Of bones and death

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Out the bedroom window this cool, overcast Monday.

I HAVEN’T issued a recent update on my child bride’s broken arm.

On Sept. 28, two days before a month had passed (the doctor initially said it would require four to six weeks), the cast came off. Since neither of us had ever suffered a broken bone before, we were clueless about the process.

While an X-ray indicates the arm is healing nicely, we did not anticipate the effects of one month of having an arm immobilized. Things happen to muscles and tendons, painful things. Well, mostly after the cast comes off.

But she’s doing exercises and soaks in warm water, and all is improving, but it’s not back to normal. Patience.

Worst of all for her is not being able to return to the gym. This has been the longest spell of no-gym in her 30 years of gym fanaticism. Again, patience.

But she’s driving her car again, and dealing with her own hair.

* * * *

Weather-wise

We’re approaching the middle of October, which means we’re nearing the end of the yearly, five-month-long, daily deluges. The Day of the Dead arrives Nov. 2, and sometimes we get a rain on that candlelit night, messing things up in the cemeteries, but then the rain is gone till the following June.

With luck, the Day of the Dead will be dry. I’m told the corpses prefer it that way.

You never know where you’ll end up

OR WHO YOU will end up with, for that matter.

There’s a photo of me pasted to our refrigerator door.  I was 19 years old and standing with one of my best friends at the time in my barracks room at Castle Air Force Base in Central California. It was 1963.

The friend, Adrian Landres, died about a decade ago.

I paused and looked long at that photo this morning. What a fresh-faced young fellow I was. I sported a sweatshirt tucked into blue jeans and had a watch cap on my head. I was smiling broadly. I had no clue about the future.

Or about much of anything, for that matter.

Adrian was wearing a slick suit he had tailor-made during an assignment somewhere in the Far East.

If someone had told my smiling self that I would spend the last couple of decades (or more) of my life in the middle of Mexico, married to a Mexican, how would I have reacted? With incredulity, I suspect.

Still in Houston in 1999, I visited bookstores (remember them?) and sat in cushy chairs with Retire in Mexico publications. Virtually nowhere did I see references to the mountaintop town where I now live. I recall just one mention of it that said it was not a popular destination due to its being quite cold.

It can get cold. Bring a wrap.

I imagine that advice has changed lots in the past 19 years. When I landed here, there were about 40 Gringos in residence. Many were quite odd, present company excepted, of course. Now there are at least 10 times that many.

And they’re not nearly as odd.

The place was colonially cute but tatty when I moved up from the nearby state capital (eight months there), and it did not change much until renovations got under way in a major way about two or three years ago.

It started with the streets and sidewalks in the dead center of downtown. That work is still ongoing because it’s incredibly labor-intensive. And just this weekend, the city government began a painting project that will freshen the façades of homes and businesses in the downtown zone, free to the owners.

We are a major-league tourist attraction, and the town fathers want to amplify that. Our “look” is from centuries ago, plus we’re one of the top Day of the Dead destinations in all of Mexico.

This is all fun to watch and, of course, it’s increasing the value of our two properties. Here are photos I stole from an online news website.

Screenshot (1)

Screenshot (2)

You never know where you’ll end up or who you’ll end up with. Life is full of surprises and unforeseen detours, eh?

Strolling the yard

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Señora Bones scares intruders from the Hacienda. Well, that’s the idea.
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Renovated bathroom window. And the beams over both windows are newly varnished.

IT’S SUNDAY, our day of rest.

Saturday is our busiest day due to the weekly pastry sale my child bride offers out of her big basket that’s shaped like a sombrero. We do that downtown on the main plaza.

After the endless hubbub of Saturday, we kick back on Sunday. After watching a strange movie on Netflix this morning — Joe, starring Nicholas Cage — I took a stroll around the yard while my child bride began the lengthy, female process of bathing and dressing before we head out to a restaurant.

I photographed some stuff.

It was a nice morning, mild and sunny. There was la señora Bones, whom I’ve not shown here in a fair spell. She stands next to the Alamo Wall. Then there was a corner of the house, bath window on left, bedroom on right. We recently had work done on the bathroom window, new varnish, new screen.

The plant in the middle is the golden datura tree, which I whack back to a nub for winter. It’s starting to sprout again and will be full of big, gold blooms and a fine smell that drifts into the bedroom on summer nights.

Yesterday, I was sitting in a web chair, lazy style, watering with a garden hose when a goldfinch joined me for a bath. He sat himself on the sidewalk on the outer edge of my spraying and turned himself this way and that, fluffing up his feathers, giving himself a very nice shower. And it was fun for me too. He was only about three feet away.

Though we’re still in the dead of winter, calendar-wise, the pear tree thinks it’s springtime. That’s it below sprouting blooms. The weather has been so mild for a few weeks that the pear has lost touch with reality.

It’s good to live in agreeable surroundings.

She’s hollering up from downstairs now that she’s ready to go eat.

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Pear tree thinks it’s springtime.

Big changes in our old town

OUR HUGE, beautiful plaza hasn’t changed that much in decades, but we’re seeing some major alterations now.

The cobblestone street circling the plaza, plus a street spoke shooting off thataway, are being totally torn up. There will be a narrowing of the streets, widening of the sidewalks, a bike path and improved drainage.

Drainage improvements may be the best of all.

Currently, the five-month rainy season creates deep lakes in parts of the street circling the plaza, lakes that wash up onto the sidewalks and sometimes into businesses, a massive problem.

The work started weeks ago, and will take months because lots of the work is done by hand. Right now, two sides of the plaza street are torn up, and all traffic has been rerouted to the other two streets. One imagines that when the two streets being renovated are completed, the two other streets will follow suit, and traffic will be routed over the renovated sides.

I’m real smart that way.

The work started as soon as the Day of the Dead hoopla ended in early November, and the tourist mobs went home.

Ever since I moved here and, one supposes, for years before, mayors came and went, and little changed. However, the last election, a couple of years ago, put a fellow into the mayor’s office, a guy named Báez, and there’s been ongoing change ever since, and it’s all been good change.

Other important downtown streets, previously potholed obstacle courses, are either being renovated or have been renovated. A sports center was recently opened. It has a soccer field, two tennis courts, a running track, a gym, and a municipal auditorium.

I voted for this guy Báez, and I’d do it again. He ran as the candidate of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, but was supported by the communist party too. They call themselves the Workers Party, but their scarlet flag with a yellow star tells you who they really are.

You never know with whom you’ll end up in bed.

Báez also initiated a humongous Christmas display on the plaza last year, life-sized artificial elephants, giraffes, burros, etc., and that drew lots of tourists here, which was the point. But it’s fun.

I’ve seen the plans for the plaza via video animation, and we’re going to be spectacular. Of course, if you’re planning to move here, be aware that you’ll freeze your butt off in winter. Go to San Miguel instead.

No Spanish required over there.