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.
SATURDAYS ARE variable, but some are far more varied, i.e. busy, than others, and this is one of those Saturdays. I pause to fill you in due to my being a sharing sort of fellow.
When Saturday falls on the first of a month, then things get even fuller. There are Saturday chores, and there are first-of-month chores. There are also occasional chores, and one of those fell on this Saturday too.
That was the twice-a-month 8:30 a.m. drive downtown to check my postoffice box. I did that only to discover the postoffice shut due to this also being inauguration day for our new president (ugh!) in Mexico City. Why they had to close the postoffice here is one of those Latino mysteries.
So I came home with no mail, but since I almost never get mail, this is no big thing. That’s right, I get virtually no mail in my postoffice box, not even the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.
I also don’t get sales calls at dinnertime.
Saturday morning is when Abel the Deadpan Yardman arrives to mow the lawn. Normally, we’ve ended that by December, but stubborn rains in November have kept the grass green and jubilant.
The first of the month means I check the two cars, the fluid levels, the tire P.S.I., that sort of thing. I did not do that today. Tomorrow is okay.
Saturday morning is when the plants on the veranda get watered, so I did that. It’s also when I shot the photo. It’s a cool, lovely day. I also wiped the Jesus Patio table and web chairs. You can see them in the photo.
Saturday is when my child bride sells her pastries in the afternoon on the downtown plaza, and I accompany her for the first few hours. As I write this, around noon, she’s out in her private kitchen baking up a storm.
Simultaneously, I hear pigs screaming bloody murder next door. They are not kind to their pigs. Sometimes they do murder them.
My neighborhood is not for the squeamish.
Though not specifically a Saturday chore, I washed the Honda because it was grubby due to the nasty weather this week, lots of rain and mud, and one wants to present an elegant face to the world.
And after Abel the Deadpan Yardman cuts the grass and heads home, two doors down, with his weedeater, I upend the mower and hose it clean.
It’s a Briggs & Stratton.
Furthermore, arriving this afternoon while we sit on the plaza hawking pastries is a woman from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who will live in our Downtown Casita for a month, maybe two. She just retired as a therapist. Perhaps she can heal me, make me right.
I’ll drive her to her new, temporary, home with the keys.
Yes, it’s been a very busy Saturday, busier than usual, and it’s only half over. And it will continue till tonight when we climb weary under the goose-down comforter draped over the king bed, and call it a day.
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(When I retired 19 years ago 19 days from now — yes, Dec. 19, 1999 — I wondered how I’d fill my days. It hasn’t been an issue, to put it mildly.)