Mexican life

Standing in the sunshine

EARLY IN DECEMBER we had a number of overnight freezes, not typical of the month. But it passed, and since mid-December things have returned to normal, more or less, perhaps even a bit nicer than normal.

But that’s not to say it’s comfortable in the mornings, far from it. And how do we mountaintop Mexicans deal with the morning chill? We go outside and stand in the sunshine. This is very common. I do it myself.

This morning I went for my usual exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. A fellow who runs a little store on the corner was standing on the sidewalk, sunning himself. He frequently does that.

New ImageOn the walk up to the plaza I spotted another guy standing in the sunshine. I also saw a hog, which isn’t common. That same fellow had the hog on a rope that was tied around a light post. Pet or future lunch? Who knows?

On returning from the plaza, heading back home, I saw the hog walking alone down the street with the rope trailing behind. His owner was nowhere in sight. The moral to that yarn is that if you’re gonna tie a pig to a post, do it tight.

On getting home, here’s what I saw: Guys in the yard digging up grass and the sole remaining giant maguey. Yes, after years of thinking on it and talking about it, I’ve begun the process of replacing grass with concrete and stone.

I have a four-year plan and with luck I’ll live long enough to complete it. The fourth year would have me older than my father was when he kicked the bucket in Atlanta at age 75. It’s preferable to think positively.

7501022019009The guys say the work will take a week, and that means it likely will be two weeks. I’ll have photos later. Stay tuned. We are also, after 15 years at the Hacienda, in the process of abandoning five-gallon jugs of purified water. Stay tuned about that too. January is a month of much activity at the Hacienda.

Now I’m heading back outside to stand in the sunshine.

23 thoughts on “Standing in the sunshine

  1. Look forward to the progression photos!! I too stand out in the sun and rake and sweep. Dogs find a sunny spot as do the cows, goats, horses and chickens of the “barrio.” No pigs, thank the Goddess!! Love my jungle yard, but I know it takes lots of work to keep up. Don’t know how much longer that will be.

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  2. Good bye to the maguey. Here in Arizona, they are one of the few plants that can survive without people. My family home was in a somewhat difficult neighborhood. Everyone had magueys planted under the windows. It worked. Nobody came through those windows.

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    1. Señor Gill: Oh, magueys have no trouble whatsoever in living without human companionship. They likely even prefer it. I always liked the looks of those big babies before I moved over the Rio Bravo. We actually went out into the countryside hereabouts years ago, grabbing little ones to plant here. At one point, we had three enormous ones and two or three smaller ones, the tequila magueys. With the one that got removed this morning, we are maguey-free except for a few in pots. Pots keep them manageable. Don’t ever plant one in the ground. That’s my advice.

      Maguey burglar-avoiders. Now that’s a splendid idea. Nobody in his right mind would climb over one.

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  3. I’m going to venture a guess that you’re going to get a UV filtration system. I worked for a company that sold thousands of them to cottage owners so that they could use water from lakes.
    We also made pump/filter combos for the UN. They were pretty affordable, under $300 CDN.

    The deadpan gardener will be even less jovial when there’s no grass to cut.

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    1. Kris: You have guessed wrong. No UV system en route though I did look at some. How in the world does light keep cooties out of water anyway? I prefer something more solid. The route I’m taking is even simpler. More to come on that.

      As for Abel the Deadpan Yardman, I’m going to keep paying him the same for the next few years as the grass gradually diminishes. It’s not like he’s getting a fortune now anyway, 150 pesos for mowing and weedeating with his own weedeater. At today’s exchange rate, that’s about eight bucks, U.S.

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      1. We supplied UV water systems to some large cities in the U.S. and Canada, and to replace chlorination in water and sewage treatment. Also, they are on many, if not all, ships in the U.S. Navy for sewage treatment.

        UV is a wonderful thing.

        Very fair treatment for Abel.

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  4. We have shade. Total canopy overhead of mature oaks. Makes it cooler inside than outside on gloomy cold days but darned nice in mid-to-late summer months when it sizzles outside, clouds or not. And whole house air conditioning is always nice. But, that said, we have had precious few sunny days since the onset of cooler months this fall/winter seaon and today is a precious day.

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  5. The house we bought was designed to catch that winter morning sun in our living room and master bathroom. I can sit in either room and soak up that sun. Only problem is the tree on the lot next door has grown a lot in the eight years since we bought the house. It is delaying the sun on the bathroom.

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  6. You’re standing in the sun and some poor guy is missing a hog.

    Grab the rope man. Where’s your sense of community? They won’t hurt you unless they get you down on the ground…

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    1. Ray: “They won’t hurt you unless they get you down on the ground.”

      See, you’ve answered your own question.

      Truth be told that a couple of hours later I spotted the guy walking down a sidewalk about two miles away, and he had the pig on the leash. Really.

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  7. I often sit out in the sun to warm up in the chilly mornings.

    In Florida, I’ve seen mockingbirds capture unlucky little lizards and impaling them on the sharp spines of maguey plants for entertainment.

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    1. Andrés: When I stand in the sunshine, I have a hat on and am fully clothed due to having had skin cancer more times than I can count. I know you prefer to do it more au naturel. You’re a braver man than I in that respect.

      I bet that mockingbirds don’t murder lizards for fun but for fine dining. It’s mostly people who murder for fun. Not many psychopaths in the animal kingdom.

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