Margie Hord

Expat by Default

Category: Mexico

“All Dolled up”: Amealco, a Magic Town in Querétaro, Mexico

Each of Mexico’s magic towns (“pueblos mágicos”) has its own personality, its own kind of magic, and Amealco, in the central state of Queretaro, is no exception.

After visiting two nearby “magic towns” where the popular Queretaro dolls were visible everywhere, I was delighted to visit a town that is even closer to its origins: Amealco. In Nahuatl, Amealco means “place where water springs forth”, and creativity also springs forth in local crafts and culture.

“Breathe, relax, enjoy”… was the message this place brought me. After visiting nearby Peña de Bernal, with streets lined with shops and street stands catering to crowds of tourists (with a lot of junk as well as local or Mexican crafts), it was a relief to find fewer tourists and considerably less commercialism. The other relief was the climate, perhaps in the low 70’s F (low 20’s Celsius), after the sweltering dry heat of the lower valleys. My visit coincided with the long Easter break, so certainly there were more tourists than on your normal weekday, but there was an obvious difference from the previous spots.

Amealco, compared to Peña de Bernal (with its characteristic rock monolith) and Tequisquiapan (both in the “Wine and Cheese Route”) is unique in that it is more specifically enriched by its indigenous surroundings. Although one can identify Otomi women in the other towns and in the state capital, often selling their ware, they are more ubiquitous here, as their native communities are nearby.

Santiago Mexquititlán and Santiago Ildefonso are in the municipality of Amealco. Each boasts its own traditional costume for women. Narrow pleats and ruffled necklines are especially distinctive.

In the town square of Amealco, besides the church and the large letters for photo-ops that are now the fashion all over Mexico, there are bronze-colored statues of “the Otomi doll”or “the Maria doll” and her male companion. The handmade cloth doll with looped ribbons in her braids became famous worldwide this year as a larger-than-life version of her travelled around the world.

One drawing card here is the Museo de la Muñeca (Doll Museum), which includes a considerable variety of artisanal dolls from around the country, many made of cloth, some of palm leaf, and so on. In recent years the National Indigenous Doll Festival has created another opportunity for tourists to come in greater numbers.

Nearby, on the same side of the town square, are the Tourist Office and also a cooperative store where Otomí women offer a variety of crafts from the area: exquisitely embroidered items, clothing, dolls (of course), furniture, woven palm items, and even natural remedies.

For those who wish to stay longer, there are a good number of hotels and restaurants; one can take advantage of side trips to the Otomí towns, to a waterfall, and so on. Outside town is the impressive theme hotel “Misión la Muralla”, which offers Mexican-Revolution-based décor and activities.

Just as “la muñeca” has been taken from this region around the world, Amealco would like to take you into its heart. It’s all dolled up and waiting!

Not Just Christmas: The Extended Mexican Holidays

selective focus photography of truck carrying party hatsMexicans don’t worry much about political correctness when it comes to holidays. Two of the big ones are Semana Santa (“Holy Week”) and Christmas. They may have become more secularized over the years, but their names still denote their Christian origin. Another distinguishing characteristic is that they tend to last longer than in many other parts of the world.

“Christmas vacation” isn’t just a few days or a week long. If you’re a student or teacher, you may have up to three weeks free! It’s also the time when many employees look forward to their annual aguinaldo or Christmas bonus, so spending is at the max.

white candle lot

One custom I heard about my first year in Mexico was that of posadas. Traditionally, these are nine days of religious ceremonies or processions where believers travel to different homes and “ask for posada” or lodging, reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay. Hand-held candles light the way. At each place they sing, asking for lodging, until finally they are accepted. There a celebration is held and piñatas are broken gaily.

That’s the tradition, but as I discovered, in reality nowadays the term posada is often used for a pre-Christmas party of any kind! In fact, I have rarely seen the type that is described above. Mexicans love to party, and as some have observed, they may be “broke” when it comes to anything else, but there’s always enough money for a party!

There’s a humorous phrase that’s surfaced in recent years to refer to the extended holiday season: “el puente Guadalupe-Reyes”. Usually puente (“bridge”) refers to a long weekend, but in this case it refers to this extended time of celebration between December 12th (the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) and January 6th, Epiphany or Kings’ Day (Día de Reyes). In particular, food lovers will joke that it’s the time to abandon diets for a while!

Some celebrate Guadalupe day by making pilgrimages to the Basilica in Mexico City, but most cities have a church dedicated to this virgin and will have fairs with food stands and games set up around it. Parents will dress their children up in Indian costume to represent Juan Diego (or a feminine counterpart) to visit the church. Those who are in the know will avoid driving anywhere near such sites at that time of year!

From early on in December, dinners and parties abound, so that it’s hard to plan anything without many guests apologizing because they have a commitment. (My birthday is on December 11th, so I should know!) Schools, companies, offices, churches, groups of friends… each wants to celebrate!

The culminating activity, family-oriented, is Christmas Eve. Taxi rates soar on December 24th. From days beforehand, markets and stores bustle with shoppers preparing for the feast. Roast leg of pork is a favorite, though turkey is another option. A popular and eye-catching salad is ensalada de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve salad), which includes beets, oranges and peanuts, among other ingredients. Stuffed chiles are also common fare. A dish I had to get used to is bacalao or bacalao a la vizcaína, a complex and pricey mix of salted codfish, tomato, chiles, capers and more. The codfish, preferably Norwegian, is previously soaked to reduce the salt content and then shredded or cut up and seasoned as it cooks.

Image result for ponche navideño

The most typical beverage of the season, which I only get to enjoy two or three times a year at most, is ponche, a hot punch which is chockfull of fruits such as guavas, apples, sugar cane, small yellow tejocotes, and sometimes tamarinds or hibiscus flowers. Spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with panela or piloncillo, this hits the spot on cold winter nights.

Each family has its own Christmas traditions. Catholics may sing a lullaby to the Christ child in their nativity scene. Others may have a posada with small candles and songs. Where there are children, a piñata is a must! Peanuts and miniature fruit are the traditional filling, but nowadays candies and such often take their place. Sparklers, sky-bound lanterns and firecrackers add to the light and sound. A more modern type of entertainment for some families is an after-dinner karaoke sing.

What about gifts? That depends. Some groups or families organize a gift exchange at any of the smaller Christmas parties. Either the 24th or the 25th, there may be gifts under the tree, especially for children. Santa Claus, a more recent import, may or may not be involved. In the past, “el niño Dios” (the Christ child) was said to bring presents, but I haven’t heard of that tradition among our acquaintances.

It strikes me that, as with American or Canadian Thanksgiving, the focus is mostly on eating and socializing, just enjoying family. That takes the pressure off too much expectation of gifts.

Image result for Dia de reyes carta

What kids look forward to most is January 6th, el Día de Reyes! (A little-known fact is that it is the the Twelfth Day of Christmas in Western tradition, with December 25th being the first day.) It’s those “three kings” or magi who really bring toys and such, as far as most are concerned. Our Mexican relatives, at one point, gave the little ones clothing items such as PJ’s for Christmas, so January 6th was the BIG day for presents.

So, much as you’ll see lots of Santas in malls and elsewhere, after Christmas you’ll begin to see trios of men in costume, even in the main square or zócalo, offering photo ops and more. One inevitably is dark-skinned or has his face painted black, as the legendary Baltazar (Balshazzar) is of African origin. His companions are Melchor and Gaspar.

On the eve of “Reyes”, children will put out a shoe for the kings, ideally with their letter of gift preferences. Food will be left out for the horse, the camel and the elephant: peanuts, hay or grass, water, etc.

In more recent years, it became popular to buy helium balloons the day before, put their wish list inside and send it to the heavens. Probably that was invented by balloon-sellers! It has been fun to see multi-colored globos drifting upwards at this time of year. However, the latest trend is to promote a return to the traditional “letter in a shoe” as more eco-friendly.

The last diet-quashing goodie of the season is the rosca de reyes, a ring cake or sweet bread in the shape of an oval wreath. It is meant to represent the elaborate headdress of “the kings”, with colorful candied fruit (figs, candied fruit strips, etc.). It’s delicious, usually made with agua de azahar (orange blossom water) as well. Usually this is accompanied with hot cocoa. The special emphasis is on the plastic baby doll (now, several babies!) representing the Christ child, hidden from Herod. In Spain, the tradition was to have a large haba or fava bean in the cake. Each person has to cut their own piece of rosca, and those who find the figurine are supposed to host the party or contribute to the tamales on February 2nd!

Wait, February 2nd? Right, Candelmas or the day of the Virgin of Candelaria. Were the tamale-makers jealous of the bakers? Anyway, for some reason it’s traditional to celebrate with tamales on that day, perhaps with the excuse that they are wrapped up like the Christ child? Catholics dress up a rather large image of the Christ child on that day to have it blessed in church.

In the end, we might say that the season lasts longer than I first mentioned! Perhaps we should call it the “puente Guadalupe-Candelaria”?

Angels in Disguise: A Border Incident

Once in a while, you get into a muddle and it seems like there’s no way out. Sometimes the answer comes in the way of “angels” in disguise.

My story happened way back in the 70’s, so the details are fuzzy. I had gone from central Mexico way up to Brownsville, Texas to renew my tourist visa. Truth is, I was a student.

After finishing my paperwork, I bought a bus ticket back and was set to go… until I was asked for a certain amount of money (a few hundred dollars) to show that I could support myself during my stay in Mexico. Oops!

Though I had opened a bank account in Mexico, it wasn’t a good idea to explain that when I was entering on a tourist visa!

That was, of course, before cell phones and internet and rapid money transfers. Suddenly I felt stranded, at a loss as to how to proceed, in a city where I knew no one.

A middle-aged woman (angel?) nearby overheard the discussion and understood my predicament. As she was about to board the southward-bound bus herself, she quickly indicated that I should look up her daughter and son-in-law, and scribbled down their address. They would at least be able to put me up for the night.

Don’t ask me how I found the apartment, or how I finally got up my nerve to knock.

“Who is it?”

In a broken voice, I responded: “Someone your mom knows”… So convincing, of course! All in Spanish, by the way.

A few more questions were asked before the door was opened; they were undoubtedly surprised to see a young white woman at her wits’ end. Knowing myself, my cheeks probably showed a few tear tracks.

In the end, they offered me supper and a sofa bed, and figured out what to do. The next day was payday and one of them would pick up their pay and lend me the money to show to the person who wanted proof of my financial solvency.

As planned, the following day they accompanied me to the bus station. After I had flashed “my” bucks for the surprised official who remembered me from my first intent, I went to give my hosts a goodbye hug and slip them the money.

I’m quite sure I sent a thank-you letter to that couple at some point. It was truly a miracle that they had trusted me enough to offer me lodging, but even more so, to lend me a considerable amount and believe that I would return it!

In Mexico they’ve recently coined a word, “Diosidencia, something like a “Godcidence” instead of a coincidence. (The final “s” in Dios makes it work better and fit into “coincidencia”). It’s a term I love to use when God seems to be behind an apparently random occurrence, which is truly a godsend.

There’s a Scripture verse that reminds me that I too should be hospitable:

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

What’s interesting is that we speak of “angels in disguise” more as the doers, not the recipients. Perhaps you will be that person for someone, or perhaps others will appear on the scene for you. When you’re in the tightest spot, expect the impossible to happen!

Feel free to share one of YOUR “Godcidences” with me below.

California: Am I in the US?

Years ago, an international event found me in Anaheim, California and one day I went sight-seeing with my colleagues from Mexico, where I live. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant/ cafeteria, where we selected items before paying. I was the last one from my group in line, and was flabbergasted when the Chinese cashier spoke to me in Spanish. Obviously, despite my very Anglo-Saxon looks, she realized I was with the Mexicans and was well-prepared to attend us. It was then that I realized how important Spanish was in California.

Recently, family connections have brought me to southern California again. It’s easy to forget I’m in the States when every other person seems to be speaking Spanish. Amazingly, Hispanics now make up 39% of the state’s population (Texas comes in a close second place with 38%) and Spanish is the second most spoken language.  Continue reading

Understanding Mexican Courtesy or “Buena Educación”

 

When I was in Spain a few years ago, it shocked me to find a server treating us somewhat rudely, until I remembered a friend once telling us “you almost have to use swear words to get a waiter’s attention in Spain!” What?  Then other contacts have confirmed that Spaniards tend to be very direct and in-your-face, often appearing offensive to courteous Latin Americans.

It has occurred to me that, as Mexican culture is a fusion of Spanish and indigenous influence, perhaps its emphasis on extreme politeness and “doing the right thing” is more related to its indigenous roots after all! It is commonly called “buena educación”, which is a bit more all-encompassing than “good manners”. It has to do with being a decent person, or as Paul Yeatman says, having “good upbringing”. Among other things, he says, “Personal hygiene and courtesy are of primary importance, from the look of the fingernails to table manners to the rituals of politeness”. Continue reading

Why I Love Language and Languages

Why I Love Language and Languages

Basic to human communication, words and language captivate me. I grew up knowing English and Spanish, and took Latin in high school. After taking a linguistics course (both challenging and fascinating) in my B.A. classes for Anthropology, I decided it was worth learning more, and my later studies focused on descriptive and applied linguistics.

When I say I studied linguistics, some have asked me how many languages I know, as if they expect me to be a polyglot. Not so, by any means. At school we practiced pronouncing words from a wide range of languages. We analyzed the phonology (sound systems) and structure of dozens of them, as well, including a number of indigenous languages and others from all around the world. I have studied a little French, and spent a summer learning Koiné Greek.

In southern Mexico for a few months, I learned some basics of the Tzeltal language, of the Mayan family, and loved its glottalized sounds (such as those similar to p, t, and k), a bit difficult to learn. These consonants sound somewhat explosive, producing a sort of popping noise. I once even read a story in Tzeltal to a family, and they understood it! Decades later, I barely remember a few words and phrases, and a little song.

Language Sounds

The world’s languages have a considerable variety of sounds, and confusing similar sounds (especially when our own language doesn’t include them) can make a major difference in meaning. In descriptive phonetics, one learns how sounds are produced and how to write transcriptions with technical symbols. In Canada, I once met a Laotian refugee family that our church was helping to get established. It was fun for me to learn a few words from their language, and try to pronounce their names correctly. The woman’s name sounded, to many English speakers, like “phew!” and made them laugh. She seemed delighted when, with my phonetics training, I was able to pronounce it correctly.

Making an effort to learn people’s languages shows you care and value them; it crosses barriers.

Tonal languages add another dimension to their phonology (sound system), where the tone in which a word is pronounced being essential to the meaning. Perhaps most famous in this aspect is Chinese, but in Mexico there are a number of tonal languages, including Mixtec. My father-in-law, a native speaker, got a kick out of saying a list of similar words that had totally different meanings, depending on their tone, nasalization, and the presence of sounds known as glottal stops. (To understand what that means, listen to the sound at the beginning and in the middle of “uh-oh”).

Resultado de imagen para aztec

Words and Word Structure

Later on, the organization where I worked asked me to check out the progress made by another linguist on a dictionary in one of the variants of Náhuatl, sometimes known as Aztec. There was a great deal still to be done, but I spent some time adding words and definitions; however, a number of complications came up and the dictionary was never published. All the same, I grew to appreciate some of the complexities of the language; the way it adds on countless prefixes and suffixes is hard to master and creates some surprisingly long words.

By the way, Mexican Spanish has a great deal of loan words from Náhuatl, but even English has adopted several. For example, there’s tomato, avocado, chocolate, chile, taco, and coyote. Usually several changes have occurred, as in coyote coming from “coyotl”.

 

Especially intriguing was the variety of onomatopoeic words in Náhuatl. In English, this type of words would include those like “pop”, “crash”, and “cock-a-doodle-do”, which imitate an actual sound. When I’d try to write a definition for some of those terms, it would be hard to find an English or Spanish equivalent. One word, for example, meant approximately “a sound like a horse galloping across a wooden bridge”. The way each language has unique words with very specific meanings is another of the facets that delight me.

Grammar and Syntax

Another feature of each language is its unique structure and rules (both syntax and grammar), whether or not a linguist has analyzed them. In Mexico, however, one often hears people refer erroneously to the indigenous languages as “dialects”, considering them somehow inferior, merely oral languages “without a grammar”. A speaker of the complex Otomí tongue was once told his language “didn’t have a grammar”; he ran to get the recently-published, voluminous book on the grammar of his language, proudly showing it off.

Sociolinguistics

Before I sign off, let me touch briefly on sociolinguistics, which deals with how language and society are intertwined. The way we speak depends on the context, from informal to formal, which is more important in some languages than in others. One Náhuatl group has a specific, ultra-formal way of speaking that is only used in ceremonies among godparents and godchildren! Then there are ways of expressing ourselves such as slang and jargon, spoken solely by those belonging to an in-group.

 

Bilinguals and multilinguals may use the languages they speak differently. Sociolinguists study this, as well. In Haiti, for instance, Creole is almost exclusively spoken at home and with friends, whereas French is reserved for formal contexts such as school, church, and government. (If you want the fancy word for that, it’s called diglossia.) In many countries, speakers of indigenous languages do not tend to use them for reading or writing, just orally, and schools tend to focus on the national language.

Although I’ve only flown over the surface of some aspects of language,  it’s a very complex subject, but one which offers much to learn.

Just as each human group can be identified by its particular culture, its language is an essential part of its identity. Each of the world’s tongues has value, as do those who speak them!

The Blessings and Woes of Teaching

Woman wearing watch and green dress, holding green apple with sunlight streaming in

I just “retired” after a quarter century of part-time teaching, mostly at the university level. That’s in quotes because it was not an option with any severance pay or benefits, but it’s time to move on.

When I was a student, someone suggested I might become a teacher someday. My answer? “I don’t have the patience!”

It was not my plan to become a teacher, but that’s where a job opened up; then finishing my M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) opened up other doors. There was more of a demand in that area than in that of descriptive linguistics, where I had taken initial Master’s courses.

My experiences are of course not universal to all teachers because I speak as one who worked part-time, in Mexico, mostly in universities and mainly teaching English as a Foreign Language. Let me begin with some of the woes, getting them out of the way before I speak of a few blessings.

Woes

A woman with a cup of tea working on a laptop

  • Homework… for Teachers Too

To make a twist on an old saying: The 9-to-5-ers work sun to sun, but a teacher’s work is never done! Whether part- or full-time, most of us arrive home to plan classes, check homework, design tests, and work on grades. This makes it very tricky to plan family time or leisure time, as the unpredictable often comes up, as well. Without interviewing my husband and kids, I’m sure they were often frustrated by this fact of life.

Resultado de imagen para bored

  • Teaching the Unmotivated

It is a delight to teach those who want to learn, which may happen most with those preschoolers who are like sponges, lapping it up. At times I’ve taught in language institutes where students have specific reasons and motivations for learning English: to pass an exam, to apply for a job, to travel. At colleges, in contrast, most kids are there simply because it’s a required subject. The fact that it’s a requirement for graduation is a type of motivation, but often that goal seems quite far off. Many see little relation of the topic to their majors.

Added to this is the lack of attention that has become rampant with the prevalence of cell phones, much as they are usually “forbidden” except for specific activities. Controlling their use is still a challenge at the college level.

At the same time, the apparent lack of motivation or interest can be seen as a challenge to teachers, to seek out ways to connect with students and what interests them.

Of course, some of my readers may teach courses where the majority of those in their classes are keen on the subject- lucky you! “Hands-on” activities would be an exception too, I’d expect.

  • Limited by the Syllabus

The syllabus for English courses tends to include the four skills of language (Writing, Reading, Speaking and Listening) as well as grammar structures and vocabulary. Exams tend to be based on the topics and structures covered in the textbook, so teachers often don’t dare to stray far from what’s required and what will be tested. I was often afraid to add other activities and get behind on what I “had to” cover. Could I finish the book? Was there anything I dared to skip over?

A smart phone displaying the Facebook page and scrabble tiles forming the words “social media”

  • Grading

Probably both teachers and students would agree that what they least like about school is grades. On the one hand, for teachers, there’s working out the formulas, percentages, spreadsheets, what have you. One decimal point missing and you panic before you figure out what’s wrong!

On the other hand are the results. “Oh dear, Marcela’s got a borderline grade, and her scholarship depends on a good average.” “What do I do? Francisco’s tried so hard, but he’s not going to make it!” Then there’s those who beg for “just another point” (or more), who think I can give them extra work to help their grade, who cry as they tell me their parents will kill them, who follow me around, hoping to wear down my resistance.

Blessings

  • Loving the Topic

Ideally, we teach what we love, although this isn’t always a given. As I’ve written in another blog post, I love language. Even English, with its spelling quirks and tricky modals, is interesting as well as challenging. Sometimes I’ll find myself telling students why that unpronounced “gh” shows up in words like “light”: it used to be pronounced in Old English! It is even fascinating to me when I learn something about my own language, like a rule I didn’t know existed, much as I have always applied it “by ear” as native speakers do.

Water splashing against a lightbulb

  • Being Creative

Above I mentioned often feeling overwhelmed by covering textbook material and syllabus requirements. However, it’s always fun to think of something new, or find material that will help a topic come alive, and throw in a little creativity. That certainly is an antidote for unmotivated pupils! Creating games and quizzes on apps has been another fun, educational activity.

Once a class included a chapter related to children; I hunted down a few kids’ books that were still around my house and had students reading them and commenting in class. They had a great time! The girl who had The Velveteen Rabbit, the longest book of all, couldn’t put it down till she finished.

  • Working with Youth 

As a rule, my work has been with college students, in the transition between their teens and professional life. Being with them has helped keep me young, as I identify with their frustrations, their victories, and their dreams. They represent a great variety of majors. They are truly developing into unique individuals, and I’ve had rugby players, kids in national chess championships, a girl who does aerial dancing, another who’s spent a semester in Japan… They can be a fascinating bunch.

One “small world” experience occurred once when I was waiting with my son for a bus in the freezing cold outside the Montreal airport. The young man next to us asked where we were from, then after a bit identified me. Hadn’t I been his teacher years ago? At that time, he admitted, learning English wasn’t a priority. Now that he was working on a PhD at McGill, he realized that it had definitely been important!

Once in a while, there are special perks: students bringing cake on Teacher’s Day, a young woman giving me a scarf she’d knitted, encouraging comments on the anonymous evaluations I usually dreaded. Sometimes we sang Christmas carols accompanied by my autoharp at the end of fall semester. A couple of times I wrote a special poem for my class, one being for the group that lived through a scary earthquake with me on the fifth floor.

At the end of many a semester, as I grumbled about grading, my husband would joke, “Maybe you need to find another job!” Yet I hung in there for 25 years and am glad for all that I learned and the many wonderful people I met.

Raising Bilingual Kids as an Expat

Our son was three or so when he entered preschool. After a few days, his “miss”, as they often call female teachers in Mexico, asked, “Do you understand what he says?” Obviously, she didn’t. We had gotten used to his childish language, in which he mixed a bit of English and Spanish. Of course, before long he straightened things out.

When I took a course in bilingualism as part of my M.A. studies, I wondered if it was too late to help my children become as fully bilingual as possible. But looking back, we hadn’t done that badly, even when our actions were not necessarily the result of conscious decisions at all times. Continue reading

Expat by Default

 

Once I was interviewed for a book about expatriates in Mexico. In the end, the editor indicated a chapter had to be cut out to limit the length of it all, and… guess what? That meant my story. My take on it is that mine was chosen because I was not your “normal” expat compared to the others included, not a retiree who had chosen to live in Mexico instead of the U.S. or Canada, for example. Besides, my husband is Mexican.

That’s about when it occurred to me that for much of my life I’ve been an expat by default, not so much by a conscious decision to live in a country, but due to my connection to other people.
Growing up in Central America was the result of my Dad’s choosing to work there. Marrying a Mexican in Mexico meant, for me at least, taking for granted that we would live here, where he had a small business and would not have to start out from scratch in a foreign language.

Living here by default means that I never really had to take inventory of the pros and cons of living in one country or another. I took Mexico with its pluses and its blemishes, which were mostly familiar to me after studying and working here. Then again, I had spent so little time living in Canada that when people ask “Do you miss Canada?”, it’s hard to say that I do. Of course one misses family, but I also grew up far from all our relatives, knowing that in the summer we’d see at least some of them.

As a Christian, I realize that I am also an expat by default, of sorts. Scripture says we are citizens of a higher realm, who will never feel completely at home until we are there with our heavenly Father. In reality, I did not choose to follow Christ; he chose me and when the time was ripe, I responded. I’m a pilgrim here, not fully attached to one culture or another, but feeling a special connection with others who share the same “citizenship”, no matter what their background.

Fellow pilgrims, let’s make the most of whatever world we live in, and never get too comfortable with where we are, for our true home is around the corner!

© 2019 Margie Hord

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