High Desert Life

by Miles Hutchins

Went to a fundraiser dinner in honor of Robert Burns recently. Had my first ever taste of haggis. Not as bad as the warnings I had been given by several turned-up noses and “yucks.”

The poetry of Burns is of course, legendary. He will forever be a Scottish icon because of his many writings of both poem and song.

During the evening, we heard bagpipes, and in fact were “piped” in to dinner via the grand march, composed of about three hundred of us Scots or wannabe Scots. Entertainment during happy hour consisted of Scottish dances and more bagpipe music.

I was fortunate enough to be seated next to my beautiful wife, on one side, and on the other a real live Scot from Edinburgh. She and her husband have resided seasonally here in the Chapala lakeside for several years, but they have not at all lost their wonderful brogue.

Many Canadians attended, and, in fact, composed most of the leadership for Ninos Incapacitados, the charity for which we were donating. Many kids with serious capacity limitations have been aided for several years by this hardworking and open hearted organization.

But, in addition to Canadians, it was obvious to me how Chapala is a mini melting pot. Such diversity in an area of about 50,000 souls, over half of which are native Mexicans, and all were represented at the dinner.

It was an event to remember.

In other news, we are doing garden work preparing for spring. Which is a bit confusing, because it is almost always like spring here. Nonetheless, we are moving plants, taking out lawn, and making room for more flowers and shrubs. Once a dirty thumb always a dirty thumb, I say, as some things do not change wherever you hang your hat.

News that we pick up via TV shows that the border between U.S. and Mexico is one hopping place, with several thousand Americans crossing into Mexico for affordable dental care every day, if one is to believe the report.

Am I skeptical about news on the Telly? Oh, yes.

Border issues and reports from the White House, and those same issues reported by major news organizations, are so strangely different it amazes.

Are we in the same universe? Are there really alternative facts? ‘Tis a puzzlement.

Well, anyway the government shutdown is over, at least for awhile. Thank God for small favors.

— Miles Hutchins is a retired former Redmond resident who grew up in Central Oregon and now lives in Mexico. Contact him at milesredmond@gmail.com .