IT’S TOUGH to run a hacienda with no permanent employees.
Had all haciendas been run before 1910 as ours is now — sans employees — it’s likely the Mexican Revolution would never have happened.
Hacienda owners would have done their own dirty work. The peons would have been in their personal fields cultivating their corn Monday through Saturday. They would have gotten drunk and fornicated on Saturday nights and gone to Mass on Sunday mornings.
The old-style life.
We do employ part-time help when it cannot be avoided. Recently we hired bricklayers to reset some roof tile and such stuff. While they were here I got them to do some yard work. They carted the considerable green garbage away in their pickup truck.
And they did not charge me much.
But what they hauled away was just a drop in the proverbial bucket of what needed to be cut, trimmed, dug and hauled away, so a week later I asked Abel the deadpan neighbor to lend a hand. For cash, of course. He ain’t my pal.
He was here Saturday, digging, planting, trimming, even cutting some limbs from the loquat and peach trees. I scheduled that while my child bride was distracted in the kitchen.
She calls me the Destroyer.
Abel also left with a pickup load piled high. Off to the mystery dump. That work was cheap too, which is one of the many beauties of living below the Rio Bravo.
Work is not only cheap, you can get stuff done quickly and simply.
Take the ironing board, for example. My lovely bride was well into a high hill of wrinkled clothes this morning when — snap! — a metal brace on one of the legs broke.
She stripped the padding, and I tossed the board into the back of the Honda. I drove to the blacksmith. Do you have a blacksmith in your neighborhood? Bet not.
I pulled up outside the blacksmith’s workshop. Can you fix this? I inquired — already knowing the answer. He got right on it, and ten minutes later, I gave him 30 pesos, about $2.30 U.S., and drove away. The ironing will be finished tomorrow.