Mexican life

Bougainvillea butchery

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THAT’S ABEL the deadpan yardman cutting the bougainvillea down to size, or at least less large, last Saturday.

He also mowed the lawn. It probably was the final mow of the season because it has stopped raining. In the summer it rains every day, every freaking day.

November is our loveliest month, incomparable. The sky is blue. The air is cool. The mountains are green. The birds sing. You really cannot beat November in these parts.

No later than January, we’ll be taking out the grass to the left of the sidewalk, part of a project to eliminate all grass except in the middle semicircle. The green-and-yellow maguey you see on the left will be removed and trashed. All the area beyond the sidewalk will become stone and concrete.

The grass at the bottom right of the photo will remain. It’s part of the semicircle in the middle of the lawn.

That maguey’s removal will be the final one. We had five. Three were of the sort you see in the photo, which grow to monster size. The other two were smaller tequila magueys. I planted them all when they were little, thinking they were cute. They became a colossal nuisance. I am to blame.

We have others that are confined in planters. You see one there in the middle of the photo. Word to the wise: Never let a maguey escape from a planter. It will turn on you.

It will not show you love.

But November is here, and it is beautiful.

Mexican life

Feel of fall

WHEN I LIVED in America, October was my favorite month.

serveimageSome folks love the arrival of spring. I imagine most of them live in the frozen north. But I loved the arrival of not just autumn but October.

October has a distinct sensation even though fall arrives in late September. I lived 98 percent of my 55 years above the Rio Bravo in spots that sweltered in summer, so the arrival of autumn was a blessing, a relief, a sigh.

Where I live now we do not swelter in summer, so the transition to autumn is not such a big deal. Our big deal is the move from occasionally unpleasant, bone-dry spring to cooler, wetter summertime.

But the feel of Gringo fall stays with me, and I felt it today for the first time this year. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to put into words, but you know it when it touches you.

I was on the upstairs terraza sweeping this morning, taking advantage of the fact that most of the floor was dry because it did not rain yesterday or last night either.

And I said to myself: This feels like fall, and it did.

I love it.

Mexican life

Rain, book, berries

IT’S AUGUST when I normally start to weary of the rain, but that hasn’t happened yet, the weariness. I am still loving it.

Yesterday about 4 p.m., I headed out the door to drive downtown and have a nice café Americano negro, but it was raining, so I sat a spell on a wicker rocker on the veranda.

Pulling the Canon from my man bag, I shot the video. When the rain slacked, I drove downtown. It wasn’t raining there.

I sat with the black cafecito and read my Kindle. I’m about halfway through a wonderful novel, A Gentleman in Moscow by the oddly named Amor Towles who’s a guy.

Who births a man child and names him Love?

While my normal drink at this time of day and at this location is the café Americano negro, I’ve been known to wander off the reservation. That wandering often leads me to the ice cream shop around the corner where one can purchase this pink thing you see below. Agua de fresa con coco.

Water of strawberry with coconut. There is also dairy in there, and it tastes really good. Costs about 68 cents, Americano.

Living where I do provides many pleasures.