WHEN I WAS 22 years old, married to the first of three wives, I drew plans for a Mexican-style home I would have liked to have built. I was broke, of course, so there was no way to do it. I thought maybe with cinder blocks it would be possible.
The plans reflected my thoughts of a single-story hacienda (small h, not big H) that was completely enclosed with an open courtyard in the middle.
Nobody in my family had ever lived or aspired to live in Mexico, so where did this architectural dream come from? I didn’t think of living in Mexico either. I simply liked the idea of that type of house. I wanted it there in New Orleans.
I was a serial renter, not buying a home until I was 42 years old, and I bought it in Houston, Texas, not New Orleans. The house was not Spanish-style. It was a Texas ranch house of medium size, not a ranch house on a ranch, of course. Ranch house is a style: single-story, low roof, yard out front and back.
My second ex-wife lives there today, more than three decades later.
But I am living in a Hacienda with a big H. And, like the one I designed half a century ago, I designed this one too. I used graph paper. My child bride assisted with her civil engineering skills, but the design is 95 percent mine.
Perhaps the design would have more closely copied my ideas of 50 years ago except for one thing: I wanted a mountain view, and for that I needed a second story due to the brick wall that surrounds our property, Mexican-style.
So here I am. In the circle of life. What goes around comes around. If you manage to live long enough, stuff happens. And so on.
Maybe I should have been an architect.
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Color and current events
My child bride is abandoning me today, heading to Querétaro by bus for a belated Baptism and 4th birthday party for a niece named Sophie. I’ll be batching it here until Sunday evening. It will be lonely but quiet.
For years I tried to participate in these sorts of family activities, but I’ve given up. I’m not cut out for endless chitchat and peals of hysterical laughter.
Thursday afternoon I was taking a leisurely stroll alone down a back street of downtown, thinking of the above, when I noticed the scene in the photo. I had my camera. Our mountaintop town is changing rapidly.
I do not believe most, or even any, of those houses up there existed when I moved here over 17 years ago. And the city recently began a major renovation of streets and sidewalks around the main plaza. It will take months, if not years, to finish but we will be so pretty when it’s completed. The downside is that it likely will attract more Gringos.
I prefer they stay put in San Miguel de Allende, being all artsy-like.