Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Searching for Perspective

We had people over for dinner last night for a lovely Christmas Eve feast which was fun. Great meal, lots of good visiting and my beloved got out his guitar to play for us to sing a few Christmas carols. It was nice. Today we are planning on just hanging out and enjoying a mellow day. We'll play scrabble and watch movies and nibble on goodies. Right now my man is enjoying sleeping in with no little kids to get us up at Oh-dark-thirty to open presents. Of course I woke up around 5AM and couldn't get back to sleep...so here I sit.

I got my no thank you letter in the mail yesterday from Grand Rapids Community College. So we will NOT be moving to Michigan.

My emotions have been bouncing some in response to that...

there is disappointment, relief, sadness, anxiety, confusion

Part of me is actually quite glad I don't have to give up my home here and all that is familiar.

Part of me was really counting on this move and feels terrible about the loss.

Part of me is nervous and scared about finding ANY kind of decent job and worried about being at loose ends when my current position ends.

So my feelings have been doing lots of flip flops.

I KNEW it was a long shot when I applied for this position, but the job just seemed so perfect for me. Beyond that, I honestly felt like this was God's way of getting me back close to my family. I have two sons and eight grandkids living in Michigan. I miss them something awful. I was so longing to be able to be there to participate in their lives in a more direct way rather than being the grandma who visits once a year and sends cool care packages.

I try to tell myself that things are unfolding as they are meant to, that there is some other purpose for my staying here.

But then I just get jaded and cynical and believe life is all random and nothing matters anyway.

I have no plan B at this point. Sometime in the next 6 months I need to find a job. Maybe it will be here. Maybe it will be someplace else. I want to trust that something will appear on the horizon when it needs to. But trust is in short supply just now.

So it goes...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Blogger Readability

Well, I'm not sure what to think. I ran my URL through the Blogger Readability test and it came back saying the writing was college level. Then, just for comparison I scanned Jaquandor's blog and his came up saying Elementary School level. What's up with that? Maybe it's his frequent use of words like "weirdness" or perhaps it is the Bart & Homer Simpson references?? But then I ran Mimi's Bigger Than a Breadbox and she also ranked Elementary School level - and for the life of me I can't figure out what would make that possible. She uses generally short, easy to read sentences (a GOOD thing in a blog), but her vocabulary is NOT elementary school in my opinion.Papa Herman's comes in at a Jr. High level as does Jen over at Lords of the Manner.

So now I'm wondering A) how does this thing determine reading level and B) do I come off as a word snob? Granted, I work for a college, I am surrounded by college educated people most the time and I probably do use some phrases that are not typical of lower reading levels. But I've never made any particular attempt to write for a higher level audience. I just write the way I think/talk.

What does that say about me?

Christmas Music

Merry Christmas, everybody.

And for your listening pleasure, a few tunes of the season. These songs are performed by the group Celtic Woman from a peformance at Helix Center in Dublin, Ireland. Depending on your computer/internet speed it may take some time to buffer, but for me it was well worth the wait.

Oh Holy Night

Carol of the Bells

Christmas Pipes

Little Drummer Boy

In the Bleak Midwinter/The First Noel

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

Friday, December 21, 2007

A warm fire & a good book...

Today is my last day of work until Jan 2. There are many perks to my job, and one of them just happens to be I get this delicious week off when the school shuts down - like an extra paid vacation that doesn't burn any of my vacation days. YIPPEE!

I have several plans for things I want to do during this time off. On Christmas eve we'll have several people over for dinner, sing Christmas songs and read the scripture account of the the birth of Christ. Then on the 27th and 29th I'll be helping a friend with her daughter's two wedding receptions - one here and one in Portland. I hope to finish typing the rest of my father-in-law's journals that I've been posting over at Remembering Fred. I've got some closets to clean and want to get some work done on a stained glass project. Of course, there are also my two online classes that I need to tweak a bit for Winter term. So I will have plenty to do.

But one thing I definitely plan to do is take a couple days to do absolutely NOTHING besides curl up next to a warm fire wrapped up in my favorite blanket and just read. I've just started Tristi Pinkston's historical novel Strength to Endure. Right from the very first chapter it hooked my interest. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who said that??

I love a good quote.

I especially like the ones by that really smart guy, Anonymous. He said all sorts of neat stuff.

At my job I've been helping my boss work on a report that defines student success. What is it? How do you measure it? How do you develop it?

That reminded me of the quote I've had on my desk for many a year that has been oft repeated, (in various versions with a few words shifting here and there) which is usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. It says:

"To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give of one's self;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived -
this is to have succeeded."

They are truly great words. However, there are two problems here. First, they don't much help us with the current assignment regarding student success. Secondly, it appears that Emerson never said them. Alas...it seems this is yet another case of misattribution.

There's a lot of that going around.

Christmas Meme / Christmas Funk

This will NOT be the meme I had intended.

My blogger pal Jaquandor is always good for a meme. He put up a fun Christmas meme on his blog and I thought I'd post my own version here. After all, he says he tags EVERYBODY and that includes me, right?

I made several attempts at putting in my answers. However, each time I tried, it would just complicate my already swirling funk.

First question: Favorite traditional Christmas song:Sure, I could just name off a few songs. I DO like some of 'em. "Do You See What I See" comes to mind. But the very thought of Christmas music also brings me precariously close to the mental / emotional turmoil I've been avoiding.

Dec 16 was the anniversary of my father's death. In a few days (Dec 21) will be the anniversary of my mother's. They both died suddenly and unexpectedly (him of heart failure while asleep in bed, her during a heart bypass surgery that was supposed to be serious but routine) in 1983. Granted, that was a long time ago. But as anyone who has lost people close to them knows, the years can telescope on you in a heartbeat, bringing distant losses rushing back to feel like present wounds.

My parents had divorced when I was about 13, lived in different towns, both had remarried and hadn't spoken to each other for several years. But they dropped dead with no warning in the very same week when I was just 26. Their deaths collided with the Christmas season, wrapping all the emotions of grief and loss around every tinsel, every cookie, every tune.

Mostly I've dealt with the bereavement as much as can be expected. Face it, true grief is not like a cold that you can get over. It's more like an amputation - something that changes you forever. You accommodate it and learn to move forward in the new reality, but it never goes back to how it used to be. So, in that sense, I have come to terms with it. But every Christmas season there are so many reminders of the wound...the sights, the sounds, the smells all haunt me. Every fa la la la la brings up images of my mother's dead face in her casket. Every freaking time I hear a Salvation Army bell ringer I get mini-flashes of my father - pictures in my brain I DO NOT WANT.

This is all the more crazy making because I did NOT have good relations with my parents. So much anger and guilt, hurt feelings and trapped love were tangled up with shame and longing in those relationships. Somehow I used to believe that EVENTUALLY we'd resolve some of the ugliness and learn to be more honest and supportive of one another, the way I believed families were SUPPOSED to be. Truth is, had they lived to be the age of Methuselah I doubt we ever could have repaired the breach. Our family was so fractured by so many things...all the kings horses and all the kings men could never have put those relationships together again. But as long as they were alive I still had the hope that someday MAYBE it could be made right. Now it never can.

So all I am left with is something like the smell of a campfire that has been doused with water...burned out, muddy mess...cold, offering no solace.

Christmas can be a tough time for me. I have my good days where I get pretty close to being able to feel the joy of the season. And I have my bad days where it is all one excruciating nightmare. Paying focused attention to the specific triggers of Christmas just doesn't seem in my best interest right now. So I think I'll pass.

Over on Waters of Mormon, one of the other blogs I contribute to, Starfoxy came up with this to say about the Christmas season:

"In the past I've taken cues from my parents and bemoaned the commercialization of Christmas. I've lamented how quickly the birth of Christ is forgotten among the gifts and festivities.

These days, however, I'm seriously considering cutting my losses and completely separating my recognition of Christ's birth from the midwinter celebrations.

December is an intense month. There are various holidays, traditions, and parties to attend to. For the students there are midterms, or final exams. For the employed there are year end reports, filings, and meetings. There are preparations for next year to take into account. The weather frequently turns difficult. Most people travel to spend time with family. At the end of the month many find themselves physically and emotionally exhausted. And amongst all of that we're supposed to find time for meaningful reflection on Christ's birth, life and resurrection. I can't muster up and surprise that it all too frequently just doesn't happen.

So why not just buckle down and make it happen? Why not make time for that meaningful reflection. Why can't I ditch the parties? Why shouldn't I spend hours training my kids to understand that Santa and rudolf weren't at the stable? Why can't I just push, shove, pull, wrangle, wrestle and cajole my family into feeling the peace, joy and comfort of contemplating the Condescension of God?

Here's my reasoning- Santa, Rudolf, Christmas Trees, gifts, and parties are going hold my kid's attention no matter what I do. They're going to hear it at school, from their friends, in the stores, and on TV. People will demand my attention work and service whether they should or not. I will feel stress, and fatigue. My children will probably be like me- itching to open presents so bad that they can barely sit still long enough to listen to the first half of Luke 2. Why even try to pair the love of Christ with the clamor of modern day Christmases and hope that I can shout louder than everyone else?

Instead I plan for Christmas becomes a time for parties, togetherness, gifts, service, and sharing. And then on the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th, or the day of Epiphany I will, quietly, peacefully and deliberately celebrate the birth and childhood of Christ. After the decorations are put away, the presents have lost some of their sparkle, and just before things get back to normal I will put aside time to teach my children about the miracle of Christ's birth."

As I responded to her there, I have misgivings about capitulating to the mayhem.
The only thing that I can hang on to that is GOOD about Christmas is my focus on the Savior. That part still sustains me. It's all the rest of it that I want to hide my head in the sand and run away from.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Singer and songwriter Dan Fogleberg died on Sunday. His music was a major part of my world during the 70's & 80's.

As I get older it is becoming increasingly frequent that people I know, or know of, are crossing over to the other side.

George Bernard Shaw once said: "Life does not cease to be serious when people laugh. Neither does it cease to be funny when people die." I suppose that's true. But I cannot help but feel a bit sad at the loss of this lyricist whose words touched my heart over the years. Go swiftly Dan. May your memory be eternal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Question of Risk

Got up VERY early this morning (around oh-dark-thirty as my friend Wanda would say)and got busy cleaning my desk. I've had a pile of papers accumulating there for far to long. Since I couldn't sleep anyway, I decided to begin making order out of the chaos.

One of the papers I came across was the release form I signed when I went white water rafting this summer.

Among other things it says:

"The risk of injury from activities involved in this program is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, equipment and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and, I knowingly and freely assume all such risks, both known and unknown, even if arising from the negligence of the releasees or others, and assume full responsibility for my participation..."

Fortunately for us, my beloved and I had a fantastic time on the Deschutes River and nothing ugly happened. But it could have.

I'm a firm believer in deliberately seeking adventure. That's why I like international travel, exploring wilderness, and doing things in my life that are sometimes unconventional. However, when it comes to my personal safety, I can at times be a big weenie. I tried scuba lessons twice. I panicked both times. I just cannot handle the claustrophobic out of control feeling I have under water with all that equipment determining if I live or die. I've passed up opportunities to sky dive. Why would I choose to jump out of a perfectly good plane?

I'm just wondering a bit about what makes some things seem adventurous and fun and other things seem too dangerous? Also, the statistician in me is curious whether there is any correlation between those who seek out adrenaline junkie rush activities and how much risk they are or are not willing to take with intimacy and interpersonal vulnerability? HMMM. Just wondering.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Congratulations Kiva Partners!

Two more of the individuals I have supported with microfinance loans through KIVA have successfully paid off their loans completely - one from Senegal and another from Cambodia. So now I am able to redirect the monies I had loaned to those two over to a couple new folks in need. This time I will be supporting Fuzuli Gurbonov who lives in the Ashigli village of Beylagan - a small city in Southwestern Azerbaijan. He needs the funds to purchase some sheep. My other loan will go to Makhmadsaid Allovaddinov who lives in the J.Rasulovsky district of Tajikstan to help him buy some livestock.

It's really amazing to me that for just $25 - the price of one dinner in a moderately priced resturaunt, I can help touch someone's life across the globe.

If you haven't checked out KIVA before, I encourage you to learn more. I have a couple people on my Christmas List this year who will be getting KIVA gift certificates. The folks I know certainly don't need more STUFF. So rather than a gift card for some department store, I will be giving them the opportunity to pick whomever they choose to help with a KIVA loan. THAT feels like the spirit of Christmas to me.

Balancing Sacred Nativity with Ho Ho Christmas

I am trying to keep the true meaning of the Christmas season in my heart and mind this year, reflecting on the birth of Christ and what His Atonement means to me. But I couldn't help but smile when I saw this picture from Japan of Santa Clause dolphins. Whatever the upcoming festivities may mean to you - have a happy, safe Christmas season!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

God Bless Carla

I had a great conversation on the phone with my oldest son last night. He was telling me about his two year old learning how to pray. Little Bennett has learned the concept of being thankful. So in his prayers one night as he knelt before his bed with closed eyes and folded hands he said:

"Dear Heavenly Father, thankful for the cow's moo, thankful for the pig's oink, thankful for the donkey's hee-haw, thankful for the duck's quack...." and on and on and on till he listed ever animal he knew. He was utterly sincere. He loves animals. He was truly thankful for their sounds.

Which of course reminded me of my own son's prayers as a little boy. I recalled to him the time when he was in first grade, back when we lived in Phoenix when he prayed: "Dear God, thank you for this day. But next time could you make it not be quite so hot? Cause today my eyeballs about melted and rolled right out of my head! But it was still a good day, so thanks anyway."

There is something incredibly endearing about a child's heartfelt prayers. As we mature we learn what is "appropriate" to say when addressing deity. But little kids can approach God with such trusting innocence to fully express whatever is in their heart.

My son also told me a prayer story I had not been aware of. When we moved to Ohio in 1982 it took us clear across the country from my husband's children from his first marriage. It was a very difficult separation, but one we managed as best as we could. Every single day in our family prayers we included the phrase "please bless the kids in Arizona..." and in our private, individual prayers my beloved and I poured out out hearts with entreaties to the Lord for each of his kids' individual needs.

But to my son who was six years old at the time the reality of WHO we were praying for wasn't very clear. He thought that because we were from Arizona we had a sense of loyalty and concern for ALL THE CHILDREN in Arizona. So whenever we said "please bless the kids in Arizona" he interpreted that in the global sense. In most respects he was fine with that. Except there had been this one girl named Carla in his first grade class who had been rather snotty and mean to him. He did not like Carla one bit. He didn't mind blessing all the other kids in Arizona. But he had not yet learned the concept of praying for one's enemies. He had no intention of blessing Carla too. So every time we said that in our family prayers, silently in his mind he would say "but not Carla, she's mean so don't bless her!"

It was only some time later that he figured out that while we do have a general sense of concern for all people, our family prayers were focused very specifically on my husband's four kids. After that he was far more comfortable giving his full support to the phrase in every family prayer.

In our phone conversation we laughed about this and went on to share more stories of his son's antics and compare them to things I remembered from his own growing up years. But through it all I kept thinking of Carla, and wondering if I hold back any of my own wish for blessings of others based on negative experiences I've had with them.

When I pray for the people I know, am I able to also ask God to bless the person who cut me off in traffic, someone who took credit for my work, or someone who deliberately took advantage of my trust in a dishonest way? Can I honestly ask God to bless and protect those whose behavior or beliefs are totally counter to everything I value? That's not something I've given much thought to before. But perhaps it's something I can work on.

Prayer is an interesting thing. I have had MANY experiences where I have felt my prayers were heard and answered, some in powerfully dramatic ways. Yet I don't even begin to understand the extent to which God may or may not change outcomes or manipulate events based on what we ask for in faithful prayer. Part of me believes I need to use prayer to align my will with whatever God intends rather than asking for specific blessing XYZ. God knows my needs and my desires, so I don't really understand the role my asking for this or that has in the big equation of how the world is run. Yet I ask all the time.

Over at the LDS blog I contribute to, Waters of Mormon, The Baron has started an interesting discussion under the heading of Destiny and Divine Micromanagement that has led to much pondering on whether God has a set plan that will unfold in the world in a pre-established way or if coming events are subject to change depending on what we ask for and how we live our lives.

Whatever the case, I am so pleased my youngest grandchild is learning about being thankful and learning how to pray. Through his example perhaps I can be more sincere in my own expressions of gratitude. And where ever she is, God, please bless Carla. We all need your grace and love.


After a wonderfully relaxing, romantic getaway week in Mexico we are now home in the land of ice and snow. So far, re-entry to our regular life has gone fairly well. Our vacation truly did rejuvenate us both, re-establish our commitment to each other in the face of whatever may come, and helped us get focused on what matters most.

So now rather than merely putting one foot in front of the other in frantic survival mode dashing through each day, we are trying to stay mindful of the big picture of what is truly important. We are striving to be more present-oriented, noticing our blessings each moment of every day, focusing on all we have to be grateful for even as we take on the various challenges and responsibilities that loom in our path.

At the same time that we are working hard to stay connected to the NOW, we are also looking ahead to get clear on the life we are creating - so we can more mindfully take steps to move foreward into the direction that seems best. As part of that, we are prayerfully hoping with all our might that I will get the job I have applied for back in Michigan. We are feeling a strong sense that it MAY happen, but it certainly could go either way.

We actually have a pretty cozy life where we are now. We have a nice house. We have some good friends. We enjoy our church congregation and are comfortable in this small, rural community. But our family is all many miles away. It feels very important to us both to get closer to them, and this job would make that possible. The job itself sounds like a very good match for my skills & background. It is a position I think I could be good at and would enjoy. But above all, the lure for me is definitely the fact that it would put me back in the region where my sons and grandchildren live. That, I believe, could be hugely significant.

Instead of being the grandparents who send cool packages and come to visit once a year, we could take an active role in our grandchildren’s lives. We could be there to offer support to our single-parent son who has had some mighty struggles in the past year and also an influence of righteousness to the whole tribe.

So I hope. I pray. I wait to see what happens. Around Dec 18 the college where I have applied is supposed to have sorted through all the initial applications to make the first cut between who they will consider further and who will get an immediate no thank you. Please, please God, let me make it into the to-be-considered pile.

I’ve been dancing in a state of hope and anticipation. I want this really, really bad.

If I don’t get it, I will be disappointed but not devastated. Clearly, I know I can continue to craft a good life for myself right where I am. I have plenty to be grateful for and look forward to living where I do. I don't know what kind of job I would get here next year when my current position ends. But I have trust that when the grant runs out on the job I have now, something suitable would turn up when I needed it to. So if this hoped for job I want so much back in Michigan falls through, I have a soft place to land.

Still….I see in my mind the faces of those children that I so long to love with more direct communication and contact. I think of my boys and the men they have become and how much I would like to be near them to share in their triumphs and struggles. I think of the job that I would be doing and the things it would allow me to accomplish. EVERY SINGLE LINE in the job description is something I have demonstrated strengths in. In one way or another, it seems the past four jobs I have had have been preparing me for this moment. It just FEELS like the right fit for me.
So I am hoping…

Hope is such an interesting thing. On the one hand, I fear hope. It makes me vulnerable to disappointment. If I did not hope, I could never be let down. If I could somehow manage to let go of all expectation, to remain utterly neutral and willing to accept any outcome with equal understanding that the universe is unfolding just the way it should be-- that would shield me from the volatile emotions of anxious anticipation and potential sorrow when things don’t pan out the way that I want. Yet on the other hand, I embrace hope. Hope gives me the vision of what is possible and leads me to reach further, strive harder, believe stronger rather than merely sit back and take whatever may come like one big life of pot luck. Hope gives me a positive sense of possibility rather than fatalistic predeterminism. Hope buoys up my spirit in a way I can't even begin to explain. So I’ll take my lumps of disappointment along with my reveling victories. I am pragmatic enough to recognize that many things I hope for will never come to pass. But I will deal with that each time it happens. I am still holding hard onto hope.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Last Day

Today was our final day of adventures here in Mexico. We spent the day at Xcaret Ecological park and had a fabulous time. My mind is a whirl of images from the day - snorkeling the underwater river through twisting caves and cenotes, the butterfly house, the acquarium, the jungle trails, the animals, the ocean, and of course the show. I've been to all manner of rock concerts, plays, pagaents and other shows of one fashion or another. This one topped them all. It was phenomenal - the music, the dancing, the costumes and the sheer spectacle of it all was quite a site to behold.

We befriended a couple from Tennessee who happened to be on the same bus taking us to the park and ended up spending the day with them. Shep & Sue, thanks for making the day even better by sharing it with us!

By the time the day was over we were all exhausted, but happy.

Tomorrow it's time to bring our vacation to a close. Our flight out is around 3:00 PM so we won't get home until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Fortunately I can simply collapse into my own sweet bed and don't need to be back at work until Thursday.

Home. I've had a great time these past several days, but I am ready to return. Getting away has been wonderful. But every time I leave the country I am reminded how much I do appreciate living in the United States. I am grateful for water pure enough to drink right from the tap. I am grateful for my home, my job, my life back in the states. I'm grateful for my family, my friends, and even my dog that are all waiting for me back there. Despite the cold weather and the pile of work waiting in my office, I'm ready to get back to it.

So goodbye Mexico. Thank you for your kindness, your beauty, your welcome. This trip will stay in my heart for many years to come. It has been romantic, exciting, rejuvenating. But now it's time to bring it to an end. I wish I could just click my heels like Dorothy and zoom back...but instead I'll spend a day of travel tomorrow back to the land of work and winter. I welcome both. This break has been good for me. But now I'm ready to return to my regular life, refreshed, rested and ready to take on whatever may be waiting for me there. Ready or not, here I come.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Scenes from Chichen Itza

Temple of Kukulcan

The Nunnery

Temple of the Warriors

The Observatory

The wall of skulls - this one is for Papa Herman!

And of couse, one for that sports fiend Jaquandor - The Ball Court!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Beloved!

Today is my husband's birthday. We've had a great day - went into the interior of the Yucatan peninsula to visit Chichen Itza. It was AMAZING. But nothing is more amazing that the sacred bond that my beloved and I share. We've been married 26 years and he still makes me feel weak in the knees with his smile. The past few days here have been a truly magical, romantic time of reconnecting for he and I. We've both been burning our candle and both ends lately with work, church, family and other obligations. While we have had no specific conflicts, sometimes we seem to get almost oblivious of one another as we both get too immersed in our respective responsibilities. This trip has given us the chance to remind ourselves and each other of the power of our union and to recommit to keeping it strong. I am so grateful for the blessing of this marriage. He makes me laugh. He makes me feel safe. He teaches me stuff. He listens to me. We share something very special indeed. He's a good man. Besides loving him like crazy, I truly respect this guy and trust him with all my heart. So happy birthday to you my love - and may you have many, many more!

Belladonna in Braids

We had quite a fun time going into Cancun. I know just enough survival Spanish to be able to get by. We felt ever so resourceful to figure out the bus system. The tourists taking excursions pay $50 each way in a cab or else go on the big tour buses. We walked a few blocks to a bank and asked there how to find a local bus. It cost us less than $4.00 each for the trip. We wandered all over, had lunch, then found our way back. I've had enough of Cancun for a lifetime. Too commercial for my tastes. Had many of the same businesses I'd see at home - Blockbuster, GNC, Sears, McDonalds. Playa del Carmen is quite developed in terms of the number of resorts, but at least it feels and looks more like Mexico.

On the way home last night we wandered all over 5th street, the shopping district that is blocked off so it is restricted to pedestrians. I had one of the vendors there do my hair all in braids. Larry says I look like Bo Derek in the movie "10". Um. No. But it was fun and will keep my hair out of my face as I go hiking, swimming, etc. I will DEFINITELY be taking it out as soon as I get home.

Today we go to Chichen Itza and then on Monday we go to Xceret. We are having a fabulous time. I hear it is snowing at home. Do I really have to go back??

Chicken Trees

I have come to the conclusion that Edward Scissor Hands is alive and well in Playa de Carmen. Yesterday we took a bus into Cancun to do some exploring and have lunch. I had to smile at the trees shaped like chickens all along the median next to the road. This photo is rather blurry since I snapped it through the bus window as we moved rather fast, but I just couldn't resist.

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