Resurrection of loveliness

sky
Blue skies beyond the fan palm and cacti this morning.

THE SUNSHINE and blue skies are back!

We’ve just endured three days of misery, a combination of cold and wet. Rain that just would not stop, but it’s gone now. It shouldn’t be raining in February in the first place.

The Goddess was distracted. Perhaps she found a good-looking god.

A few years ago, it rained for 10 days straight one winter, so three days is a step in the right direction. Cold outside is one thing for a home with no heating system, but adding nonstop rain ratchets up the misery immeasurably.

But this morning dawned clear, blue and chilly. There is hope, reason to go on breathing. After biscuits, honey and hot café, I swept the downstairs terraza, opened the big umbrella on the yard patio and noticed that the birdbath was overflowing with rainwater.

Birds are singing. The Thursday market on the neighborhood plaza will be open, so I need to walk down there for avocados and celery. ¡Hasta luego!

Events of the day

MONDAY DAWNED chill, gray and ugly. And in the afternoon, it started to rain, which is blasphemy here in February. Climate change. We should do something!

People wonder about folks who retire to Mexico. They ask, “What do you do all day?” The first thing to remember is that chores take longer here than they do above the border. This was very true years ago, but it’s becoming less so now, due to the internet.

After whole-wheat biscuits covered with honey at 8 a.m., I sat before the H-P All-in-One and loaded the website for the state government, specifically the page dealing with car taxes. Dial in the serial numbers and print out the page you take to the bank to pay.

The fee for each of the cars, 926 pesos or about $50 U.S., was the same even though one is a 2009 model and the other is 2014. Twenty years ago, it was necessary to stand in a long line to pay at a government office. Now you take the printed form and go to the bank. Much easier. The bank also has the sticker for the car window.

But the bank visit was for the afternoon. The morning still required other activities like the exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. Just as we were heading out afoot at 10, José Sosa drove up. He’s the guy who did lots of painting here a few weeks ago.

Now he’s painting my sister-in-law’s coffee shop downtown, and he wanted to borrow one of my ladders. You’d think a painter would have ladders. He has plenty of other gear, but not the ladder he needed, so off he went with my ladder.

I have lots of ladders.

After the second breakfast at 11 a.m., I entertained myself with YouTube videos, and my child bride knitted. Lunch happened at 2 p.m., as always. We had meat pies she made on Saturday plus minestrone I made last week. Mexico life is thrilling.

Then we killed 90 minutes watching a show on Netflix. At 4 we headed downtown in the two cars. She had to pass by a cousin’s house to pick up rent for our Mexico City condo. The cousin is footing that bill for a nephew attending a university in the capital.

I parked on the plaza and walked to the bank to pay the car taxes only to find the bank closed due to a national holiday I had neglected to notice. We have so many holidays, it’s tough to keep up. They usually entail a long weekend no matter the day on which the holiday falls. The holiday weekend is called a puente, a bridge.

It bridges from the weekend to the holiday, and you get more days off. We embrace reasons not to work.

The puente also caused my Social Security payment not to arrive at the bank. It’ll arrive mañana, I suppose. My car tax errand stymied, I headed to the coffee shop, sat at a sidewalk table, ordered a café Americano negro, pulled my Kindle from my man bag, and tugged a scarf tight around my neck. It was raining, cold and nasty.

There were wool gloves on my hands with the fingertips missing. My child bride knitted the gloves. You must have skin showing to flip pages on the Kindle.

crawdadI’m reading a book titled Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, her first novel. It’s very good and, at one point, gave me a chuckle. I knew something Delia did not because I am old, and she is younger. In referring to a school lunch served to one of the characters, she mentioned a “carton of milk.” This was 1952.

There were no cartons of milk in 1952, neither in schools nor delivered at dawn to your front door. Just bottles. Cartons came years later. I miss the bottles.

—-

Tomorrow we’re off to the nearby state capital for our weekly shopping trip, but we’ll have a passenger, our nephew, the kid once known as the Little Vaquero, whom we are taking to an ophthalmologist. He’s not a Little Vaquero anymore. He’ll be 17 next month.

His eyesight is extremely bad and has been for years. His glasses are old, and so are his contacts, which he prefers because he thinks he looks dorky in glasses. His mother’s approach to this situation is: mañana. She does nada. So we’re stepping in.

—-

As I left the coffee shop this afternoon and walked through a light rain to the Honda, I stopped at pastry shop to buy a brownie. It was not as good as my child bride makes — few things are — but it was darn tasty. These were the events of the day.

Now, at almost 7 p.m., it’s still raining and ugly. I blame Greta.

The window treatment

before
The “Before” shot.

WE HAVE THIS window, you see, from the dining room out to the garden. It provides a nice view in the morning while we’re enjoying biscuits, honey and café Americano negro.

But for some reason it’s the window that attracts far more rain in the monsoon months and sun in the sunny months than any other window. Both elements play havoc with the wood, which we must refinish with an unholy frequency.

A refinishing was done just a few weeks ago during other paint work.

Plus, there are a few weeks of the year when the sun sits just so in the morning sky, aiming its rays directly into my eyes while I’m trying to enjoy those biscuits and honey at the dining room table. It forces me to sit in odd positions, seeking comfort.

For years, I’ve been saying: Something must be done.

At last, I have done it.

install
Nico does his magic.

The man known as Nico, who custom made and installed the canvas curtains around the upstairs terraza last spring, came to the rescue. We now have an awning.

Didn’t cost much either. Should have done this years ago.

finish
The “After” shot.

It looks quite spiffy, I think, and will go a long way to protect the wood from rain and rays all year, plus my eyes during those certain months at breakfast.

Speaking of changes, I have also installed a new photo in the website header, replacing the ancient church that’s held that spot of honor for quite a spell. I took this new photo myself downtown yesterday, a mural in an interior patio.

The entire photo does not fit in the header. To see it all in lovely color, click here.

I am fond of skulls. Bones in general. They remind me of mortality.

Home alone

macMY CHILD BRIDE has gone off and left me, at least till Monday.

She hightailed it this morning at 8 a.m. to visit Guanajuato with two sisters and three nephews. I could have gone, but decided not to, so here I am, abandoned.

But I’m not completely alone because the house painter is here. If I fall down and break a leg or have a heart attack, he will haul me to the hospital, I hope.

The first thing I did after she departed was to enter the downstairs closet, climb atop a frayed, wicker-top stool and clean off the top shelf which harbored junk from many years ago. I’ll toss that trash into a dumpster this afternoon.

I found a machete up there. I bought it years ago, put it on the top shelf and forgot about it. Machetes are scary. Don’t remember why I bought it. Not going to throw it away, however. You never know when you might want to maim someone unpleasant.

At 1:30 I have a dental appointment downtown. I’ll leave the painter here alone while I do that. He’s applying red, waterproof paint to the roof of the kitchen and dining room. After the dentist, I’ll do lunch at a restaurant, then come home.

About 5 p.m., I’ll head out again with the aforementioned trash, pass by the dumpster, which is actually a parked truck, then head to the plaza for my usual afternoon café Americano negro and some down time with the Kindle.

I’m reading a bio of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Don’t tell Antifa.

Later, as the sun sinks beyond the Yuletide-festooned plaza, I’ll hop into the Honda for the drive back to the Hacienda. Only then, I suspect, will my abandonment hit me hard. It will be dark and solitary. I’ll likely eat an egg sandwich instead of the usual salad.

The king bed will feel like a soccer field where I’m the solitary player.

I prefer a team of two.