Merced County Times Newspaper
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Snowbirds Head South But Damage Awaits Them

John Derby
Times Publisher John Derby

The weather is changing, and like all other snowbirds, we are getting ready to head south.

Our home in Mexico is waiting for us, and it was hit by the recent hurricane, so we are not sure how much damage has been done to it.

Pictures showed washed out roads and ponds of sitting water. Boat docks were torn up, but in Mexico this represents little problem as Mexicans take it in stride.

In Mexico, they have no welfare system like the one we know, but if you need money to live on, then you go to work on the roads or you repair the houses which are torn up by the storms in September and October.

We have had the tile torn off our roof to many times to remember. We do not have any insurance as it would be no good anyway because this is an “Act of God.”

Summers are hard in Mexico because there are few snowbirds providing work. It is not uncommon for a family who purchased a pickup in the good times to sell it when money got tight and the family needed to pay for food.

Mexicans rarely complain about their situation in life. They learn to live with it. Take for instance when a winter storm wipes out a bridge (like the hurricane did in Florida). They will have a bypass around that bridge in a week. It will be rough but it will get you there.

On the newscast they said it would take two years to fix a bridge to an island off the coast of Florida.

One time we came to a place where the bridge had been washed out, and there were trucks which loaded your car up and took it across the river.

Mexicans are resourceful people and they have to be, because there is no one to call when something breaks down. Never ask a Mexican if he can do a job because he will say “Yes.”  Then you ask: “Have you ever done this job before?

He will say “No, but no problem.”

People ask us if we speak Spanish. The answer is “yes and no.” A little bit of each put together. And the Mexicans where we live don’t speak good Spanish. They speak a little bit of both.

It is like a cooperative effort. We help each other.

For us the weather is getting cool, and the weather in Mexico is the best as is the fishing.

We feel Mexico calling.

Publisher’s Note:  Please excuse us as we put on our Mexican hat and head south where everything is not politics, and people shooting each other for no good reason. We will take you with us in this column.

Editor’s Update: Publisher John Derby successfully made the land trip by truck to his home south of the border, it was reported on Tuesday, by email.

The three line email stated: “I am at my home in Bahia Conception. The house was flooded. I was told the water was 4 feet in front of the front door.”

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