The home front


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.

12 thoughts on “The home front”

  1. What could you possibly have against magnolias?
    And, “creepy”, an interesting adjective for that particular tree.


      1. Interesting how people see things so different. I see them as such bright, uplifting flowering trees. But as humans we all have our own opinions and that’s what makes us so special.

        I do know they kill the grass underneath, but that’s with a lot of tree roots. They also uplift concrete, the strength of nature, and in more ways than one.


  2. BTW,… Happy Hanukkah.

    Mint juleps, never liked them myself.
    Eggnog, a great winter treat especially on a cold night, but no whiskey in it, I agree with that one.


    1. Andean: Happy Hanukkah? Thanks, but I’m not Jewish, and I have no Menorah or a black beanie. I’m not black either, so Kwanzaa will pass unheralded. I’m not Christian either, but I like the Christmas tradition as long as I don’t have to get too personally involved in it. Boy, that was a biggie with my ex-wife. Probably part of the reason she threw me away.

      Happy eggnogs to you, or whatever lifts your spirits in December.


  3. I’m not Jewish either but, have many friends who are. I like the lighting of the Menorah.
    And the smell of a fresh pine tree, reminds me Christmas is approaching, and that means family, friends and good food.


    1. Tancho: You’re behind the times, amigo. We’ve long had street lights and running water. However, when I moved into this place almost ten years ago, there was no running water. There were street lights, however.

      And now cell phone service, TV cable, you name it. We are modern.


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