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.
IF IT’S NOT raining, I might sit around noon on a web chair by the glass-top table, shaded by the big, brown umbrella, feet atop another chair, for no better reason than pleasure.
I did that on Friday past.
I usually bring my Kindle and camera too in case a hummingbird sits a spell atop a nearby bloom. I’ve been hunting a shot, but when the hummers spot the camera, they zip away. When I don’t have the camera, they’ll come stare in my face.
The top shot was taken Friday when the yard needed a mow. The bottom two shots were taken yesterday after a mow.
I’ve had people ask me, “What’s up with the lawn? It doesn’t look like Mexico.” Well, the grass was mostly here when we bought the double lot. There’s wasn’t much else, but there was plenty of grass, an endless, freaking headache.
I’ve been telling myself for years that I’m uprooting all of it, or most of it, and laying down concrete and rock, but I never do it. Two reasons: the cost and the (temporary) mess.
But I feel steel in my spine. I’m more determined. Alas, the rainy season started last month, so the work cannot begin till November at the earliest, giving me months to change my mind.
But I’m not going to change my mind!
I’ve even worked out a plan. Do it gradually.
When the rains end, we’ll do most of the section in the photo at the very bottom, empedrado* only up to the Jesus Patio. Beyond the Jesus Patio — that’s the Jesus Patio where you see chairs and a table — a larger and far more elegant patio will be dreamed up to eliminate all of the grass in that area. Next year.
The yard is too large to be included in one photo. From the upstairs terraza, I can see more of it but not all, even from up there. It’s absurdly big. There is no backyard because the house is built against a corner of the double lot.
If I had been smarter, I would have built our house on half the space, facing the main drag, and another, a rental, facing the back street. There are two entries. But I was not smart.
I was a dumb Gringo in over his head.
But at least, gradually, I am now determined to resolve this grass curse.** Pray the steel stays in my spine till November.
I want to sit on the (much enlarged) Jesus Patio, which will need a new name, and gaze upon stone and cement, less grass.
Like the Reverend King: I have a dream.
* A surface of concrete and stone, very common in Mexico. The sidewalk is empedrado.
** A curse due to its lunatic growth during the five-month rainy season. You can never turn your back. You surely cannot travel anywhere more than a week.
(Note: Another grass section is to the right of the middle photo. It’s sizable but the smallest of the three sections. It’s where sit the monster bougainvillea and the towering nopal tree. It will be filled with stone and cement too, but not this year. The bougainvillea and nopal will stay in place.
MEXICO IS the perfect land for libertarians. The government pretty much leaves you alone. The photo illustrates this beautifully.
There are no safety nets, no safety harnesses, no safety helmets, no safety nada. These guys are free to plunge to their deaths, and I imagine sometimes they do.
Walking down a cobblestone street yesterday, sugar donut in hand, inhaling the cool air of late May, I happened upon this painting project, and I sighed with pleasure, knowing I would never see this above the Rio Bravo. It would be unthinkable. There are laws, you know.
And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012 — the most recent numbers available — 110 million Americans, about a third of the population, live in a home that receives government handouts, and that does not include Social Security and Medicare.
Won’t be long before the most noticeable difference between the United States and bankrupt Greece is that Greeks speak Greek and Americans speak Spanish English.
These things flashed through my mind as I walked by the sky-high house painters on the cobblestone street. I smiled and took another munch of my sugar donut.
SWEEPING THE Garden Patio at the back of the property yesterday, I noticed this combination of colors.
You don’t get this type of view often above the Rio Bravo. It just wouldn’t look right, so people rarely do it. But this is very Mexican. You’ve got your strong contrasts of yellow, green, red and the clear blue sky. You’ve also got your water tank up there, something that’s usually black.
There’s the white tank of the solar water heater too, a gizmo that heats water sometimes, and sometimes not. It disappoints me. The yellow building is the sex motel next door. Only at its rear is there a third story that houses the laundry, a room with washers but no dryers. There are clotheslines in there!
Since the sex motel has only eight rooms, and it doesn’t stay real busy, that works out for them.
Lots of color pleases me. And living here is an endless delight.