Wide, open spaces

zone

IF YOU STEP from our house out to the street, hang a right, walk about five blocks and look sharply over your left shoulder, this is what you’ll see.

Mountains, some humble homes, trees, wide open spaces and a railroad track that heads to the Pacific coast and the commercial shipping hub at Lázaro Cárdenas.

I took the shot during a 30-minute exercise walk I made yesterday morning with my child bride and our closest nephew, the one I once called the Little Vaquero, the Little Cowboy, but he’s bigger now and no cowboy. He’s a soccer goalie and nearly 15.

He had spent the night with us, which he does every now and then, but not nearly so often as he did when he was much younger.

I’m not sure why this scene caught my eye. Maybe it’s the new year, and this wide-open space represents possibilities to me. To me, a new year is like a clean slate.

And then we walked  home and ate waffles.

Christmas lights on the mountaintop

HERE WE ARE, the last day of 2017, which was a very good year for me, and I hope for you too. Let us pray that 2018 will be equally good or better.

I’ll be elated tomorrow. January First is always my favorite day of the year because it’s as distant as you can get from the next holiday season. There’s just too much hubbub here, too much traffic, too many people.

I shot this brief video — my videos are always brief — Friday evening. We’re all dolled up downtown. What you cannot see is the humongous Nativity Scene spread all over the plaza, which is over to the right. It’s so overboard that tourists come from far and wide, which was the objective, of course. Bring cash.

A few short years ago we elected a new mayor, one of many since I moved here over 17 years back. The mayors came. The mayors went. And you never noticed a lick of difference … until the last election when we elected a fellow named Baéz.

The huge Nativity Scene is, one must assume, due to Baéz. So is the massive street renovation currently under way around the plaza. Other streets downtown have been, or are in the process of being, renovated too. Lord knows they needed it.

Those Christmas lights on the buildings around the plaza are new too.

The scuttlebutt is that Baéz has wider political aspirations, state or national. That’s fine by me. In spite of his being the candidate of the leftist PRD, I voted for him due to the advice of a local sage (R.I.P.) whose knowledge I trusted.

Tomorrow I awake with a smile on my face. January First. Most of the tourists will be leaving, but we still have another week till Three Kings Day. Things won’t completely return to normal till after that. God give me patience.

Adiós, December

centro

I READ RECENTLY that more people have heart attacks on Christmas Day than on any other day.

The holiday season is not welcomed by many folks. It throws them into a fit of depression. While it does not depress me, the entire month of December is my least favorite.

Christmas doesn’t interest me because I quit believing in Santa when I was 7 years old, and I’m not a Christian, so the religious aspect means nothing. I don’t think it means much to many people, but that’s another issue.

I’m gracious when people wish me Merry Christmas, but my heart’s not in it. Before I moved to Mexico, my favorite day of the year was January First because it’s as distant from the next Christmas season as you can get.

Alas, in Mexico the hysteria continues till January 6, which is Three Kings Day, and that’s when little Mexican kids get their presents, not on Christmas.

My attitude toward Christmas was always a source of much conflict with my second ex-wife who is as pro-Christmas as I am anti. December was painful in our home.

Today is January 1, 2017, a fresh year. I dropped my child bride off last night downtown so she could party almost to the crack of dawn with a mob of her unruly Mexican kin, something she did just a week ago for Christmas.

She’ll come home tomorrow nearly catatonic from lack of sleep while I’ll be fresh as the proverbial daisy.

A few hours prior to dropping her off, I was walking alone down the hill there in the photo. It’s one of our town’s best perspectives. A New Year’s gift to you.

Many thanks to those who give me feedback now and then. I appreciate it. May 2017 treat you well.

For those who stay mum, may 2017 treat you well too.

Hooray for Israel

UNTHE POLAR opposite of the oppressive, backward, violent Mohammedan world is, of course, Israel, the sole democracy in that neighborhood, and the only nation thereabouts where women are free.

Another smelly spot on the world stage is the United Nations, where dictators and/or religious nuts gather — mostly on the American dime — to fight freedom. Take a look at the U.N.’s condemnation list for 2014.

As 2015 approaches, let us pray that it will be a very bad year for evil people.