On our last trip to Mexico I wrote “Run for the Border.” You can read it HERE. There were two odd things that occurred on that long weekend that made me question our favorite vacation spot four hours south of home. First was getting pulled over by cops at the Mexican border town and being shaken down for $160.
But something else was odd. I noticed at least 1,000 military-aged men from all over the world, lined up on the Mexico side, waiting to walk into the United States. There were no women or children.
Then on the news yesterday in Arizona, we learned the border crossing at Lukeville is closed because the Border Patrol has such an influx of these military-aged men from Asia, Egypt and Africa to process — that they can no longer accommodate legal Americans or Mexicans crossing the border — either way.
Here’s a snippet from local Arizona news:
Lukeville border closed: How to get to Rocky Point and how much longer it will take
Esme Hernandez, a local business owner who enjoys traveling to the Mexican beach town of Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, didn’t mince words in reaction to the closure of the Lukeville-Sonoyta port of entry.
That border crossing provides the most direct route between Phoenix and Puerto Peñasco.
With Lukeville closed, you have to drive to other border crossings that are not closed and are several hundreds miles away and are said to be more dangerous areas to travel. Rocky Point is 62 miles south of Lukeville. I hope this is temporary and for the sake of people who need to cross the border — and the economy of the beach resort — it reopens soon. Personally, I can skip the beach vacation, although it will hurt the Puerto Penasco economy.
We had a tenant in Phoenix who had open heart surgery and went on disability. He decided to move out of our rental unit and move into his mom’s house in Puerto Penasco where he could live for free. But he has continued his medical appointments in the US. He can no longer travel here.
Then, we met a restaurant owner in Puerto Penasco who said they bought most things to run their business like meat, liquor etc. in the US. They can’t get here, either.
The town of Rocky Point, also known as Puerto Penasco, will have no tourists. It’s a shrimp fishing village and a tourist town. The people are going to suffer economically.
The closest town to Lukeville on the US side is called Why. It was “Y” based on the road going from Tuscan to Phoenix and Mexico with a Y turn. Arizona decided all towns had to have three letters so now it’s called Why.
There’s a border station. It’s on the other side of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument a few miles from the border in Why. The monument is gorgeous and home to two species of indigenous cacti found nowhere else. The migrants are camped out there because there are facilities. Border Control in Why has all its cages full of migrant men. (Have you ever heard about this?)
The migrants camping out in the National Monument are burning the cacti to stay warm.
We stopped at a gas station in Why on our last trip home (Population 30?) There was a brand new gas station and a family running it. It was a husband and wife with a baby. They were excited to tell us of their plans for a coffee shop and restaurant and welcomed us to come back soon.
This is so wrong on so many levels.
I’m not sure if anyone out of the Phoenix area has heard about this.
Have you? If so, was it on local or national news? Why do you think young men by the thousands are traveling here without any women or children?What do you think could be done about the border being closed to Mexican and American citizens?
This is a banner photo from the National Monument website.
The resort where we’ve been staying for the past year’s weekend getaways.
We love the beach. How perfect that we found a beach four hours south of Phoenix across the border in Mexico. With wide expanses of a white sandy beach, calm warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, we thought we found paradise.
Until this past weekend. It’s paradise until it’s not.
Two things freaked me out.
First, crossing the corder at a Lukeville, which is out in the middle of nowhere on the south side of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, I saw something I’ve never seen in the dozen or so times we’ve been there.
There were a thousand men lined up on foot to cross into the United States from Mexico. There were no women or children. They were young, all colors and presumably nationalities. I’ve seen news of massive border crossings in Texas, but nothing at Lukeville. This was the first time I’ve noticed anyone on foot.
Next, we had to run the gauntlet in the desperately poor town on the Mexican side of the border. Usually it’s without incident, but it’s shocking to see people living in abject poverty. It’s nothing like our lives in the United States. The speed limit is 25 mph which the signs say 40 kmh. We have to drive through window washers who jump in front of our car with a spray bottle. People are begging in wheel chairs, missing limbs. It’s so sad.
Once through the town the speed limit increases slowly. We were last in line of about seven cars and trucks when red lights flashed behind us. We pulled on the shoulder to let the vehicle pass, but it stopped behind us! We were pulled over in Mexico.
For what, we had no idea.
We were approached by two burly Mexican cops who told us to roll down all the windows, asked for my husband’s driver’s license and told us we had been speeding at 60 kmh. (Not true.)
They said they’d write a ticket and we had to pay at the courthouse before we continued. My husband asked where it was. They said they’d show us but they’d keep the driver’s license until we paid. Oh — and the courthouse was closed for the next two or three hours.
But they could do us a favor. Pay them $160 American dollars, they’d return the license and we could be on our way. Which we did.
It made us angry, but what else could we do? End up in a Mexican jail for not paying? Now I’m fearful of the drive back. We need to find an ATM in case we need cash again at the border town. I’ll be happy to be back in the USA.
However, I have some empathy for the people living in the squalor of the border town watching countless Americans driving through to get to the beach resorts an hour away — driving luxury cars, trucks and RVs. Pulling people over all day long for $160 a pop is a decent living.
It took us a bit of time to relax. We ate delicious meals, walked the beach and read.
Here are a few photos:
Would you want to come back anytime soon? Would you be afraid? Why or why not?
I was so looking forward to my kids’ visit. Now that they are gone, I’m in a bit of a funk. I figured it out when I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to leave the house for my morning walks. I can tell my husband is a little worried about me.
Unfortunately when my two adult kids, new bride and her brother were here, things didn’t go exactly as planned. We had a heat wave and since they all live in the Bay Area, the heat doesn’t agree with them. Then the AC went out their last night in the casita and DIL got very sick.
And I got scared!
She vomited for hours. They finally decided to pack up and leave. Once she was in the AC of the car, she felt much better. I worried about her health unlike anything I’ve felt before. I realized how vulnerable she is. How vulnerable we all are.
I’m trying to leave Funkytown. We’re headed on a weekend getaway to Mexico, which is a four-hour drive away. The beach always makes me feel better. In the meantime, I have a community newsletter to complete and will keep moving.
I wrote this when we dropped our daughter off at college several years ago. Now that she’s living in the adult world — I still miss these things about her. We were lucky to have her sheltering in place with us for a couple of months. That was one of the good things that happened in 2020 — not COVID-19 and being locked down — but getting the chance to spend time together.
We took our daughter to college two weeks ago. She looks really happy in the photos posted on FB and Instagram. She’s made new friends, is enjoying her team and coaches — and likes her classes.
My life is busy with new and old projects. But, I notice a quiet, a sort of waiting sense, that I didn’t feel before. It’s the little things about her that I miss.
I miss her cracking my back. She would give me a hug, tell me to relax and say, “One, two..” and lift me up in the air before she said three. The result was cracking, popping relief.
I miss her making me laugh. Kat is funny. I love her little half smile when she knows she’s especially clever. And the crinkles around her eyes when she laughs out loud.
I miss her cleaning out my wallet and organizing it for me. She’d say, “Mom your purse is a gateway to hoarding.”
I miss her walking through the kitchen door after her morning workout asking me to make her eggs. I don’t have anyone to make eggs for right now — except my husband and me — and we rarely eat them.
I miss her cat Olive walking on the skinny end of her four poster bed while she watched Netflix on my laptop.
I miss when she was very young and called yellow “lallo.” And when we’d go to the beach and she’d strip naked as soon as her suit got wet. I used to bring a bag full of swimsuits for her.
I miss going to the pool and watching practice, chatting with the other swim parents. That was a luxury that I took for granted.
Yes, I miss her and I hope she knows how much I love her.
What are the little things you miss the most about your kids who have left home — or friends you no longer see very often?
A beach walk with my husband in the distance during our recent vacation.
I found a powerful article written by Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey in the Wall Street Journal called The Power to Decide How You Feel. I think it’s exactly what I needed to read.
Here’s an excerpt:
Feelings, in the enterprise of your life, are like weather to a construction company. If it rains or snows or is unseasonably hot, it affects the ability to get work done. But the right response is not trying to change the weather (which would be impossible) or wishing the weather were different (which doesn’t help). It is having contingency plans in place for bad weather, being ready, and managing projects in a way that is appropriate to the conditions on a given day.
The process of managing this weather is called metacognition. Metacognition (which technically means “thinking about thinking”) is the act of experiencing your emotions consciously, separating them from your behavior, and refusing to be controlled by them. Metacognition begins with understanding that emotions are signals to your conscious brain that something is going on that requires your attention and action. That’s all they are. Your conscious brain, if you choose to use it, gets to decide how you will respond to them.
The idea in this article is that we can separate our thoughts and view them as though the emotions are happening to someone else. What would we tell them to do? If they feel trapped in a job they don’t like, they can make a change.
For example, let’s imagine you have a job that is really bringing you down. Let’s say you are bored and stressed, and your boss isn’t competent. You come home every day tired and frustrated, and you wind up drinking too much and watching a lot of dumb television to distract your mind. Tomorrow, try a new tactic. During the day, take a few minutes every hour or so, and ask, “How am I feeling?” Jot it down. Then after work, journal your experiences and feelings over the course of the day. Also write down how you responded to these feelings, and which responses were more and less constructive.
Do this for two weeks, and you will find you are feeling more in control and acting in more productive ways. You will also be able to start seeing how you can manage your outside environment better, perhaps making a timeline to update your résumé and asking a few people for job market advice, and then you might actually start looking for something new.
Thinking about thinking, separating ourselves from emotional outbursts or feelings sounds like a positive approach. I do think journaling has helped me through the years to feel more grounded.
Have you heard about metacognition before? What are your thoughts about “thinking about thinking?”
After posting photos of all the gorgeous houses on the beach, I’m sharing the house we’ve rented each summer since 2018. It’s a three-block walk downhill to the beach. Behind the yellow front door is the bedroom. Upstairs is the living room, kitchen and bathroom. I think it’s cozy and cute.
We made the drive home from Santa Barbara to Arizona in eight hours. We left in the wee hours of the morning and we’re both exhausted. Kitty Olive was so glad to see us. The cat sitter took good care of her and left notes like “Olive was lonely so I petted her for 20 minutes and turned on classical music.”
Once home, I ran into all sorts of weird snafus. The lamp on my nightstand collapsed at the neck where the light bulb is. Then I couldn’t get my Bird Buddy (AI bird feeder) to charge after bringing the camera unit inside while we were out of town. Then I tried to log into my Cox app on my phone to view the outside camera — and it logged me out — and won’t let me log back in. I tried resetting the password. Nothing worked. Not even our cable TV.
I received money via Venmo and I tried to transfer the money, only to get a message that Venmo wasn’t available in my area.
My husband snapped at me over something minor. I realized we are both tired and I gracefully accepted his apology.
Everything is going haywire. It’s like our house is upset we left it alone for three weeks. The electronics are rebelling.
I decided to focus on my reactions. I can’t control many of the issues surrounding me. But I can control how I react. I closed my eyes and pretended I was sitting on the beach listening to waves.
Here are a few more photos:
The kitchen of the house we rented. I love the shabby chic decor.
The view from the patio with barbecue and table. Perfect except for electrical lines.
The cottage we rented in Laguna Beach for at least 15 years while our kids were growing up. That’s our beloved Angus on the front porch (RIP). Can you see why I’m a beach cottage fan?
How do you react when electronics seem to be working against you? What do you do to control your reaction when things seem out of control?
My favorite house on the beach where we walk each morning and evening.
Part of the enjoyment of our beach walks is looking at the houses — as well as at waves, dolphins and an occasional seal. I’m sharing some of my favorite homes, from mansions to cottages. I notice workers washing windows and gardeners working in the yards — but I rarely see people who live there.
I like the house above the best because the architectural style is similar to the house I grew up in. Lots of large glass windows, angles and shake shingles — a contemporary style from the 1970s. I also love this house because it’s private and not too showy. Then there is the tree:
The tree makes the house.
This stately home must have stunning views from the multiple decks.
Another magnificent home with lush landscaping.
I love the contemporary look of this home and the expanse of windows. They scalped the lawn yesterday, which I didn’t know was a “thing” in Santa Barbara. In Palm Springs, lawns are scalped each fall to plant Winter Rye. In the heat of late Spring, the Winter Rye dies and Bermuda Grass, which is dormant in the winter, grows back.
I like the simplicity of this A frame.
Look what is and has happened around this sweet cottage below? Last year there was a cottage next to it, but now there’s a huge crane making tons of noise.
When you get near the parking lot, the homes are smaller and closer together. There are still some cottages left, that haven’t been torn down to build modern monstrosities. This is one of my favorite cottages.
I hope you enjoyed my beach home tour!
If you owned a beach house, what style would it be? Beach cottage, White House replica, contemporary or modern?