Friday, July 04, 2008

Flicks from the Past

Most of you know that I am in Puerto Rico taking care of my mom. Just doing a little to help out my sisters that have been taking care of her full time. It really isn't a burden because Mami, is real sweet. We worked on mending bridges a long time ago and have been close ever since. One of the nicest parts of it, is hearing her stories about our family and how things were in the past. How she would walk La Finca or the place where she grew up in. She'll tell how her brothers Victor and Angel would give her a special look just after lunch and they would all run off somewhere in la finca to play. They would race up to the top of a hill right in front of where all our houses are now. Other times they would go to "la piedra en la laja, and swim in the river and soil their clothes. Sometimes getting a spanking for spending too many hours out in the wild. She tells me of La Vega Honda, another area, like a meadow between two hills, in the finca which she enjoyed walking. Isn't that something to know a property or piece of land so well that each corner has a name. Maybe we can walk it and find where each place is at.

Its odd because I have been coming to this finca in el Barrio Lomas en Naranjito for so long, but we have mostly been to the same place every time, only where the old house had been. La finca itself was divided into 10 sections and given as inheritance to my mom's nine siblings and herself. Much of that has been sold to third parties.

In all the time the property was intact, I can only remember once climbing the hill with Mami. It was sometime way back in the sixties when Doris and I got those atrocious permanents. Thank God not that permanent!! I remember standing near a very huge mango tree up on that hill. Sweaty from the climb and a little scratched from the grasses but other than that very satisfied to be able to overlook the area. We were pampered kids then and didn't realize then that Mami was sharing one of her favorite life experiences with us.

Isn't that how life is? We stumble around bumping into each other and many times not realizing that some one else is communicating what they love to us. Actually what love is to them. I think she treasured that place because of the embodiment of experiences there. That is why we love our land. Whether here or somewhere else. The land itself represents the experiences we have had there as well as the shared experiences of others.

Some of my uncles and aunts have houses on top of the hill where the old house used to stand and maybe some day I will, too. I don't know. I am so torn. Torn between where I live right now, and what I have here. In a way, I am spoiled, too. Spoiled by the comfort of the status quo. We'll see. All I know I want to live a life of significance. Maybe it isn't time just yet to make that move. In the meantime, I will seize the day, and sometime this trip, climb that hill. Hopefully before I go back to Orlando, and give mom a report about the sights up on her special hill.

About the pictures, I need to scan them I know. And I will when I go retrieve them. The first one is of Mami with my older sister Doris, and the next one is Mami posing. I think she was beautiful and I always lamented not getting her nose. Every body else in the family did. Oh well, you can't dwell on that. Beneath that picture, are all my aunts minus Titi Sarita, who happened to sew all those lovely dresses. From left to right are Titi Juanita, Mami, Titi Georgina, and Titi Carmen.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

El Yunque Jaunt


Recently, I went with Motley Crew 2, Victor, Carmen, and Mami to El Yunque. Thanks to the fact that Victor had a done a presentation at the Rain Forest for the Astronomy Society here in PR, we were able to get into El Portal gratis. We were there for an official visit, since Victor was making arrangements for a future night time event involving the Astronomy Society. It is not my prerogative to disclose any further information so we will leave it at that.

Two curious things were observed. First a beautiful bug followed me for a few minutes. I guess it was checking out my perfume, but it was a glistening multicolored (turquoise, sap green and lime) fly. If you look closely at the picture, it appears to be reading the sign to watch out for a slippery floor. The second curiosity was graffiti of the oddest kind. Graffiti on leaves. The truth I have taken an interest in graffiti, because many times it involves a love message. So I took several pictures of which you will see only one.

Later, we drove through the park and stopped to smell the flowers. You will not be disappointed if you smell the flowers pictured here. The fragrance is divine.
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

El Auxilio Mutuo Celebrates

This is a Silver Hair Adventure of the ordinary kind. It was a doctor's visit, which turned into a picture taking activity. This is the hospital where I had my three babies. The hospital where Don Jose Canino Castro, my children's grandfather, was a founding member. He was so proud. When Juan Daniel, my son, was born it was celebrating its 100th anniversary, and he got a special little T shirt (I still have it.)commemorating the event. Now they are celebrating 125 years.

This achievement is intimately interwoven with the history of Puerto Rico and La Madre Patria, Spain. The founding organization of the hospital is called La Sociedad Espanola or the Spanish Society. If you look closely at the last picture, you will see some mosaics way in the background which look like a swirl but later become the symbol of the hospital which includes the colors of the Spanish and Puerto Rican flags. It's almost poetical. I loved its simplicity and complexitiy.

One of the most beautiful and concrete reminders of this 125 year union are the majestic centennial trees that are scattered on the property. If these trees could talk what stories would they tell of babies coming into this world, of life saving experiences, of healings, kindnesses by the hermanitas that serve there, the farewells, and deliverances. What a beautiful place full of grace. I hope those trees which have witnessed so much as well as the four walls surrounding each building last many many more years serving Puerto Rico with the love of God.

Recent Paintings


When you are learning to paint, who have to try the basics so I decided to try some still life and tried somethings I had near by like kitchen utensils. I love how Charles Reid introduces some to these to his flower compositions. As I was imitating one of his paintings, Big Bouquet, I realized how he framed some of his flowers with small but deep green leaves around his roses. I get a real kick out of imitating his work because I learn so much by doing. I am so thrilled to be learning from a master even if indirectly. Maybe one of these days it will all come together.
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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Que Susto!

Yesterday, I was heading to Venus Gardens with mom and had just crossed the Teodoro Moscoso bridge when I spotted a newsboy. He was weaving between the cars that were stopped at the light heading towards Trujillo Alto. Well, when I called him over, he came right away and sold me El Vocero.

El Vocero is alright but the one I really wanted was El Nuevo Dia. Nothing against El Vocero. El Vocero just isn't the one I usually read. The papers I buy when I am in San Juan are either El Nuevo Dia or The San Juan Star .

The San Juan Star will be the topic of another article. That is one newspaper I would hate to see disappear because the owner has not had the insight or vision to modernize. He needs to put it online. There is no doubt that it would be very lucrative to have the Star online. Why hasn't he done it? Darn. I would be the first one to subscribe, I can assure you.

Anyway, the newsboy, who really was a young man, came over, and I bought the paper and asked if he had El Nuevo Dia, to which he said "yes," and that he would run and get it, across the street. I thought okay, I'll pull over and wait for him to get the newspaper, no problem. To my amazement, he decided to cross the road, made of four lanes of heavy speeding traffic right there and then, while the traffic was heading towards Carolina and the bridge from which I just came. Ay bendito, sea Dios! What had I done?! Was I sending this man to his death? From my perspective, every second was a thousand deaths since I could only picture him being hit by a car and being thrown over onto my car. On the other hand, it all happened so fast that I didn't even have time to cover my eyes like I usually do when I am seeing a scary movie. (A remnant of the tortures I had to endure when a little girl sent to the Saturday afternoon matinée which often included a vampire movie.)

Anyway, there was nothing I could do but pray. Dios mio, don't let that man get killed, por favor. After a few tense seconds and close calls he made it to the other side. GAD. (GAD:Gracias a Dios, thank God)

When the light changed I had to move to the right lane, quite a feat in itself so I could get the paper. I wasn't going to drive off after he had gone through that death defying feat. No way! I know I shouldn't have rewarded or encouraged him but I gave him a tip. He left with a big smile. Next time, I will only buy the paper he has in hand. Que susto!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We stop for Flamboyanes and curious sights


We did a lot of stopping for Flamboyanes, and even a sign for Obama for Presidentenot to be mistaken for President. Of course a glimpse of a distant lighthouse also made us stop.
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