To my wife and partner in our San Miguel Adventure, the question is A Donde va Nuestro Amor. Where is our love going? Well, it took us 3,600 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via a Jeep, trailer and car with two dogs to the central mountains of Mexican to El Corazon de Mexico—San Miguel de Allende.
Like many foreigners we fell in love with San Miguel rather quickly. The voyage to San Miguel began in our minds about 10 years ago when my wife broke her heel in a fall. She already had a screw or two in her shoulder from jumping her horse and giving anesthesia is a demanding job and nurse anesthetists spend a lot of time on ones feet.
“Wilson,” she said, “I have been looking at places to semi retire and to live an easier, simpler life and this town in Mexico keeps coming up –San Miguel de Allende.”
I joined her in searching Mexico and thought Lake Chapala was better but when an anesthesia study trip got cancelled we spent two weeks staying at a studio and apartment at Casa La Cuesta owned by Bill and Heidi LaVaseur. Then two years later we spent another two weeks at Casa Crayola, which turned out to be owned by a gal (Carly Cross) whose grandmother lives in Wallingford, PA where we lived.
Walking down the ancient cobble stone streets one August afternoon hand in hand we looked at each other and said to each other, “You know, we can do this.”
And so we did and the following May after my Mother’s death, I stayed for a few weeks and scouted a place to rent and for almost a year we lived on calle Guadiana. Now, we own a wonderful, comfortable home in LaLejona.
The music of San Miguel –the barking roof dogs, the crowing of roosters, the fireworks in the morning calling the faithful or marking a saint’s birthday, and the church bells –all call to our hearts.
This week, at the parade for our local hero Gen. Ignacio Allende, I felt pride and while taking pictures and marveling at the Air Force flyby a “Mexican Moment” occurred– When the force of bomberos and Cruz Roja passed by I saluted them and felt tears well in my eyes.
Covering the parade for this newspaper was one thing but the connection as a fourth generation firefighter gave me great emotional pride and gratitude for their services and being a volunteer and colleague with them.
As a Quaker we don’t salute much or pledge or take oaths, but I know how hard it is to be on a fire line and seeing death and destruction.
Looking at the soldiers, the politicians, and the citizens all expressing pride, clapping for military, or bands or school children marching shows me the sacrifice of Rev. Miguel Hidalgo and Gen. Allende were not in vain.
So, where is out love going?
Where are Mexico, San Miguel and Guanajuato State going? Into the future !!! New buildings abound, car plants spring up all over our state, and children strive for education. Men work hard and women hold families together (and work hard, too) in these tough economic times for all North America.
Finally, to use another popular term Contigo Vamos….together we go…we go into the future, this newspaper, foreigners and Mexicans to help build a better world.