I headed down to Bahia Kino on November second, Día de los Muertos in Mexico. Day of the Dead.

I went that day because my dear friend Roberto’s daughter, Lupita, had recently died, and I wanted to be there to go to the cemetery with him and his family.


I made it, settled in quickly, and barely noticed the kiss. The kiss of a mosquito.

I’d planned to spend a few relaxing weeks because October had been rough. While walking my dog, she lunged and managed to launch me right off my feet. I’d landed face down in the middle of the street. Bruised and sore, I’d limped home with her and eventually discovered nerve damage in my knee. Unfortunately it still remains.


She looks guilty, doesn’t she?

The following week my partner of two-and-a-half years and I split up (we remain friends). It was time.

So it was I went to Kino to walk, to reflect. To attempt to strengthen my knee and stimulate the nerve so it would relax and quit bothering me. To consider what my life was going to be now that I was single.



I spent the first week settling in, cleaning, repairing electrical problems and dealing with a few other issues. This, after my evening in the cemetery with Roberto and family.

The following Monday I felt a bit off. Within a few hours I feared I had the flu. But I never get the flu, at least not since about 1977 or 1978. That night I knew it was worse than flu, and blood tests eventually proved me right: dengue fever. That mosquito kiss the afternoon I’d arrived.


The Aedes aegypti mosquito – unfortunately it’s in the States, too.

I have never been so sick, so sick I briefly thought I was going to die. Fever, and I have no idea how high, but sweat ran off my body as though I were in the shower. Headache and pain behind my eyes that was unimaginable. Dizziness. Unable to do a thing.

I eventually left Kino when the fever broke and I could once again stand without fear of falling over. I took the longer, flatter way home. That route has a wide lane I could pull off on should the dizziness return. Better and safer than the twisty, narrow mountain road I usually take.

When I spoke to my trailer partners after I got home, both indicated they would like to sell the trailer and I agreed. It wasn’t so much due to the dengue, though of course that factored in. There were many reasons. Again, it was time.

So. Wham! Falling on my face, leaving me with nerve damage. Wham! My partner and I breaking up. Wham! Dengue. And then wham! Deciding to sell the trailer, the place that has been a second home for me for several years, in Kino, which was my second home for years before that.


Then wham-wham! Someone bought the trailer almost immediately!

I feel not like doors are opening and closing but as though I am in a revolving door that keeps revolving into new and different places, different challenges. A continual door, but each time I go around, everything changes.

So I returned to Kino. The cold weather had killed the mosquitos, though I am now immune to dengue. That kind, anyway (there are three other kinds). Note: I recently found out the immunity is only for about four months.

I was packing up. Settling up. Moving out.

But I took the opportunity to walk the beach many times, attempting to slowly build up some of the energy and endurance and muscle tone I had lost in the last two months. I only hope I can manage to do so. I took my walking stick for the beach. For walking in town, the cane I had to buy when the dizziness was so awful I feared falling without it.


Yep. My cane’s purple.

It is incredibly hard to leave this place, to leave this trailer, to leave Roberto and his family who have thoroughly adopted me. To leave Virginia and Bucho, another Mexican family that adopted me. To leave my friends here in the park. Leave the sea.


And the estuary.


And the turtle tagging expeditions.


But again, it is time.

Now that we will no longer have the trailer, I am more free to do other things. For years I have always gone to Kino (five or six times each winter for up to three weeks at a time) because I figure I’m paying for it so ought to use it. Now I can go elsewhere. Where? I don’t know yet. But go I will.


Dawn, from inside the trailer.

It was countdown to departure. I hopped in my car to drive over and visit with Roberto, and wham! A physical wham. Someone backed into my car, destroying the front left side, destroying the headlighs, ripping out the tank for window washer fluid.

In short, my car was not drivable.


Thankfully, the man immediately acknowledged his culpability and he even knew the man who had the body shop – he’d just had the back end of his car pained two days previously.

He held the loose parts of my car so I could get it out of the park driveway (yep, hadn’t made it more than 100 feet from my trailer). Then he and a friend went to get Denver, the auto body man.

Denver shook his head when he saw the mess. But the perp, as I’ll call him, had plenty of cash, thankfully, and Denver has repaired the car. The good news, I guess, is I was stuck in Kino for a few extra days. I am leaving in a beautiful car.

But now it’s time for goodbyes.

Goodbye good knee, I will miss you. Goodbye partner, I will miss you too. Goodbye Kino. I will miss so very much. Dengue aftermath? Good riddance!

Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

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  1. Oh, Emilie. I’m so sorry for all this, but am hoping that after all that the revolving door will quit spinning and the whams will stop. Good grief. I don’t know you well, but you seem like a resilient person and I’m certain you’ll come through this even stronger. Enticing doors will start opening again with no spinning, just opportunity and adventure lying at your feet.

  2. That was an awful lot of whams! Hope things quiet down for a while. It’s good to hear from you, anyway. 🙂

  3. Well, this kinda sums up the high and the hard times.

    Next time WE get together, I hope the both of us are beyond our walking sticks and leg braces. Though I am being told that this is my “new normal.” Really feel for you; “everyday life” seems to be chock full of endless challenges; not always the fun kind. Nice photos. Gave me a sense of being there. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Doors close. Doors open. Enjoy the next adventure, cuz. Graces house now has a new roof. Not much of a winter retreat, but it’s always waiting for you. Onward and upward. Love you.

    1. Actually, I would love a taste of true winter. A very brief taste. But I hate to fly this season – too easy to have a long, unexpected layover due to winter storms. And to drive there in it? No way! When you figure out how to teletransport me, I will be up in January.

  5. Now I see your past few months so much better. How beautiful your life in Mexico looks. I too like to imagine a great adventure lies ahead for you. Come to see me in NM when the summer green appears?

  6. Emilie, i know you only through your proof reading but Faith and i agreed from the start how awsome you are. you seem to have sailed through all the bad events with acceptance and no doubt will sprout new white sails to carry you forward. Keep in touch. My poetry is in Debs hands so it won’t be long. Sincerely, barb

  7. Life handed you a fistful of changes all at once, but you’re still standing! with a good attitude & purple cane to take you to new adventures. Love your spirit –

    1. Janet, thankfully I haven’t had to use the cane in abt a week now, but the little beauty is right there should I ever need her again one day. Lots of changes, to be sure. And all I can think, with enthusiasm even, “What’s next?”

  8. my dear friend
    i am so sorrry that so much has happendd, and i wish i were there to pass along ‘wisdom’ i have learned as life dealt various challenges.. as you know, when we emerge, we are much stronger and become stronger in spirit/soul, but wow, it’ can be overwhelming.

    i am in town right now and will not be back out until monday or tuesday… my email is tzeebra@yahoo.com… there are always lots of emails waiting, and sometimes i miss a few – especially if one lands in spam instead of the real one.. so if you write via email leave me a comment to let me know to look for it…

    sending you strong vibes, and i hope that you’re feeling strong and ready for new chapters .. time to close the previous ones so that you step into better times… love, lisa

  9. Woot! You go, Emilie! Like your other admirers, I am wowed by your whams, but even more so your positivity and grace. So glad that you are feeling better and I know the revolving door is whirling good things your way as you and life have cleared some space and opened you up for new adventures. Laissez les bons temps roulees, my strong friend. Hugs ‘n’ LOVE…..

    1. Update – I got the flu for the first time since 1978; likely the dengue zapped my immune system. And the flu spun me backwards. It’s been gone over two weeks and I still have little energy and have to use my cane unless I’m going just half a block or so. I am pretty sick of this.
      But I am in Mexico, and Mexican men are so gracious. Even older teens. If I drop something, six guys jump up to get it for me. US men barely notice. I was looking at a particularly high step and a Mexican man came hurrying down the sidewalk and stuck out his hand for me. Men with canes smile and speak to me. Very interesting!

  10. Yeah, except last evening a blasted mosquito bit me though my socks! Evening ankle biter – that is often a dengue mosquito. I will not rest easy for ten days! Second bout is serious, a third bout can be deadly. I do NOT want this again!

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