Thursday, May 7, 2009

Allow Me

Nonnie and Papa

     Allow me to introduce you to my mother and father, at one of those perfect moments in time , when they were young , newly married, and on a wonderful adventure.

This photograph was taken in Tecalitlan in the state of Jalisco in Mexico.  The year was 1950.

My father had just been hired by the USDA to travel on horseback up into the mountains of the area, to visit  ranches and landowners and inspect and vaccinate their cattle for hoof and mouth disease.

Every Monday morning he set out from what was then the village of Tecalitlan , traveling completely on horseback, and he did not return until Friday evening. Traveling with him was his partner from the village of Tecalitlan , a man named Malachias. The vaccine was stored in blocks of ice and sawdust on the backs of mules that traveled with them. My father and Malichias camped out throughout the week and accepted rancher’s offers of hospitality, either in sheds, barns, or out in the open air. Their meals?  Frijoles a la jarra.

He was 24 and my mother was 18. 

They grew up in South Texas, and other than my father’s stint in the Army and in Korea, this was far removed from their experience.

What did my mother do all week while he was gone?

Why play canasta and learn to speak Spanish of course.  The women of the hotel where they lived adopted her and included her in their activities.  She became a life master at bridge later in her life, based perhaps on her early days of laughing and playing cards in the courtyard of a humble Mexican hotel.

My father told me yesterday that they saved every single paycheck and lived solely on their government per diem.  They used the money they saved to buy their first farm land. And so it began.

Their stay in Mexico was perhaps shorter than planned.  My mother became pregnant with me. They used the truck in the photograph to make their way to Guadalajara ,where they flew back to Texas on a government plane. That truck had an open air cab. Imagine bouncing along on rural roads in Mexico, exposed to the elements, making your way back home.

I have always known that at some time, in some place, I belong in Mexico. I was first there with my mother and my father.

20 comments:

Faye said...

Laura,What a beautiful story.Such memories.Hope you have a very Blessed Mothers Day! Blessings, Faye

Kelly said...

My heaven, that was such a delightful story. You truly have a way with words!

Jennifer said...

I was hoping there would be a story to accompany the photo! Thank you! What an adventure!

trash talk said...

I love back stories and this was a doozie! What a wonderful way to start a marriage...with an adventure. Canasta...I haven't thought of that in years. Mother and Daddy would play for hours. Thanks for a lovely memory and for sharing yours.
Debbie

Dixie said...

Laura... I'm so glad that you shared the story of your parents... what a great South Texas story...

now if everyone could realize that they could come back Thursday and tell the story of their WW post... what a bright world this would be... LOL

I love your photo!

blessings. Dixie

Scribbler said...

I enjoyed your story very much.

Scribbler

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

I loved your story. There is a lot of inspiration to be found in your words from your father. The picture of your parents is adorable.

Domestic Designer said...

Lovely story. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing your parents story.
Glenda

etphonehome21 said...

What a great pic of Noni and PawPaw!!! It's so weird to think of them as anything other than Lauren's Grandma and Grandpa that lived down the street, but they sure had an adventurous life.

Karen said...

Laura, as your parents' next door neighbor I would occassionally get to visit with your mom and she would recall those days. Fascinating!! How kind of those Mexican women to befriend such a young bride, knowing that she needed them. In return, I know your mother brightened their days. (I can't help but wonder if she had developed her keen sense for decorating back then. Did she try using her talents with these ladies?)
You know, I think I recall that your father had to deal with people who did not trust the "Gringos" and were quick with their threats. Your dad being an "Indiana Jones" just as my dad was, weathered those storms and went about his duties.
Sounds like there is a long story, book... or movie here, Miss Laura!
Karen

Deb said...

I'm so glad you came back and explained your post...what a nice story...I'm new to your blog...I like it...

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

Thank you for sharing your memories with us. I formed images in my mind and also wonder if you've made your way into Mexico to visit the old village. Mexico has some really beautiful places.

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing this story. What a fun family history. Good for your mother for being willing to go and live and soak up the culture.

Joy

Kim Evans Pigue said...

Thank you so much for the sweet story! I had a feeling they were your parents.

lagirl said...

I love a great love story, especially when it's a true one...I've signed on as a Follower, so I'll be back.

Stacey said...

What a neat family story to share. Thanks I really enjoyed it. :)

Lavender Chick said...

What a wonderful story about your parents as young newlyweds and building their lives. Did they have any idea during this time the legacies they would create?

Beautiful story. I too, for some reason have always felt I belong in Mexico.

Joyce said...

Amazing story..like pioneers. I love the fact that your Mom learned Canasta too.
Joyce

The Rev. C. Earl Mahan, Rector of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church & School said...

I really like this. Happy Mother's Day.

Fr. Earl

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