Category: Mexican life

Another waning day

one
A waning day makes nice light.

TWENTY-FOUR hours after the last post, I was walking to the Honda again. But this time I was returning from the Basilica.

I had gone there with my child bride, her sister and the nephew we once called The Little Vaquero. But he’s not so little anymore at age 15.

Once a year, the local luminaries pull our version of the Virgin Mary from her high perch in the Basilica and parade her around town upon shoulders. People take this very seriously. Being neither Catholic nor Christian, I view it less as a religious event and more as a tourist attraction.

It was supposed to start at a civilized hour but being Mexicans we got off to a tardy beginning. So tardy that I wearied of waiting and left, which is when I walked down the hill and shot these pretty photos.

The rest of my crew hung around, but an hour later they too tossed up their hands, figuratively speaking, and left. I’m sure the Virgin managed to make her annual trek through the cobblestone streets of our mountaintop town, but none of us bore witness to the sacred event.

Anyway, if you’ve seen it once, and I have, you’ve seen it sufficiently.

A friend of ours, a fellow who went by the nickname of Don Chino, used to manage this event, but he died last year. When Don Chino was in charge, the Virgin headed out the Basilica door with a spring in her step.

Now she has fallen into bad Mexican habits.

R.I.P., Don Chino. We miss you.

two
This is not the Basilica. It’s a big church just one block from the Basilica.

The waning day

waning

STREET RENOVATION around the plaza and some connecting calles has been under way for years, and it appears almost finished.

The four sides of the plaza are done except for a small area on one corner, and they were working like mad on that late yesterday. The section in the photo is finished although it’s still not open to traffic.

I shot this scene with my phone as I was walking to the Honda to return to my hardscrabble barrio on the outskirts of town. It’s not noticeable in the photo, but city workers are busy installing Christmas lights atop the buildings facing the plaza.

And the humongous nativity scene that debuted last year (or the year before?) is going up on the plaza, off to the left of the photo. We have become very festive over the holidays since a mayor who cares about such stuff won the vote a few years ago, and was re-elected last July.

I’m not a yuletide fan due to the crowds, and “Christmas” here does not end on New Year’s Day. It soldiers on till Three King’s Day, January 6, which is when little Latino kids get their goodies.

So I don’t get to emit a sigh of blissful release on January 2, as I always did above the Rio Bravo. I have to wait till January 7 till it all settles down.

Call me a Grinch.

My second ex-wife and I were always at painful odds over the holidays due to her being a Yuletide maniac and my being, well, not. I don’t have that problem with my child bride because she’s more easygoing. She loves me in spite of my numerous social and psychological warts.

Latina women are accustomed to flawed men.

Silence of the hens

WE HAVE ENTERED a new era at the Hacienda.

For almost 16 years, we have endured various, usually minor but persistent, problems due to the gang of chickens running wild next door.

Because of the sourpuss neighbors’ apple tree that abuts our property wall and because of the chicken flock’s fondness for snoozing up there at night, the fowl have long noticed the literally greener pasture next door.

New ImageSo they jump over. Oh, not all that often, but too often for my taste. Thankfully, they soon weary of this new world or perhaps they miss their sisters, so they flap back over the wall to where they belong, their familiar world of pigs, dogs, horses, etc.*

Recently, something odd happened. A hen leaped over and decided to stay. I addressed that challenge here if you missed the drama.

Two days ago, while I was standing on the upstairs terraza admiring the lovely morning, I noticed something next door because the terraza offers a clear shot of the neighbors’ yard. An enclosure of chicken wire, and inside that enclosure were all the darn chickens. Trapped!

Even better, the new chicken coop abuts the wall on the far side of their property, not on our side. And yesterday morning, unlike all mornings for years, the dawn cacaphony of cackles was drastically reduced. The coop, unlike the apple tree, seems not to encourage sunrise conviviality.

With luck, this situation will continue, but things tend to fall apart in time next door, both literally and figuratively. Our fingers are crossed.

One wonders if the neighbors missed the wandering hen who came here and never returned, or if building the chicken-wire coop so soon after was pure coincidence. No matter. All’s well that ends well.

* * * *

* You always want uninvited migrants, i.e. illegal aliens, to do precisely that, go back where they came from as soon as possible.

A morning tradition

MOST EVERY morning following croissantitos and orange marmelade or Costco bagels and cream cheese lite, plus café americano negro, of course, we retire to the living room and sit on the red sofa.

The music machine is already playing. I turn that on before bagels or croissantitos. This morning it was Madeleine Peyroux who was serenading us. She’s been our morning music for quite a few weeks now.

And will remain so till we weary of her.

This is how the scene appeared this morning. It doesn’t last long because we are a very busy pair, but it lasts long enough to count.

* * * *

(Note: The rather loud tick, tock, tick you hear is my Aunt Ned’s (R.I.P.) antique wall clock which dates from about 1885. I date from somewhat later than that.)