If you step out the Hacienda’s main gate, turn right and walk to the corner and look right again, this is what you will see: street renovation.
It’s just a two-block stretch, but we needed it. It was a rock-and-dirt obstacle course. We often walk and sometimes drive up the first block where we turn left at the corner, which continues to the neighborhood plaza, a block farther on.
But there is yet another block up that way that’s getting repaired, and we have never been on it, never walked it, never drove it, never seen it, in nearly 10 years here. Spitting distance from our house. Don’t even know what’s up there.
But when the renovation is finished, we’ll walk up there. We owe it that. Could be something interesting. You never know. Maybe some Mexicans.
* * * *
Abel the yard man cut the lawn a week ago for the final time this year. It doesn’t rain anymore, and it’s getting cooler, none of which makes grass grow.
Leaves are falling in the yard, mostly pear leaves, but lots of loquat leaves fall too, and those are big ones. They remind me a bit of magnolia, a tree I find creepy. I’m perhaps the only Southern Cracker boy to see it that way.
I don’t like magnolias, and I don’t care for mint juleps either. Maybe if mint juleps were made with gin or rum instead of bourbon, I would have liked them, but I can’t stomach bourbon or any type of whiskey.
Whiskey and I got off on the wrong foot in a cheap hotel in Rantoul, Illinois, in 1963. I had just been transferred from Air Force basic training in Texas to a tech school outside Rantoul. I was only 18 and quite stupid.
Somehow, a bottle of whiskey and I found ourselves together in that hotel and, being young and dumb, I pretty much polished off the whole bottle. It got ugly coming back up, and I’ve never liked whiskey since.
I liked gin, rum, tequila and beer quite a bit, mind you, but not whiskey. And scotch is even worse. I ordered scotch in a bar in Scotland once, just for the sound of it. Dreadful stuff, worse than whiskey, and that’s saying something.
So no mint juleps or magnolias for me. And I’ll be adding those big brown loquat leaves to the bonfire I’ll be building soon in the yard.
It’s almost winter. Maybe some eggnog. But not with whiskey.