We enjoyed our visit with Esther, looking through the Sefarad book, and visiting upstairs with Annie, who was sick in bed with food poisoning. Her husband, Daniel, called from work. He’s working as a manager at an alcohol factory and they were running a late shift. Connecting to their wireless, we took turns catching up on e-mails.
Woof Woof announced the arrival Basha, huge Bernese Mountain Dog, and his humans: Aby , Miriam, and Joanna. Pepe and Liz arrived shortly thereafter, and the meal was served, four separate casseroles with chicken, ground beef, potatoes, and frijoles, plus a tangy green salsa. Hagen Daz chocolate ice cream cones were only topped by the entertainment from Joanna who is so precocious that she draws all of the attention. She took up ice skating recently, and took first place with her gymnastic moves, including a bandera. We got to see her performance on a video clip on her mother’s cell phone. I had previously penciled them into the family tree and now updated it with names, dates, and locations. Miriam is expecting their son on March 8 by caesarian.
Leaving Eshter’s home in Colonia Navarte at 4:30pm, we made one wrong turn at a glorieta and ended up on Universidad instead of Dr. Vertiz. Seeing a turnoff to Xola, I realized too late that this is extension of Xola which heads east instead of north, and we ended up on Tlalpan heading south. Turning around, I took Cardenas to the Viaducto and got on the trans-city freeway one entrance east of where we normally do and still arrived in Lomas at the Cofre de Perote address of Paty Lazard Saltiel and Stanley Arundell (whose grandmother was a Saltiel) at 5:00pm. Traffic was really light. Getting off at Palmas from the south required the under-over-around-and-through maneuver between the Periferico and the junction of Masaryk and Palmas which can be so tricky. Ascending to their Sierra neighborhood in Lomas de Chapultepec, two trips around the block verified that there was no street parking available, so a call for help resulted in Stanley coming down in house slippers to admit us to his tight underground parking terrace.
Our visit with Stanley and Paty was very friendly, mostly in English, and the Sefarad book was a big hit with both of them. At the end, I had to gently pull it away from Paty or we could never have left! Only while viewing a collage of family and travel pictures on the big screen was our attention not revolving around the book. They have been on many travels to England and Turkey, and a cruise from Long Beach, California to Panama, Colombia, and Aruba. The beer import business is succeeding and needs more capital to stock more inventory as it sells faster than they can collect and fund another order to keep the flow constant. Supermarkets are their primary outlet, although fine restaurants are still part of direct sales.
Their two dachshounds, and their son’s cat, entertained us with their individual characters, and it was no joke to Paty that the hounds are suffering from the loss of their fluffy Pomeranion companion who died at 18 years recently.
I made multiple attempts to reach Chema, and we finally drove up to his house in Tecamachalco, but no one would answer the door, even though we could tell that someone was watching TV in their bedroom. None of the phones would respond, and a call to Armando brought no relief since he didn’t have his radio with him to contact La Señora. The security man on the block confirmed that she was out and he was in, but we had no way to contact him. Susie left him a note and a gift which Armando will have to deliver.
Returning to Tio Alberto’s house early, we started laundry, and never really ate dinner, sated from the comida at Esther’s home. Susie retired to read, and I managed to get in six rounds of backgammon with Tio Alberto, losing 5. Knowing just what he wants, he gets so many lucky rolls with his positive attitude and vision. In an e-mail dialog with his daughter, Anita, we discussed his skill at tabli.
“Tu Papi me gano 5 de los 6 juegos de tabli. Nunca he visto tanta suerte con dobles!”
“Efectivamente, no se como le salen tantos dobles a mi papá. Siempre es así cuando jugamos con el. Lo que se me ocurre es que mi papá es un “abuelito suertido”, o que se aconseja con los dados. :)”
It took him a while to settle down with much coughing and hacking. I got hooked on reading my novel, Finding Mercie, which has made little progress since arriving in Mexico, and had to force myself to quit at midnight.