Monthly Archives: December 2016

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge…

Cee has opted for an open topic this week…so we get to post the photos of our choice!

I’ve chosen to post a few photos I took while in Mexico earlier this month.

We visited a local cemetery. This cross with the hat and cane really touched me. I imagine this gentleman must have been someone’s grandfather. And for some reason I think he must have been quite a character…

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This is Harley…his people were our hosts for the week.dsc_0265

And finally…a street sign.

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For more B & W photos, visit Cee’s page…you will not be disappointed.

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Thursday Doors – December 29, 2016

Merida, Yucatan

The St. Ildephonsus Cathedral in Merida, Yucatan was built during the 16th Century.

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The St. Ildephonsus Cathedral

So much of the architecture in Merida is beautiful, but sadly has a haunting history. The Cathedral, for example, was built on the ruins of the Mayan settlement Ichcansiho. The buildings of Merida, including the cathedral, were built by the Mayan people after they were enslaved by the Spaniards, their conquerers.

Notice the five slits below the window? Those slits were created as a method of defense, so the Spaniards could shoot the Mayans if they attempted to overtake the cathedral. dsc_0169

The main door of the Cathedral is known as “The Door of Forgiveness.” It is flanked by statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. But I must say to me it looks more like the door of a fortress than the door of a church.

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Main Door

If you are a door enthusiast come join Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm 2.0

Path…Finding Life’s Lesson

Each time we choose a path we risk obstacles.

But not all obstacles are bad.

Sometimes life requires bumps and dips to get us to the place we need to be.

Sometimes we need to walk through a lot of muck to learn the lessons we will need tomorrow.

Don’t grimace at the obstacles, embrace them and embrace the lessons you will learn.

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Perdernales Falls State Park – Texas

Post inspired by The Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge

Thursday Doors – December 22, 2016

We recently vacationed in Yucatan Mexico. I got so excited about the variety of doors I told my friends about Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm 2.0, and commenced taking as many door pictures as I could.

I think I will have enough to last several months!dsc_0926

The first night in Yucatan we stayed at Gran Hotel in Merida. The hotel was built in the mid 1800’s. I could have stayed there for the entire week. The classic architecture, old world charm and kind staff members made our stay quite enjoyable.

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Our room

If you would like to see more doors from around the world visit Norm 2.0

Riding on Faith

What could possibly prompt a person to ride their bike, day after day, for 10 days, from one town to the next? Is there anything important enough in your life that you would run endless miles in order to celebrate its existence?
I know these questions sound strange coming from me since I seem to be in constant search of crazy adventures and goals. But I actually have a reason for asking…

While in Yucatan Mexico I witnessed multiple groups of young people riding their bikes and other groups of young people running on the roadside, all for one reason, to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.dsc_0931

Each group carried large banners with an image of the saint. Many of the young people fastened framed pictures of the virgin to their bikes. dsc_0990
I’m going to assume many of you are as clueless as me concerning this saint. I’ve seen her picture, I’ve seen her statue and even altars built for her praise. Honestly I never thought anything more than “There is a statue of the Virgin Mary.” The thing is Our Lady of Guadalupe is much more to the Mexican people than just being the Virgin Mary…she is their saint.

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A van full of kids waiting for their turn to run

Prior to my trip to Mexico I knew next to nothing about this saint. But the young people, enthusiastically celebrating the patron saint of Mexico, peeked my interest and since I’ve been back in the States I have been reading up on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

According to articles I’ve read the Virgin Mary appeared several times to an Aztec farmer named Juan Diego in 1521. When the farmer went to the Bishop and reported the Virgin Mary had appeared and asked for a church to be built on that specific spot the bishop did not believe him and asked for proof.
When he returned to her, The Virgin Mary filled Juan’s cloak with roses. He returned to the bishop and opened his cloak to dump out the roses when an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared where the roses had been.

This is a very condensed version of the story. But there are so many facets of this story that I find fascinating.
The thing is, Our Lady of Guadalupe is more than just the Virgin Mary. She presented herself in a way that allowed the people to feel she was one of them, not an untouchable figure. She presented herself to a farmer, she spoke their language and the image that appeared on Juan’s cloak featured many important symbols of the Aztec people.
This incident allowed the people of Mexico to meld their believes as Aztecs with Christianity resulting in one of the largest periods of conversion in human history.dsc_0534

The pilgrimage of the bike riders and runners begins each year on December 2nd and continues until December 12th, of which is the day Juan showed the bishop proof that the Virgin Mary did indeed appear. Each night of the 10 days the riders pull into a village, sounding sirens and waving to the people that have gathered to greet them. The local church typically feeds them and they are given a place to sleep. It appeared to me that the villages were quite pleased to play host to the young people riding for their saint.dsc_0264

Our hosts while in Mexico were quite gracious. I had become so intrigued by the young people, that had taken on this challenge, that each time we saw a group riding/running down the road I begged to stop and take pictures. I was also fortunate that our friends lived only a block from the main road. This allowed me to run out and witness groups enter town in the evening and exit in the morning.

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Support – following in the pick-up truck

Since I’ve ridden long distances on my bike I know how difficult it can be. The fact that these young men and women are riding bikes that are not “new”, not properly fitted and not meant to be ridden long distances makes it even more amazing to me.
Why would someone ride mile after mile, and day after day? I’m sure we all could have our reasons…but it appears for these young people…its faith.

No Phone?

We are leaving on vacation today (Mexico) and I am struggling. Not because I am going to enjoy a week in the sun relaxing, visiting and playing…but because I have to remember how to function without a phone. Yep, its the withdraw from technology I am struggling with.

We spent 45 minutes on the phone with AT&T (last night) trying to do things we should have done months ago…(please don’t judge…we know we are procrastinators!) AT&T has this new rule that you can’t get unlimited calls unless you have their cable service…well our cable service is in Tina’s name…we tried getting international for me but found it was still going to be expensive….so to make a really long (45 minutes to be exact) story much much shorter….we’ve decided I will simply not use my phone…..NOT use my phone!! Wow….

Its not really about the phone calls…I don’t care to talk on the phone. Its more about posting on Facebook, playing games, Instagram, WordPress, and texting thoughts that pop into my head to people who might (or might not) care to hear those thoughts….it’s feeling cut off.

Driving to the airport this morning Tina and I talked about how we used to vacation without cell phones. We actually used to function every day, quite well without cell phones. But not anymore. I have checked my “cell phone pocket” multiple times this morning…just to be assured its there.

So my little farm and factories on “Township” will have to wait till I return. My Words with Friends opponents will have to wait longer than usual for me to play my turn. And my cousin (one of 2 people that will play Wordox with me) will also have to put our games on hold.

I know my time will be occupied, I’ve even considered reading a book while we are away, and I know after a few days I will even quit checking my “phone pocket” for the security blanket…wish me luck. And of course wish Tina luck…she will have to deal with my withdraws!!