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Sep 09 2016

FF: Sprocket Pull

Category: Fixed-it Friday,Push/PullLori @ 12:40 am Comments (14)

I don’t know if this door knocker / pull design is expressing someone’s creativity, or discouraging visitors.  🙂

If you read the Doors & Hardware Member Spotlight all the way to the end (or if you are a frequent visitor to iDigHardware), you know that I live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which is where I took this photo.  I’ve received quite a few questions about my newly-adopted hometown, so scroll past the photo for some FAQs.

Door Knocker and Pull

FAQs About Living in Mexico

Are you retiring soon?

The cost of living is low enough here that it could be possible to retire early – the rent on our 5-bedroom house is the same as the rent on a 1-bedroom apartment where we lived in Massachusetts.  But I’m not planning to retire any time soon – who would take care of iDigHardware??  I just turned 49, so I’ve got a few good years left in me.  😉

How do you get any work done if you’re sitting on the beach with a piña colada? 

I live about a 1-hour drive from the geographic center of Mexico, so there’s no beach in sight.  I have been working remotely for over 10 years, so there is really no difference between working here or working somewhere else – I just have to be self-motivated (and I am).  Most people are surprised to hear that I moved, because they didn’t notice a difference in my response time or blog-posting frequency.

What made you decide to move to Mexico?

We visited San Miguel de Allende a few years ago and loved the town, and because I work remotely it was feasible for us to move here temporarily.  The plan was to stay for a year and give the kids (and us) the experience of living in a different culture.  Within a very short time we realized fully how stressed-out and overscheduled we had been, and started thinking of the move as a more permanent change.

What did Allegion have to say about this plan?

I have worked for Allegion (and its predecessors) since 1994, and I have a good track record.  Since there would be no negative impact on my work, Allegion agreed to a year, and then to a second year.  I ran into Dave Petratis (our chairman, president, and CEO) on the sidewalk outside of our Carmel office late on a Friday afternoon, and he asked me if I was going to make it home to the Boston area that night.  When I explained that I would be flying home the next day because I live in Mexico, he said how great that was, and that his daughter also worked remotely.  So far, nobody has expressed any concerns.

What about meetings, presentations, etc.?

About 5 or 6 times per year I go back to the US; we live 45 minutes from the airport, then it’s a 2-hour flight to Houston and another 2-hour (+/-) flight to Indianapolis.  I try to do as many meetings as possible by phone (I’m in the Central time zone), because it’s tough to manage iDigHardware and everything else I do when I’m spending my days on airplanes and in meetings.  My classes are offered online, and local code classes are conducted by the Allegion SSC offices.

Isn’t Mexico scary / dangerous / hot / etc.?

Of course there are locations in Mexico – and in the US – that are dangerous, and crime can occur anywhere.  It is not scary where we live, but we are cautious and use common sense.  We have met SO MANY wonderful people here!  The weather is amazing…we live in the desert highlands at about 6500 feet.  In the winter, the temperature may go down to the 40’s at night, but during the day it’s usually back up into the 70’s.  During the hottest months it may get as hot as the 90’s, but then it cools down at night.  Most houses (including ours) have no central heat or A/C!  Right now it’s the end of the rainy season so everything is lush and green. 

How has the rest of the family settled in?  Do you all speak Spanish?

The kids love their school – it’s a small school with about 60 kids from 4th grade to 12th.  They have made fabulous friends, and school is a 5-minute walk from our house.  They went to a bilingual elementary school in the US, so they all speak Spanish – my husband and I are still working on ours.  So far, my husband has been doing volunteer work here, but now that we’re staying longer he’s deciding what he wants to do for the next segment of his career (working remotely is not that easy for an electrical engineer).

Do you drink the water?  Is there a taco truck on every corner? 

Some houses have water filtration systems, and a water-cooler-sized bottle of water costs less than $2US.  We haven’t had a lot of problems with food, drinks, or ice.  If we do have a health problem, there are plenty of doctors in town and for serious issues there is great private health care available at very reasonable prices in the city about an hour away (our health insurance also covers us here).  And yes – there are A LOT of taco trucks – not on EVERY corner (yet), but enough that you never have to walk too far for sustenance.  🙂

Any other questions?

14 Responses to “FF: Sprocket Pull”

  1. Charles a says:

    Thanks for the Q and A.

    I have been watching shows about people living outside the US.

    Have seen your town a few times.

    Maybe, hate that word, one of these days try a move somewhere!! Do live in Germany two years, it was fantastic.

    Enjoy, yes more than likely a lot less stress

    • Lori says:

      It’s hard to explain why it’s so much less stressful, and my friends in the US have asked why we couldn’t just make changes there that would result in less stressful lives. For whatever reason it took a dramatic change for us to see that how we were living didn’t have to be our norm.

      – Lori

  2. Brandon J says:

    That’s a sprocket off a motorcycle! And kudos to you for living remotely were struggling to want to buy a house in Minnesota as my wife has declared we shouldn’t live in MN permanently with out trying somewhere else for awhile. Jealous you are able to pull it off.

    • Lori says:

      You can do it if you really want to!

      – Lori

    • Joel Niemi says:

      Looks more like a bicycle chainring to me — one where they never changed the chain, and the teeth wore down as a result. 42t, middle ring from a triple, judging by the evidence of “pins”.

  3. Glenn Younger says:

    Enjoyed the article and the Q&A about you! Good for you for doing this while you can, your kids will have some really useful tools.

  4. paul baril says:

    Love the FAQ about living in mexico just as much as the technical articles.
    please include more with pics

  5. David Scott Kenyon says:

    I like the door pull, however it appears to be a little sharp around the edges – HA HA. The dead lock cylinder is set pretty far into the door – hope it has a long or extended key shank (correct term?). Could be problematic for individuals with short and fat fingers. Never thought about moving to Mexico Lori – now I am intrigued. As a spec writer I could probably work from anywhere! You are a Jungster though – I am 60 – no retirement in my future. Like you – I enjoy what I do. Hardware is one of my favorite specialties. I was trained many years ago by Mary Guineen at Stubbins Associates. It’s been upward an onward since then. Thanks to people like you, Ralph Perlman and a plethora of other individuals i have been able to stay current with this ever-changing industry. As they say in the hardware industry – What is the first thing and the last thing you touch when entering or leaving a building? Door Hardware? Yup !!

  6. Jon Payne, CML says:

    Love how they had to mortise the mortise cylinder also. I took a lot of door pictures when I traveled overseas for UTC, particularly in Spain. Simply awesome doors, each with incredible history.
    I now live stress free 2.5 hours from Atlanta out in the country on an organic farm. So remote we are an hour away from any big box stores. Love it.

  7. David Seeley says:

    Good for you Lori! As they say you only go around once. PS: I can attest to the prices in MA!

    • Lori says:

      There are definitely houses here that are pricey to buy, but the rents are way less than in MA. I may rent for the rest of my life!

      – Lori

  8. milena haskovec says:

    wishing you all the great experiences, what a good decision it is for you and family! Looking forward to read more….not just the hardware stories!


    Do they still have the Phillips brand of locks in Mexico ?

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