No Sombrero, No Pancho, No Service

When I packed to come to Mexico, I totally stereotyped what I was going to need.
Mexico is supposed to be hot. RIGHT? Who told me this? Why would I think this? I didn’t bring myself a sweater; although I did bring the kids sweaters, I left their jackets. Every morning, it is sweater wearing weather, EVERY SINGLE MORNING. One of J’s first questions when we started to unpack clothes was “did you bring me a sweater”, to which I responded “why would you need a sweater”? Some nights, especially, nights when it has rained it gets way too cold for just a sweater. Keep in mind its rain season here. I wear a Pancho to beat the cold and I haven’t seen another Pancho. Not one, not even for sale. We are cold.

Speaking of rain season, J asked me to bring the kids plastic rain boots. Did I listen? No. I thought, Mexico was HOT and DRY. Daily, Elaina has her feet wet from playing in water. I am sick and tired of washing shoes, tennis, & sandals for all three of them because of mud. Even the shoes are sick and tired of being washed; they have now started to disintegrate.

When it came to shoes, I only packed sandals for myself. To think I left my heels in clear plastic boxes and I have a little bit more than a few. I didn’t bring one pair because I thought there would be no where to wear them. This is definitely what bothers me most because at every Quincenera, women are dressed up, in heels and I show up, real classy, in sandals.

I now understand, why they say tourist stand out like sore thumbs.

I look more Mexican than J does!

I look more Mexican than J does!

Remember after J got picked up, I immediately stopped combing Elaina’s hair and it looked like a birds nest? Remember that I also stop putting shoes on her feet? I would tell friends and family “she better get used to it because that is going to be her life from now on”.

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Naïve.

The ladies wearing prom dresses at Wal-Mart on a Tuesday night should have given me a clue.

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Where is J?

So I get a whole bunch of text messages, calls, and e-mails asking where our beloved J is actually at. I am Point (A) Pasadena, TX and he is Point (B) In a small town an hour outside of Guadalajara, Jalisco.  We are 9 miles shy of 1,000 miles between us.  Let’s just say 1,000 I am bound to get lost once or twice on our way there.  Google maps says it’s a 16 hour drive, but we won’t be driving nights so it will be at least two days if we get an early start.  Yeah that’s going to happen because I am an upsie daisy, early bird gets the worm, morning person!

This Map shows our future home.  Question is Where on this map is it?

This Map shows our future home. Question is Where on this map is it?

Point (C) San Blass, Playa Borrego – Where we could possibly live near Puerto Vallarta but not so touristic and still on the WEST Coast, That H20 we love to see, crystal clear blue. I picked this place because if we come across any trouble we can run back to family only 4 hours away.

If you know us at all, you would know this is so us.

Point (D) San Miguel del Allende – A friend of a friend. We heard this friend wants to move back to the US and their home has a guest house. They need someone to look out for their vacation home I suppose. Alas, that would be ideal, but it may be too good to be true.

If I go here I want to take this exact photo.

Point (E) Tampico – Grandma wants us to go there. It’s where she is from and claims the water is beautiful there. Dad disagrees, says it’s still the Gulf. We don’t care but being near the ocean would be a dream come true regardless.

It looks blue, but I did see a few others that looked like we could have taken in Galveston.

Point (F) Cancun – J has a friend there. Who says there is plenty of work for him. J is a procrastinator and hasn’t even called him. Highly unlikely we will go here to live but we will go.

Well we all know….

Then there is the purple markings.  The one on the border is where I would like to live so I could cross my kids over to school every morning and I could work and earn USA money.  Except the danger is to high, so we will skip that.  Then there  is Durango, where my mother was from.  I haven’t visited since I was eleven, from what I remember it may have been fun but I would be heading home in two weeks for sure.  Cabo, because the only way some “Friends” will visit, if they come on a cruise ship.  All three places highly unlikely.  More like no it isn’t going to happen.

We have considered many places, and we won’t decide until we are together. I sure would like somewhere my family and best buds are not afraid to visit. They have all said, “no way Jose” when I tell them to vacation with me. I will remind them once the first daring person joins us for some fun and they are begging to come. 

Why on Earth?

Wish I could say we are retiring early. That we won the lotto and are escaping from the zombie relatives coming back from the dead for their cut. That we have planned for years, and it’s been our lifelong dream.

The truth is, it was a fear that someday it would happen. If you have known J and I the 16 years (this May 30th) we been married, then perhaps you know he had lived here illegally for majority of those years.

ICE knocked on our door one morning, April 17th, 2013, and deported him to his birth land. Although he has lived here since a toddler, he considers himself an American, USA is all he knows but he feels he does not belong anywhere. U.S. does not want him and Mexico is not his home.

deportation

He does belong with his family. That would be ME, Johnny (10), Manuel (6), and Elaina (3).

I didn’t always feel this way. After they deported him in the first few years of marriage, I was ready to move on. He has always said he wanted to grow old with me. He returned because I would not go and has not relinquished his commitment to me or his kids for one second.

I may have been afraid to move before; okay I am still afraid. I do want to move. It now sounds exciting. I look forward to our new adventures. I get to live in another country! I get to go visit clear blue beaches. Like the ones we visited when we were in Florida. Even better they will now be our beaches.

home

J has all of our hearts, and maybe some of yours.

You don’t scare me! I have a daughter.

Barton Springs in Austin TX, L: Aiden our little friend, Manuel, Johnny, J, & Elaina

Barton Springs in Austin TX, L: Aiden our little friend, Manuel, Johnny, J, & Elaina

J knows I have a lot on my plate and asked me to send him the kids.  If I did, I could slow down and get everything taken care of.  I said, “no”, because the boys are still in school . I don’t know if it will matter in Mexico if they finish this year or not but it matters to me.

It is exhausting, he used to take the boys to school every morning (I got to sleep in). He also used to cook most of our meals, especially our weekend meals. They miss him so much. Manuel says “we can’t play King Kong anymore”. Johnny is very quiet and has this gloomy look upon his face. He was his daddies shadow, from the moment they got home they talked animals, fishing, camping, and watching river monsters. How can I possibly fill that void?

I know they would all rather be with their daddy, including Elaina, as she too would leave my side to climb all over him. If I had to go out, none protested that they wanted to come with me. I had to bribe Elaina if I wanted company by cooing: “I am going shooooopppinnng! I will buy you a toy!” or “Want to go to Tina’s house?”

It’s hard with Elaina. We are not used to leaving her. Well I could leave her with anybody if they showed any interest. J wouldn’t deem this acceptable and I am trying to do things as he would want them done. She is a handful. I can’t take her everywhere, especially when I am dealing with important documents where I have to pay attention.

He suggested I send her. I know he wants them. I know he misses all of them. I know it would be easier with just the boys. I know she misses him and she would be extremely happy. I know she could not be safer with anyone else. I know I will see her in just two months. I know I would have so much more patience with the boys, because I get so impatient due to her “I am a princess attitude”. (Where did she learn that?) I also know as I glance over at her and she is scattering Cheerios all over the floor and wiping her milky fingers all over her shirt, that I don’t know, if I have it in me, to part with her.

What I’m scared of? Not seeing her for two months, not seeing her every night. I am weak and can’t accept this temporary change.

Pack & Go, Nothing to it.

Think I am ready to hit the road?  I do want to hit the road, but I am not ready. I don’t have a checklist, and it’s just random in my head.  I have to, I have to, I need to, I need to, Oh No! I forgot to! 

When this started, (April 17th, 2013) I wanted to sell the two houses I own.  With the advice from a Remax woman, decided I would keep them and rent them.  Rental property: Check, done it’s rented. 

I have always lived in Texas, most of my life in South Houston.  The few times, I have had to move as an adult, my husband has done most of it.  Call me lazy, but I never packed.  Just threw things in a drawer and “vamonos!”  

For two weeks I have packed a house I lived in for almost 7 years, I have had help from friends, their family, and a sister-in-law.  I am still not done.  I haven’t even started on the garage. 

All our belongings within the house we own, nothing owed on credit.  Ideally I wanted to cross everything into Mexico, but friends and family who cross the border often told me I would have to pay taxes on everything.

 The real case is I get one “Importacion de maneje de casa” or “free” pass that costs $127.00 USD.  Also, I only have six months to do this from the date I get the okay, and if I am in Mexico for a year before I attempt to do this, then I waited too long.  I now have to open every box I packed and take inventory.  Then translate it into Spanish.  I can take one of each appliance.  Three carpets, one computer, so on and so on.  The good news I can take all of my junk. The bad news it will be a lot of work.  The two trucks we have are not included in this pass.  I will be taxed for each $1,400.00USD for the 1994 Toyota, and $1,580.00USD for the 2004 Ford, to make them Mexico Legal.   

June 7th, the day after school ends won’t be day of departure as I had planned.  Maybe, just Maybe we put Texas in the rear view mirror in Mid July.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Water Is Clear Further South.

Maybe you heard the whispers.  Maybe you read a Facebook post that made you say something fishy is going on.

Within these blogs you will know our family.  Our stories of struggle, but mostly love.  It’s about an American girl born in Brownsville, TX who fell in love with a Mexican boy from Jalisco, MX.

Yes! The Chavez Family is Moving to Mexico.

I can tell you this, it’s not easy.  It’s so hard I have considered going there illegally. 

I will divulge everything, all in good time and piece by piece.