It’s Springtime!

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WINTER PACKED UP yesterday and headed home, wherever that is.

Now it’s Springtime, the season of hope and rejuvenation. I’m feeling rejuvenated already. Are you? Worried about the coronavirus?* It’s winding down in China where it began. Worldwide, about 10,000 people have died so far.

Yes, it will likely get somewhat worse, but think of this:

Every year, the seasonal flu kills about 650,000. Every year. Do we quiver in our homes each flu season? Do we torpedo the economy? Do we stock up on tons of T-P?

Do we initiate “social distancing”?

Every single, solitary year there is a pandemic of flu that kills hundreds of thousands, and what do we do? We are accustomed to it, so we shrug it off.

This flu season in the United States, which hasn’t ended, from 12,000 to 30,000 people have died. That’s just this season in the United States. That’s quite a bit more than the global fatalities from coronavirus. Getting the picture?

Also remember, most coronavirus cases are mild.

Life at the Hacienda is going on mostly as usual. The only extra precaution we’re taking is that we’re not doing the Mexican kissy-kissy and huggy-huggy for a spell. Of course, I stopped that about a year ago, but now my child bride is on board.

We lunched yesterday in a nice new Japanese restaurant here in town. We eat out every Thursday and Sunday, and we’ll continue with that.

Today our lunch is Greek chicken that I made in the crockpot. It includes onion, potatoes and garlic up the kazoo.

My child bride will be downtown on the main plaza tomorrow hawking her pastries, a regular Saturday event. Come on by. And she’s still going to the gym. Muscling her out of the gym would be a major undertaking.

In spite of warnings, even here in Mexico, to avoid large gatherings, there was a monster blowout last night on our neighborhood plaza. Tons in attendance to celebrate some saint, which is our usual excuse to make a racket and get drunk.

We two did not go, of course.

Nico the Curtain Man was here Wednesday to take measurements and give us a price to replace parts of the canvas curtains on the upstairs terraza after they were damaged — one totally blown out — by the horrendous hailstorm last week.

So life goes on, as it should. After an abortive trip to Costco in the nearby capital city on Tuesday, a trip we make every week, we’re short on some items, so this afternoon I’ll be going to a supermarket here in town.

Maybe they’ll  have some T-P. You always have to wipe yourself.

In any event, don’t worry! Be happy!

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* A prominent political wag called it Kung Flu recently and was promptly labeled A RACIST! Those nutty Democrats never give it a rest, do they? Sad.

A week of misery

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The swept sidewalk and the stone steps.

I’M ALMOST back to normal after a week of suffering from a cold.

It wasn’t a horrible cold as colds go, but no cold is a good cold. During the past week, I have done virtually nothing but sit it out, which is my approach to colds. My child bride’s approach, on the other hand, is to go to the gym and work out. She’s loca.

During the week, chores piled up. One, which had piled up far longer than a week, was to sweep the sidewalk out on the street. If you don’t sweep your sidewalk, it doesn’t get swept. The municipality does not sweep it. Our town has no street sweeper.

So I swept my sidewalk this morning. It had the usual collection of Styrofoam cups, candy wrappers and whatever else the slobs enjoy tossing out car windows.

Also this morning, I did my daily exercise walk around the nearby plaza. Thursday is market day, so there were stalls selling lots of stuff. I bought broccoli for lunch tomorrow. I have a nice spaghetti recipe that requires broccoli and garlic.

There were about 150 people lined up on the plaza for some reason or another, likely to benefit from some government giveaway.

In a month or so, we’ll start this year’s renovations. One must wait till the monsoon season ends. It used to end in October. Now it ends in November. Cursed climate change!

We need you, Greta Thunberg! Do you speak Spanish?

On the schedule is to paint the wall in the photo and get rid of that garish color we never requested in the first place. It was done a few years back during another series of renovations. I had asked for an adobe color. What I got was reddish-orange.

My attention must have been elsewhere when that paint was applied.

The stone steps rise to that steel door which leads into my child bride’s pastry kitchen, built in 2014. We added that door so the space could be used as a storefront one day. That day has never arrived and, I hope, never will in my lifetime.

Those stone steps are a very popular place for people to sit and rest a spell as they head down the sidewalk, especially kids. And lovers at night.

Thankfully, my head has mostly cleared up and chores are getting done. Scheduled for later today are buying breakfast biscuits in a pastry shop, washing the Honda (not me, a car wash), getting cash from an ATM and sitting at the coffee shop on the downtown plaza with my Kindle* and a nice, hot café Americano negro.

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* Just started Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of his Presidency which came out this week. It’s stupendous to have honest information about a man who’s turning out to be one of America’s greatest presidents. The author, Doug Wead, is a former adviser to two presidents and served as a special assistant to President George H.W. Bush. His numerous books are known for their primary sources (not partisan rumor).

A deviant Saturday

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We got to La Plazuela just before 2 p.m. Few other customers had arrived. That’s an actual half-car hanging on the wall, sliced right down the middle.

WE’RE PRETTY staid people, and our days don’t vary much, especially Saturdays when it’s baking in the morning, and hawking pastries downtown in the afternoon.

But we chucked all that yesterday and broke out of our mold.

We drove down the mountainside to the state capital with just frivolity on the agenda, not shopping, which is normally what takes us to the big city.

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First, we dined at a Cuban restaurant called La Plazuela. We ordered what’s called “the Banquet.” That’s it on our table. We ate it all.

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View in the other direction, toward the bar.

In 2012, we had quite a few Cuban meals at ground zero, the communist hellhole of Cuba itself, which is where we went for our 10th anniversary. You can read about that here. But we prefer our Cuban food in a free world.

After the meal, we headed to a movie theater, one of those fancy ones with the wide seats where waiters come to where you’re sitting to take orders, but we ordered nothing.

We were full of Cuban food.

The movie was Rocketman, the life of Elton John. It was a very good movie. I’ve long been an Elton John fan. The English actor Taron Egerton did a superlative job of portraying the singer and actually singing Elton’s music.

Elton John overcame his serious addiction to the bottle and drugs almost 30 years ago. He’s an old coot now, just two years younger than I am.

Saturday was notable for another thing: the initial lawn mowing of the year. Abel the Deadpan Yardman started his work for the summer of 2019. He arrived at 10 a.m. and finished before we headed to the state capital.

The lawn looks very nice this morning.

Sometimes, you gotta break out of your mold. It’s fun.

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Not a tall blade in sight. That’s an aloe vera on the right.

Life moments

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WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, my child bride opted to sit with me on the far side of the main plaza instead of doing what she usually does on late afternoons, gossiping nonstop with her sister. I think she felt guilty for leaving me alone on Christmas Eve.

I took advantage of her guilt. We sat a spell.

We purchased a couple of pastries at a bakery nearby and sat at the very same coffee shop where I sat solo 18 years ago and, due to the view, decided to move from the state capital here to the mountaintop.

The deciding view on that fateful afternoon was not this view. It was 90 degrees to the left, but that’s not the photo I took on Wednesday. The two white cars are driving by. The two dark cars are parked because the street beyond them is blocked off due to Christmas decorations.

This corner is notable because it is where the final bit of work took place last week that completed the street renovation around the plaza, something that was ongoing for a year or more.

It was a lovely evening, as most evenings here are.

But we also have mornings. Here’s a video I shot in 2011. Nothing much has changed. Morning, smoke, chickens and songbirds.