And Along Came Julie!

How I met Julie

“…One door opens and another closes…” How many times have we heard that cliché?

In October 2008, I lost my job as the Director of Closings for a cross-border mortgage company. For days, I was stunned, sad, and worried.

By the end of that same week I was on a new high. The editor of the premier magazine aimed at ex-pats, International Living contacted me and asked me to write the cover story for their December issue .

Take THAT, mortgage industry and economic crisis, I was now following my dream to be a writer. And on the cover of a major magazine!

Shortly after the article ran, I received an email from someone at International Living, in it was a message from a Julia Sheehan.

She was asking if she could contact the author (me) directly to talk about life in La Paz. There was no email address for Ms. Sheehan in the message. But she had mentioned that she had studied Spanish at the Spanish immersion school. So I sent a message to Julie Goff , the director of Se Habla La Paz the Spanish immersion school, asking if she knew Julie Sheehan, and if she did, then would she connect us.

It isn’t often one receives fan mail. I wanted to be sure to meet this new Julie.

Once we connected in email, we decided to meet. My Beloved and I invited Julie to our house. She pulled up in a fiery red PT Cruiser with painted red flames licking the sides. Not exactly the Little Old Lady from Pasadena! In fact, Julie had the flames painted on after she bought the car! What an amazing woman! In her late sixties at the time, she drove the red roadster from North Carolina across the US and down the Baja Peninsula all the way to La Paz by herself.

We had a lovely chat and learned about Julie’s life and what led her to La Paz. Knowing she had come from that island of liberalism in a red state, Chapel Hill, we figured she would have our political proclivities, and she did. Lucky for us, or this may have been our one and only meeting.

We liked Julie at once, and asked her to join us as we made our Christmas visits to friends in Todos
Santos. She volunteered to drive the red rage, and off we went.

It was a lot of fun to introduce her like this: “This is my friend Julie, she is my fan.”

As time passed we learned more about Julie, and grew closer. She has been a guest at our table numerous times. She is a true and loyal friend.

She holds true to her quirky belief about extra terrestrials and UFOs. She is open minded, a seeker of knowledge and loves dogs. Guitar music fills her soul, and if you ever want a capsule review of almost any move of any era, just ask Julie.

It’s hard to believe that Julie is 72, or even much past 60.

At a time when I was flagging in hope, along came Julie…

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2 Replies to “And Along Came Julie!”

  1. Hi Susan,
    Excellent musing on our mutual friend, a very special and dear one to me, too, Julie. I first met Julie back in 1997 when I went on a temporary office admin job that would change my life forever. Julie (fondly known as Jules but I still like calling her Julie) was introduced to me as “Julie 2”, as the firm had another Julie that had gotten there first. Quickly, Julie 2 became #1 with me as she became a lunch companion, confidant, and all around great friend even though she was 20 years my senior-but that never mattered a bit. This was an engineering firm made up mostly of men and a great group they were. I eventually ended up dating one of them and he became my sweetheart-we have been married almost 12 years (guess who caught my bouquet??) and when we would go for long lunches on Friday afternoons, the videos I borrowed from Julie would be in my car “roasting” ( as Julie said once) ! Julie and I went to many movies together and just hung out plenty of times. I wish her the happiest of birthdays; it is an honor and a privilege to call her friend.

  2. Hi Susan: I love your blog – and Jule sounds wonderful. I’d like to meet her. I don’t know if I’m doing this properly, but haven’t done this before and I don’t have your email address, so forgive me if I’ve transgressed in any way, but here goes: Hope you can help me. I am a single, mature, Canadian woman looking for accommodation in the La Paz area, preferably on the outskirts, but initially I won’t be picky. I will arrive there at the beginning of January and stay for at least one month, preferably three if I can find suitable accommodation. I would really prefer to share with someone; another female, expat couple or family, or even a Spanish family – that would improve my Spanish quickly! I have a small pension and so need to economize. I am a non-smoker, clean, very responsible and can supply references if required. I am a Ballroom/Latin dance instructor and would like to explore the possibility of starting classes in La Paz. I am also TESOL certified and considering teaching English, although my first priority is to find a home. If things work out, I hope to spend every winter there and escape the long, cold northern season. So if you know of any place to put up this notice or can put out feelers for me I would very much appreciate your efforts. Thank you.

    Dale Mansfield

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