I use the word remarkable in my new novel today and think about my brother-in-law. We stood on the balcony last week watching the sunset and considered the word remarkable. He argued that it is a useless word: if something is remarkable, it’s clear that it’s remarkable by the mere fact that you are remarking upon it. Therefore it’s useless to state that anything is remarkable.
Maire reminds me that, for the record, she is the one who saw whales first this year. Also the dolphins (next).
The day starts off with three remarkable events: one, rainy, cool weather. What is happening to perfect, sunny Manzanillo? Second, there are dolphins playing in the bay. They surface a little bit, jumping and cavorting, letting us catch a glimpse of their fun. Third, Helen and Sandy arrive. We are thrilled to see them!
We assure them that this rain is unusual. We walk all the way to El Caribe (three doors down) and have dinner amidst the cloud and drizzle. It’s warm, though, and Helen and Sandy and Maire all remind us that it’s snowing in Canada.
February 18, Peter and Maddison’s birthday, dawns somewhat cloudy but nice and warm. We go to Bricio’s with Helen and Sandy for breakfast. Afterward, Maire, Helen and I do Aquafit, even though it’s a bit cool. We fit right back into the summertime moves, from all our times in Maire and John’s pool. It feels great. John takes Sandy for a tour around the little neighbourhood, showing him our source of fresh fruit and vegetables and, from time to time, a BBQ’d chicken.
Later, the clouds disappear and the real Manzanillo makes its appearance. Helen, Sandy and Vince go shopping. They use our method of going on the bus and returning with all the bags by taxi. Then we all gather at the beach to enjoy the sun, waves, birds, crabs, and fish. Sandy catches a fish and throws it back again. He traverses the water and notices thing we haven’t even seen in the last five weeks. He brings cold beer for Helen and me.
Rosaleen arrives in the sunshine, but her luggage has decided to stay in Huston for one more day. She takes in good humour, though, and settles into the lifestyle without wavering.
To celebrate Pete and Madda’s birthday, we are all gather for a Luau. I have my birthday lei, plus the dress: Maire and Helen and I all bought them in Puerto Vallarta, the same style but different colours. We are triplets! Judith and Bryan have invited some of their friends, too, because it is Judith’s birthday on Sunday. Dinner is scrumptious, so many different tastes, spices and dishes. We dance the hula and light the candles on the cakes. That’s when we begin to notice the wind. First it blows out the candles, then it starts to howl, whipping up the waves, lassoing our hair, tossing tortilla chips into the pool. It’s loud and strong and insistent. Soon we are gathering up cups, dishes, tablecloths, and other detritus of our party. I chase some chips down the breezeway. When I take some dishes upstairs and head back down, Maire meets me on the stairs: it’s sleeting down rain. I’m happy to see that our little bird has nestled in the stairway out of the storm. I return to the suite and hear the rain pounding against the window slats, which Vince thankfully had closed. No more floods inside! Not to be deterred, Bonnie invites everyone for cards at the Internet Café´. I sit writing at the dining room table, watching the umbrellas flapping, the waves tossing. There are Leedalo’s buckets of water again! The wind is picking them up from the ocean and tossing them over our balcony and at our windows. Vince says he sees Anderson Cooper down by the palm tree, hanging on for dear life as he reports the saga of the breezes in Las Brisas.