Interminable municipal improvement

THE POWERS THAT be here on my mountaintop, the people who run the town, started major street and sidewalk renovations two or three years ago. I forget how long it’s been. It feels like forever.

It’s been nonstop since it started.

Previously, the cobblestone streets (some were just concrete) were in very bad condition. Same goes for some sidewalks. That’s all changing now.

The work seems interminable because it’s so labor-intensive. There are two elements involved. One is the surface of the streets and sidewalks. The other, just as important, is upgrading the underground drainage system.

Flooding was a serious problem during the daily downpours of the five-month rainy season. June to (or through) October, depending.

I’ve really enjoyed watching this work. Unlike above the border where everyone fears getting sued, so construction projects are walled off, nothing is walled off here. You can walk right up and watch, even making a nuisance of yourself.

I particularly enjoy the drainage aspects. What you see in these photos will be just manholes from the street surface, but look what’s below.

street2
Close up.

I never spotted anything like this above the Rio Bravo. Maybe they were doing it this way, but you couldn’t get close enough to see due to lawsuit fears.

If you fall into a hole here, it’s just your tough luck.

street
Not so close up.

The first yank

My trusty machine, red like the house.

THE RAINY SEASON arrived this week with a splash!

Three days ago I was enjoying a nice café Americano negro at a sidewalk table downtown when the skies opened with a vengeance.

In short order, the street vanished, and a lake took its place. Passing cars pushed waves onto the sidewalk, so I retreated closer to the wall with my chair and table.

The temperatures have dropped. The dust is washed into the gutters, down the drain pipes and into the lake.

And now my grass is greening. Soon it will need mowing and edging. Yesterday I pulled the mower from under a table on the Garden Patio and wiped it off with paper towels.

I poured fresh gas into the tank. I primed the carb (three times), and I yanked on the rope. Roar! The first yank!

Craftsman makes good stuff.

That leaves the weedeater, which I bought just last year, a Stihl, which is also a good item, but all weedeaters are a bitch to crank. The Stihl is just a little less so. But it has a rather complicated process you must observe to start it.

And being along in years, my arm is not what it once was. If the Stihl does not crank  quickly, I’m out of the game. I have not tried to start it yet. I am procrastinating.

Stihl weedeater, better than most.

While I let Abel the Deadpan Yardman mow the grass with the Craftsman, I am hesitant to put the Stihl in his mitts. The last time I let a local use a weedeater, it ended up in tatters.

Mexicans tend not to take care of things owned by other people. It’s a cultural trait and not one of their better ones. But I may be forced to hand it over to him.

Happy cacti.

After shooting the mower and Stihl, I photographed these cacti. I’m a cactus man. I planted them in Houston, but they never did squat.

Here, however, they’re right at home. I planted these cacti when they were small. The ones at the far end are  now taller than I am.

So summer and its accompanying rains are here. We love it when that happens after the stuffy, dry, dusty spring. But by soggy September we’ll be praying for an end to it.