A Miracle

La Mision with rainbowMy neighbor e-mailed the other day, “This looks like a miracle. You found a guy you like and actually have some respect for.” The miracle is my thirty-four-year-old Mexican worker who helps me on my ranch. I live with animals out of love and to keep fit. As a former dancer I know the importance of exercise and have been practicing yoga since moving to Baja to build strength, stretch and work on balance.

This miracle’s features show a strong Indian background, from his bent hook nose that cuts sharply in at his brow to his dark olive complexion and big African-American looking lips. He speaks a word or two of English and although I’ve learned to string a few words together in Spanish, we find hand gestures work fine. He’s macho in the best sense, quiet and caring and totally in charge. I’ve been  on duty long enough. I sit back and let him take the wheel. An honorable young man, a friend–he reminds me of the son I lost.

Working for twelve years in a restaurant, he cooks spicy, tasty Mexican dishes every evening, chopping vegetables, making fresh salsa, washing up and vacuuming while I sit at my computer doing research and writing. He laughs easily, plays with my four dogs, throws them kernels of popcorn he’s created as a snack before dinner and drives me around in my Matrix or his Cherokee, while I watch life flying by beyond the windows. Riding in his old Jeep is like being a teenager again strapped into a roll coaster. I can’t stop laughing.

His seven-year-old son visits on weekends. The boy lives with his mother and seven older half-sisters. As an only son he’s considered special and is like the grandson I never had. I’ve been teaching him the soul-train handshake, I taught the LA Knockers forty years ago. Follow these instructions in italics and try it: #1. Grab your partners shoulder and hip,#2 Then grab your partners opposite shoulder and hip, #3 Slap each others hands – your right hand palm down and left palm up, #4. Turn your hands over and slap each others hands, #5& Double clap each others hands, #6& Double clap right hands front then back, #7& Using the back of your hand double clap your lifted left knee, #8& Partner turns hands behind back, double clap his hands, #9& Turn and your partner double claps your hands, #1-2 Face partner, circle right hands pull back and #3-4 clasp each others hands in a hand shake. Both bow in different directions to the applause.

In the video on my home page you can see parts of the handshake…. #’s 44, 118, 134.

Yesterday it was bitterly cold. My friend doesn’t have running water and took a shower at my house. I brought out my hair dryer anxious to dry his thick black Indian hair before he ran into the night air. My mother warned about catching a cold outside with a wet head, and it is flu season. It turned into a screaming uproar as I chased him around my dinning table in the front room in a fit of giggles., the loose plug of the dryer swinging to and fro.

It’s been a good two years having a friend around to help me while I finished The Philosopher’s Daughter, a memoir. The night I keyed in my last period I walked him to the front door to say thank you and goodnight. I’d come to the end of a twenty year journey writing my memoir. My book was finished — I’d given my son his voice… I was moving on amazed by life’s gifts.



  • Beautiful. A love story.
    I like ¨A Miracle¨ details and very descriptive, I feel like living that.
    I wait for the next episode!!!

    • Adriana… Maybe you can help me with this when I next see you, possibly Monday? I do not know what to do next???? It’s up there which I’m glad about and now what? love, jennie… thanks for you nice comments…

    • Thank you Adriana for writing a note to me… It’s still like Greek to me… want to continue writing about life, mine and others and how they all fit together… thanks for writing… love, jenni

  • Jenn: what a lovely man you have found and he has found you…what you share together sound like just you need for this time in your life.

    I have not been able to work on costume dolls or transferring vhs full handshake to dvd…At the moment we are getting our possessions in order for selling our house of 23 years. Hubby’s equipment is on east coast….mine —costumes sewing machines- accessories photos are a challenge to sort through..I want to keep everything. I’ll get the hand shake footage to you as soon as I can. In the meantime did you extract the handshake pieces with Denise moving from one knocker to another? hugs, affection, xoxoxoxox Marilyn

    • Hi Mar… I am so new to this, I’m not sure what to do — about the handshake… I posted that people can at look the video I have on my home page in my website… with the numbers that relate to that moment… ??? I will look for Denise’s handshake… I remember it well… good luck selling your house, it’s very sad to leave your old stomping ground… where are you going to live? Good luck, Marilyn

  • Katie O'Brian-Robles

    What a lovely story and tribute to your friend. It’s like a built in second family and I couldn’t be happier for you. You my love, are a young spirit and need that youth and vibrancy in your life.. It is a miracle.. love the hair dryer bit.. made me laugh. Will you be adding to this?

    • oh thanks Katie… I found your comment… this is still Greek to me, but I’m anxious to learn… what I want to do is write about what’s going on in my life and questioning what’s going on in others lives? I’m sure Alice will give me some input… see you on Monday, si? thanks for writing xoxoxo

  • Hello Darling
    I’m so happy for you – your sweet, little ranchero and Jose and Isay, who are such a big help to you. Please give Jack, Pansy, Tootsie, El Niño, and – oh damn, I can’t think of the others’ names – big hugs for me.

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