Choose a topic you feel passionately about, find someone who disagrees with you and listen to his point of view. 

–Explore a historic site or museum you’ve never been to before. 

–Write a letter to your local editor about a public issue. 

–Collaborate with somebody who has different interests and experiences than you. 

–Listen to a genre of music that is new to you. 

–Ponder two works of art – one you love and one you don’t – and identify why you feel that way about each one. 

–Learn five sentences in a different language.

–Go to a theatrical performance. 

–Try your hand at writing a poem.

–Visit a religious service of a faith that is not your own. 

Perhaps the list caught my imagination because it so fits the lifestyle of expats living in Mexico. Many living here are already celebrating another culture, exploring historic sites, listening to new music, viewing art, learning Spanish, writing, reading, and enjoying an exchange of ideas and issues. 

Completing this list seems easier here at Lake Chapala than in many locations. Are you ready to take up this challenge? This one issue of the “Guadalajara Reporter” contains announcements that direct participants to events that could complete half of these resolutions. Think of the change that could evolve if people all over the world took these small steps to foster better understanding.