Doing some research of the the periods indicated helped to develop a better understanding of what was meant (or at least what I think he meant) by the author. The course Reading Macondo, hosted by Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Columbia provided lots of information, videos, and a timeline of Garcia Marquez's life. This information was extremely useful in being able to understand the author's references. The books studied were as follows:
Leaf Storm (where the term means more than just leaves blowing in the wind!
You can only see the Spanish title above, but an English copy of the collection can be found in this book Collected Stories where you can find four collections of his works.
In Evil Hour was another story told in the same town as the one that No One Writes to the Colonel is based, and is what I think to be a way for the author to express his feelings about The Violence (a dark time in Colombian history).
All of these books were worth a second (or third) look. Garcia Marquez really was a genius.
I had meant to continue on with another course directly after, also on Garcia Marquez, but after such an intensive study of the Macondo books I felt I needed a break. Also, I have made some changes in my professional life... I have moved from an elementary school library to a high school library! It means whole new genres I haven't given much attention to and a whole new realm of literary possibilities. It's very exciting!