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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Leon- visit-Civilization!!!!!!!!

Well we are in house for 1 week, but hasn't really felt that way because we have very little in way of furnishings, etc. Up till yesterday, had a sofa, 1 bed, 1 small portable table-plastic, 2 small plastic chairs that have served as, desk, table, study area, and night stands. no stove hooked up, a refrigerator. Since there are about a dozen windows in both floors, at night Elaine has hung her sewing material she brought with her to drape over these long wooden rods that are over windows, 4 of which are over 8ft long. So its been challenging to close off at night for privacy but she had just enough mat'l to do that. She has measured for drapes, blinds etc. mean time every faucet in this house leaks and is so old that when you try to put in new flushing kits in toilets bowls they bolts break, or  you create a leak. So you then shut off the shut off valve right?? Wrong!!!!! Oh so wrong. Because when you turn the shut off- off, it creates too much pressure on the old valve and you know have a small "old faithful" in your bath, laundry, kitchen etc. Good thing I brought 1 roll of duct tape. We were out of clothes, and didn't want to bother our good friends to cycle some clothes for us, plus we just had got a used washer from the congregation here. It & the refrigerator were left by a couple that left, and several friends bought the items for a couple that was engaged, as a wedding present, but the wedding was called off, people moved so they have been storing them for awhile. So Tom brought his trailer over and we went to pick them up at a sisters house who had them stored. Well both of us are young & strong as we used to be, and the washer had to go up a flight of stairs. Next to the house where we picked them up were 2 day laborers, so in my somewhat limited spanish I negotiated with them to load both items in trailer, and ride with Elaine & I, while we followed Tom to our house. Glad we did. Saved the 2- Toms from going to chiropractor, or laying on ice for 3 days. So we followed tom in trailer. now here let me say that as an old teamster who loaded trucks for 3 years going over the road, I pride myself in being extra careful and using double the load usual tie-down-straps necessary. My buddy, Tom L whose trailer it was, and has hauled many items thru the streets of Dolores, lets just say is much less worried since he has the local experience. Well he strpped down the refrig, and washer, and we proceeded to slowly drive off on the dirt, hole filled road, with this 6ft narrow refrig, and washer, we follwed with the 2 laborers. Tom did great, slowly pulling out from the bumpy dirt lane to asphalt hwy into town. That is where it started unraveling, literally. From behind as we slowly went over the cobblestone road, for those familiar with old town, St. Charles, that was a smooth road compared to Dolores streets down town. They have kept the 500 yr old river/cobblestone streets in place. It is after all a historic town, famous for its pottery, and draws people from all over to buy the pottery. see pic.
So we watched, and since in Dolores you have to watch about 10 things at once when driving, pedestrians, bike riders cutting around you from every direction, taxis, buses, and the zillion of kids that populate this town, very good Catholics.
I heard Elaine cry out, "the straps are loose". Sure enough the bumpy roads loosened the straps so that the refrigerator is swaying now. I honk at Tom so he can get the message, but the traffic is such there isn't a way to stop in the 1 lane road, and he doesn't realize we are watching our new appliances tottering as he slowly drives over road. Finally there ia a place where he can pull to curb and we restrap both items, plus the 2 laborers with us, get out and stand in trailer supporting the appliances. Not so in O'Fallon, but here it is normal to see 2 men standing in a moving trailer, truck, etc.
The friends that go out in spanish territory to the haciendas, get about 15 people in back of p/u truck with that has benches in it, and go in service that way. That is a low # for what is normal here.
 My laptop desk, and new table, box that has my new desk chair in it! You learn to use the boxes, wrappings, etc here as you watch the people go thru the waste bags you set out. The people here use almost anything you throw away to earn money. You will see the cardboard scrapper with a 2 wheel cart, with his daily load of cardborad tied to it. Last night going to mtg, we walk its only 4 blocks, watched a father & son walking down the road each having a cardbord heavy duty box that maybe some fruit came in, and he salvaged, put 4 holes in the top part, put some nylon rope thru the top of box, under the bottom, back to top, and he & son both had that box with rope over shoulder carrying what they were selling that day! Walking side by side, Very enlightening & touching to see them walking & working together to put food on the table for the family. The little guy maybe about 8, keeping up with his dad, both carrying ther home-made means of transporting whatever it was, to provide a living. Do we need the new system or what. These people are amazing too see the closeness of family, and how every member contributes to help feed & house the family. The Family is everything here. Every member has to help as soon as they can to eat. Period. No excuses, no "oh its too hard" or he's too young. You could see the pride the little fella had in working with his dad, to earn the family's food for the day. There was a time in USA that that was the case, and weren't families closer? Charles & Laura Ingalls. Unfortunately the church, here takes advantage of that in so many ways, to keep the family in slavery to its traditions and false doctrines. As well as the "merchants" in town. And of course the politicians.  No wonder Jehovah sees all this, and can't wait to relieve mankind of this burden, brought on by greed.
 So we went yesterday to Leon, a town of 2 million plus, and found the americans haven of shopping and stores, to start getting some things to use & make our house a little more friendly. Drove thru & over the mountains and thru some interesting places. Here are some pics of Guanajauto, and on way to Leon.

Old spanish fortress walls.
 1 of many arched walkways over roads!
 The sheer cliff where people have built homes over 500 years is scary, and amazing. How would you like to walk up those steps every day for 60 years!

 1 of many tunnels to get thru the mountain town was built on.
 They do have their old world charm, if you can afford them. The average person here can't. Only the middle class, and upper class. The man I mentioned earlier will never eat at 1 of the outdoor cafes in his life! Or his son, more than likely. And its mostly very "reasonable" to us westerners. About 1/4 to 1/2 of what you'd pay in states.
Just a glimpse of the past, that isn't past here.

Anyway we made it. But trying to put a home together here. We are determined not to accumulate "stuff". Exception, Toms new TV. Notice our "drapes". A man has to have his priorities, right.

We made it back in time for meeting, Ron Mudge & I both had parts, so we came back a different way, longer but on the highways, so as to not be late. Meeting starts at 6:30. other car group, Portells & Lipperds picked up Brian Miller from airport, and even they made it to meeting, after waiting for Brian to navigate thru customs. So we came home with a new chair for my future desk, a night lamp for my bed so I can read at night, hardware, to replace the faucets and hang more clothesline for Elaine to hang out wash, bedspreads, towel hangar, and various other things. And we found coffee creamer, yea!
Then upon arriving found that our new bed had been delivered, and slept on it last night, Oh how I missed a good bed. So will end here, have FS to prepare for, faucets to fix, or try, roofs to climb to turn off water supply that is on roof, in a huge tank. But will see if I can borrow Tom L. extension ladder, again, to work on that. But only 1 thing at a time, Stress is not allowed. 
Love to all, Tom & Elaine


  1. Sounds great Tom! Keep the updates coming. The adventure continues.... I think I'll call it "Adventures of ELATO" !

  2. ahh very nice. love the drapes, true mexican style.