Vexations and Conundrums – September 2022


People who agonize over the smallest decisions come to Lakeside on Lake Chapala and become mesmerized, and before you know it, they buy a house within days. It happens all the time. That was us.

Twenty-one years flew by like a sweet dream, in snippets of blurry photographs. There are my husband and I, delirious with pleasure for the house we had purchased on a whim. We admired the naturally flowering gardens, fruit trees and the view. Below us was a rustic pasture, filled with cows and goats.

More memories float through. We loved the International Film Festival (no longer an event, alas!). The group with the New Jersey Film Commission, who oversaw the television show “The Sopranos,” joined us for breakfast. Later they sent us a Sopranos gift box, which delighted us as we were huge fans. We saw so many movies, my husband became dazed and dropped out of the viewing marathon. If memory serves me correctly, twenty-three countries participated. There were many parties, and I fondly recall Cuban dancing one night. I showed ignorance when a man dropped a handkerchief at my feet, a sign I was to dance with him. I paused my movements, staring down at the white handkerchief cluelessly. A woman from Brazil knew the drill and jumped in to save the moment, dancing wildly and with abandon. She just happened to be gorgeous, with long black hair, which made the memory even more dramatic.

Wemet people who had been at Lakeside longer than us and were active with great organizations helping the community. In no time at all we were going to fun-filled events for the Ninos Incapacitados and the School for Special Children, meeting creative, active people. Our social calendar filled up with each visit. One neighbor suggested we run a white flag up a pole when we were in town, so people would know we were in. We decided we needed rest and downtime and it would be better if we controlled our calendar to meet our energy needs. We would wait a couple of days before we started to call around to see what was going on.

Friends came and left over the years. New neighbors moved into houses around us. One house had three different owners with whom we were friendly, two whom we traveled with to different parts of Mexico. People must be tolerant and compatible to travel together harmoniously. We were able to take multiple trips with two couples. We went fishing at an indigenous village, where I snagged a three-pound bass, and I don’t fish regularly. The village chief was our host in a small cabin, with spectacular views of the hills. The water was near a dam and was clear and unpolluted. Another trip had us guesting in a condo on the bay near Puerto Vallarta, where we shared lovely times with an older couple who had much more energy than we did. They assured us regular B-12 shots gave them advantage. I watched their healthy diet and great attitudes and wasn’t so sure they needed the shots.

One neighbor had a player piano that began beautiful songs at around five o’clock. Initially I thought we had a piano virtuoso across the street and couldn’t believe our luck. Shortly, I learned that this music signaled happy hour had begun, and we were free to join. Popcorn and great company welcomed us. This neighbor started a project to buy school uniforms and supplies for children in the village who might not get the chance for school without this bit of help…another chance to be part of the community!

Decades passed and my husband and I decided it was time for us to transfer the pleasure of our home to new owners. He was ready for something different, perhaps on the ocean, and it was time to simplify our lives. We just sold our house, to a lovely couple from up north. I feel like they will appreciate the personal touches we leave behind.

I’m not a person who cries often, but I shed torrents of tears over the people and the memories I am leaving behind. Nothing stays the same, and now was the moment for our change. Something new lies ahead, and I remind myself that an open heart welcomes adventures. And I can always come back and visit!

September 2022 Issue

El Ojo del Lago – Home Page

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:


For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

Katina Pontikes

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