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Blurb

 

My face is on every television, in every newspaper. They say I’m saving the world. I know better. I’m a school principal not a superhero.

Of course that doesn’t explain the blood on my hands. Or the strange languages coming out of my mouth. Or the feel of swinging a machete. Or the sensation of lifting off the ground before I lose all memory.

Someone or something has hijacked my life. How do I get it back?

Alien contact leads to adventure and love as the characters involve themselves in world affairs in this science fiction novel series. But are humans given second chances after our superhero fights war or will the gods decide our fate?

 

Excerpt

 

“Sue,” Tom called. “You here?”

“In the supply room. Gotta check the back-up tapes. What do you need?”

“The Boss in?”

“Haven’t seen her.”

Tom took a step back, and surveyed the office. “Her door’s closed. Coast is clear. Listen Sue, what’s up with her?”

Sue shrugged. “I don’t know. She’s been vague and forgetful lately. Not like her at all.”

“Loses her train of thought. Did you notice her struggling for words at the staff meeting? That’s not like her at all. Normally sharp as a tack.”

Sue glanced out the door. Two teachers were passing through the office on their way to the staff room. She waited until they’d gone and lowered her voice. “Do you think we should talk to her?”

“I tried. As diplomatically, as I could.” Sue arched her brows. Tom chuckled. “Okay, so I asked her outright if she was okay.”

“And?”

“I don’t know. It was like she didn’t hear me. Like she was someplace else.”

“Do you think we should call her family?”

“Yeah, you should.”

“Me!?”

She didn’t need to overhear that conversation to know she was slipping away. Away to that other world.

 

And later in the story:

 

She picked up the phone, dialed Tom’s room. “Can you come to my office please?”

“What’s up, Boss. You sounded worried and I don’t mind telling you, you look like hell.”

She took a deep breath. “Do you believe in extraterrestrial beings?”

“Whoa, girl. Where did that come from?”

She shifted in her chair. “I… Nothing. Sorry. It was a bad dream I had last night. Spooked me is all.”

Tom frowned. “Are you sure you’re not sick or something?”

She nodded. “Yeah, sorry to have bothered you.” She waved a hand at him. “Now get out of here. Back to the kidlets.” Her grin was wobbly.

Tom grinned back, but felt like cursing. He found Sue refilling her coffee cup in the staffroom. “She’s not okay, is she?”

“No, and I don’t mind telling you I’m worried sick. She asked me today if I believed in aliens and then seemed heart broken when I said no. I thought she’d burst into tears then and there.”

“So what do we do?”

“I’ve called her family like you suggested last time we talked. Waiting to hear back.”

Tom squeezed Sue’s shoulder. “Let me know as soon as you get word. I’ll go with you to talk to them.”

 

 

Bringing memories home

 

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Fajitas served with fresh tortillas

The old cliche holds true yet again, for no matter the wonderful sights we’ve seen, no matter the delicious foods we’ve enjoyed, no matter the new experiences, no matter the warm and generous hospitality of our relatives, home sweet home–there’s no place like it.

We’ll savor the memories and settle back into the routines and comforts of home, the place that we hold dear, the place of safety and comfort and love.

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Roadside vendor with his bank of piggy banks.

From Cuernavaca to the Beach

And it’s hot, hot, hot. 36⁰C (96.8⁰F) Real feel 41⁰C (105.8) Humidity 92%.

We’re dripping as we head into town wearing the skimpiest dresses we own—the ones we got especially for this trip knowing, from experience, what we’d encounter. And it’s not just us sweltering. The residents comment on the heat too, clearly finding it difficult to deal with daily.

But, this morning we’re determined to check out the market.

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During the winter, the town square is swarming with tourists eyeing and buying—tapestries, fabrics, jewelry. The artisans travel from town to town hoping to make enough money to carry them through the summer months.

Now the square is empty, but the stalls stretching for several blocks down the street are bustling with locals buying household goods, home remedies, spices, socks and underwear, toys, pirated DVDs, tools, and parts for almost anything you could think of—from blenders to stoves, to …

Vendors trundle their carts and wheelbarrows over the cobblestones hawking their wares—peanuts, candies, drinks, and fruit. Others carry their products such as carpets and toys on their backs.

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And those clothes that you donate for poor countries? Yes, they are for sale too, along with new items in a multitude of colors and sizes.

How many of these vendors make sales? Will they have a profit today? Or tomorrow, in the next town? Or the day after that in yet another town?

In an attempt to escape from the heat, we try the ocean after a siesta. The water is as warm as a bath. We retreat to the shady corner of the pool. This water is even hotter, so it’s back inside to sit under the fans.

Why are we here at one of the worst times of the year temperature wise? Because the opportunity to see our friends and family again is worth the discomfort.

Cuernavaca – the menu

“We’re definitely in Mexico now,’ says the Munchkin as our bus makes its way out of Mexico City headed for Cuernavaca. “How do you know?” I ask. “Because there are stands instead of stores, and old buildings, and bumpy roads.” The munchkin is right (although there are stores, of course), but she neglected to mention the food, which is quite different in Cuernavaca than in our little beach town. IMG_20150622_102721572 We arrive in the early afternoon and our Mexican relatives take us to a little market where we indulge in blue-corn gorditas. Mine is filled with beans and cheese. I sample the salsas and choose one that is not too picante. With that, we enjoy a licuado de mamay–a sort of smoothie made from the mamay fruit. Delicious. The next day we are treated to tacos al pastor, the meat cooked on a vertical spit. IMG_20150621_164706585 “Do we like it?” our relatives ask. To which we reply, “Can we come back tomorrow?”And let’s not forget the stuffed chicken breast served with Oaxaca cheese and cactus, and the flan, and the Pinguinos, and the coffee and …   PS:  I broke my rule of not being invasive with my camera to take these two pictures for you.

Cuernavaca, Mexico

AgfaPhoto

AgfaPhoto

We’re excited to be abandoning the beach for part of this trip to Mexico to visit Cuernavaca, the City of Eternal Spring, founded seven centuries ago. This will be a very different view of the country for us. And the joke of the t-shirt? vaca = cow Lonely Planet: There’s always been a formidable glamour surrounding Cuernavaca (kwehr-nah-vah-kah), the capital of Morelos state. With its vast, gated haciendas and sprawling estates, it has traditionally attracted high-society visitors year-round for its warmth, clean air and attractive architecture. palace cuernavaca   Read more here: http://www.tourbymexico.com/morelos/cvca/cvca.htm

Recycling

We’ve been recycling for a long time and the city we now live in promotes recycling. We go down with one tiny bag of garbage and several big bags for recycling of paper, bottles, glass, hard plastic containers, milk cartons, soft plastic, foil lined bags, and returnables such as beer cans and wine bottles.

We have a special container and bags that decompose for organic items which will be used for soil enrichment.

All pretty typical, until we ran across this when out exploring one day. Recycling at its best for the Food Truck Festival which runs all year at the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC. IMG_20150518_103516560

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And, yes, the food is delicious.

 

 

It’s the I-5!

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It’s a beautiful sunny day in May and we’re off on a bit of an adventure. We take the ferry to Salt Spring Island to meet our friend, Wesley Clark. We own one of his paintings and we want at least one more for our new home.

Wesley meets us at the ferry terminal and takes us to his new place. He’s carved a space in the woods for a cabin and a studio. The first thing we notice as he drives into the yard is the wooden fish sculpture on the fence. Beautiful, but it wouldn’t fit in our condo.

Wesley gives us a tour of his property. Wesley builds. His wife gardens. Both the buildings and the gardens are works of art in themselves.

We go into his studio and two new paintings—so new they’re not even signed yet—hanging on the wall across from the door snag my attention. They’re dark and gritty and edgy—vertical stripes of black and grey with a few—very few—touches of color.

Me: Oh, I like those.

Wesley: They were inspired by a road trip to Mexico.

Me: It’s the I-5!

Wesley: That’s exactly right. I can’t believe you knew that.

Me: How could I not? You’ve captured the horrors of that drive too well.

And he has. The endless streams of traffic, the dull grays of the tarmac, the guard rails, the minute glimmers of green on each side of the roadway—the monotony.

We move on to see his other paintings. His works are varied. Primitive pieces, landscapes, nudes, abstracts … My favorites are the primitive shaman pieces, but we already have one of those and another would be overkill. We settle on an abstract full of dramatic color, but I’m drawn back again and again to the I-5 pictures.

Do I buy one of the I-5s? No and yes. I do not want the black pictures that so vividly depict the agony of that drive that we did more than once and yet I do. Wesley offers a compromise showing us his first I-5 painting—also vertical stripes, but with more color. They’re not as gritty or edgy, but this picture will look great in our entrance and be a wonderful reminder of the time I instantly “got” a piece of abstract art.

My I-5

I-5

To see more of Wesley Clark’s work go to: http://www.wesleyclarkfineart.com/