Monthly Archives: September 2014

Out of Mexico, or In Texas

Ok, so we’ve been here a bit over a week, I suppose I should comment on the subject and some comparisons between heaven in MX and here?

First a bit of a recap on the adventure of coming up from MX. Mom always said “the things you worry about never happen” – she was mostly right, but the rest of the story is that the things you assume will go correctly, don’t – and will bite you every time.

I was worried about trailer weight overall, could the Jeep pull it? – after all, as a friend recently noted, the Jeep, Max and I are all 7 years older than when we went down. Packing boxes and loading the trailer went on for weeks which made Max nervous, he knew something was happening as familiar things disappeared from the house.

I was worried about gas mileage, there are a couple of long stretches with no Pemex stations. And also how many pesos do I take just in case I have trouble, MX is still pretty much a cash economy, and a dozen other things about dragging a fully loaded trailer across MX.

I planned to drive out the gate at noon for a 6-7 hour drive to Matehuala for our first nights stop. I finally found Max hiding in the back of the dog house up by the casita and we drove out the gate for the last time. I had anticipated it would be very emotional, but I was so stressed I hardly thought about it.

Turned out the Jeep is a strong little guy, it pulled the trailer easily considering the weight and we had zero trouble, never missed a beat, the heat of the 3 days wasn’t bad and we actually got good gas mileage, so none of the things I worried about happened – but, the one thing I didn’t worry about came out early to bite me – and chewed on me all the way up here.

When we went to MX seven years ago Max was no problem at all, just crawled under my seat and went to sleep. This time was different, complaining at times, under the seats where he couldn’t get back out without me stopping, opening a back door and extracting him. Then there was the motel, he immediately jammed himself under one of the beds. And the next morning when it was time to leave, right back under the bed?

Our crossing at the border was the next disaster. It was my fault, on the MXN side I should have pulled Max out from under my seat, and put him in his carrier, but didn’t. When we got into US Customs they wanted me to put him in his carrier so they could inspect the car – he would not come out, I couldn’t push or pull him out and I still have bruises on my arm from trying. Finally I assured the guy he wouldn’t come out or attack and we got our inspection. They didn’t find the cutting of the plant I originally took to MX and am now bringing back up, it was one of Chris’s, so that worked out ok.

I had labeled each box (oh yes, turned out to be over 90 plus art work, you name it) and created a two page spreadsheet which I had printed before leaving. The agent asked what I had – I said here, and handed him the spreadsheet. He looked at it and rolled his eyes. We opened the trailer and it was absolutely full, front to back, side to side and bottom to top. The guy looked for a minute and said “GO” – we went, to a motel and bed #2 that Max was able to get behind, not under – that became a game to see what I could stuff under there that he couldn’t get by.

Day 3 was Laredo to here and as usual, Max was uneasy, not a happy traveler this time at all, but ended up on my lap which was great – until we hit the 20 mile check point where they ask you if you’re a citizen (like that matters any more?) – and I rolled down the window and Max went under the passenger seat which I thought I had blocked – not. I decided that was enough of that and pulled over and extracted him, locked him in his carrier and stuffed more under the seat. I left him in there for about a hundred miles and then out, after he found he couldn’t get under the seats he retired to his carrier.

I had booked him into the Feline Hilton and took him there, we were both frazzled, so he spent 3 days there relaxing and recuperating while I started to haul boxes in the TX heat.

Of course now that we’re finally here, it’s totally different, Max is stressed, I’m stressed, let’s just say the place is a bit “rougher” than I had expected and so we’re trying to adjust. And once again Max bit me. A couple days ago I was working outside and putting a cat door in the back door out onto the deck and I let him out of the confines of the deck and small fenced yard about 9:30 in the morning – he disappeared? He’s really never done that before, he always comes when I call – I spent the rest of the day and evening calling etc. and seriously thought he was lost or something had happened, the surrounding area is just open scruff land and I’m sure there are coyotes out there and snakes and Max has never had to worry about stuff like that – I assumed the worst and that it was my fault, I was a total basket case.

Finally at midnight he came wandering in and seemed annoyed at me? – like hey, what did I do except worry myself sick? But, the next morning he was up early meowing around the place and seemed stressed out. The folks who are hosting the weather station gave me some “rescue” liquid which you rub on the inside of their ears, I have him a dose (and one for me also) and within minutes he was laying on my lap here at the PC – that’s great stuff.

Sorry, this is a longer story than expected, so “like” or “dislike”?
–          Love the roads up here, so smooth and wide and nice, you can enjoy driving in the country without fear of a tope, you have no idea what a blessing that is.
–          Not real fond of the weather up here, but then the weather in MX was beyond belief, here it was blazing hot, suddenly yesterday I had to get out the long pants?
–          Love the fast food up here.
–          Love the convenience and availability of stuff here, yesterday I was tired of living out of boxes, got on Amazon and bought 4 book shelves, they’ll be here Thurs.
–          Gas is cheap here and going down, filled up yesterday for $3.05 – by my calculation even with exchange rate, it’s about $3.70 a gallon down there.
–          Love the quiet up here, almost spooky?
–          Hate having to spend all the money to setup and fixup this house.
–          Hate it that Max is so stressed, he keeps wandering around meowing and looking up, I keep telling him “no upstairs, this is as good as it gets”.
–          Internet connectivity here is no bueno, another company is coming out in a week to see if they can do better.
–          Love the electric power, wow, I’ve got all I need and anytime I need it and at about $.11/KWH vs MX which was flaky and $.42 per KWH and going up?
–          Don’t like Dish TV here, I got used to Canuck TV, 10 channels of hockey and curling – it doesn’t get better than that.
–          No storage up here? This house has exactly 4 drawers in the entire house and they’re in the kitchen? – who can live like that?
–          The condition of the infrastructure of the house is not great, I used the Mbath toilet for 3 days and on the 4th day I headed for Lowes and a new convenience. I knew the kitchen was a writeoff, but turns out the bathroom has become first priority.

In summary, this was the most stressful, emotional, physically hard move I think I ever made. I believe it was even harder than leaving Lakeway and I’ve not really begun the great downsizing. But, yesterday I found Goodwill, the previous owners left me roughly 300+ hangers, so I sorted them, bagged them and hauled them and I’ve already pried 3 big mirrors off the walls, they are going to Goodwill manana. So it begins.