End of summer

And so we end another summer, my 14th here on the mountaintop.

This one was notable for two things: One, the peach tree dropped scant fruit to rot on the grass. Rare. Two, the yard has become a better man than I. It is beyond my ability to control except in some small fashion.

ArchwayAnd I accept this change. The lawn gets cut, though I no longer do it, and the edges get trimmed, which I do, but with electricity instead of gasoline.

I spend far less time on the stone yard patio, beneath the big green umbrella.

And I almost never lie in the hammock, which still sways in the breeze on the upstairs terraza, abandoned save for the occasional traveling bird.

One’s habits change with no conscious decision. Just happens.

My sister, three years older, once told me that she started to notice age between 65 and 70. At 69 now, I see her point.

The rain this summer has been pretty typical, which is to say daily. Something clicked, however, with a few yard residents. The bougainvillea facing the sex hotel has climbed over the high wall with an attitude.

The nopal cactus soars toward the clouds, far over my head, making me wonder if one day it may decide to break at its soft base and slay me with a thousand spikes as I innocently wander by.

The three tall stands of banana have made their zones their own. Just stay out, they seem to say. And I obey.

I feel many things slowing down within me, and I wonder how many more summers I will look through this window at the blue-green mountains and the clouds that sit atop them and flow through their valleys.

19 thoughts on “End of summer

  1. I hit the 69th a tad bit ahead of you, though not by much. Retired finally in August, future welders, pipefitters and plumbers will have to do without my counsel. Yes, life is different. I started to feel the change last year, I see things different now, and no, it’s not because of glasses. I am going back to Mazatlan for a longer stay. I am returning to Puerto Escondito, (maybe I’ll see Mr. Calypso) but not on the naked beach I hope. I like Puerto, been there several times, I like quiet. It is quiet there except for the infernal Army Bugle and Drum semblance that starts up at 5 in the AM. I am surprised he hasn’t mentioned that in his blog. I think you will have many summers yet, to scribe and ponder the wonders of our universe. I enjoy your company. I still like Mrs. Obama, no blue-gray hair there. I make no apologies.


    1. Señor Peterson: Welcome (again) to the world of the joyfully unemployed. Had I been you I would have done it sooner.

      The Drum and Bugle Corps to which you refer is normally a school band practicing. If you’re not near a school, you’re not likely to hear it.

      I like naked beaches though I have never been to one. I like the sound of it, though most of the bodies would probably be old coots like us, but maybe not.

      Yes, I know you like Mrs. Obama and her bumbling, incompetent husband too. I wish you would go to D.C., invite them into a van, and transport them home to your socialist Canada. You would all be happy together.


      1. Nude beaches. I was 23 in Greece the last time I frequented one. The infamous one on Mykonos. Filled with young Scandinavians. The same Swedes are probably still there. Just not so young. Like the two of us.


      2. In Puerto there are or were 2 Army Contingences’, at 5 in the morning or so. They would warm up for their reveille. I was staying at the Hotel Santa Fe. Such a racket you couldn’t imagine. They were all playing the same song, just not together, nor at the same time. After a while, there was some semblance of togetherness after about 20 minutes of tootin’ and drum bashing. Shortly after, down the Malaçon would come the exercise run of the troops.

        Ahh, my Socialist Canada, fine place to live, nice people too, they say. I don’t talk to them much, but I hear they’re a very upstanding group of North Americans. Some travelers from the near South borrow our maple emblems to put on their jackets and backpacks when they travel abroad. Wonder why that is.


        1. Señor Peterson: So, it’s not totally schools that do the drum-and-bugle routine near dawn. Makes sense that military bases do it too, but there are far more schools than military bases. I lived four months near a school in the state capital just after moving over the border. Every cursed morning, they’d start blasting the same tune.

          As for you Canucks, you have it nice because the Gringos keep the bad guys away. Thank your lucky stars for the proximity.


  2. Amigo, you are scaring me — just two years and a few months behind you — still feeling great and have plenty of lead in my pencil. Just lost a friend who was running pretty strong through 85 — his 86th and last was a definite slowdown — and then stop.

    Robert — we do not hear the sounds you describe. We are at the southeast end of Puerto (in La Punta just three blocks up from the point). Aside from the occasional dog barking, it is very quiet. Would love to meet up — there from late October this year (running late) to mid-April. There are a couple EXCELLENT restaurants at the “nude beach” by the way (actually Zipolite). We go there to get away from Paradise in Puerto every now and again — not to look at naked people. However, they are there.


    1. Señor Calpyso: First, you announce the lead in your pencil, and then you say you don’t go to the naked beach for the naked people. My, my.

      Speaking of age, my mother made it to 90. My father only made it to 75.


  3. My father lived to be 94. He was healthy in mind and body until a few years before his death. He traveled and read often. He loved the sun and beach, rode horses in the mountains. During one of our conversations (he was then in his 80s) I asked him how old he felt. He said, I still feel like I’m 19, except when it’s cold and rainy day after day.


  4. Our summer this year has normalized the amount of rainfall from the past few years, I noticed just a tad more,so averaging out, all is well again with the world in Mexico.

    When you add that to no global warming (debunked), I understand that man simply cannot wrestle with mother nature. (We will leave that for a blog topic one of these days.)

    I do notice that certain projects have pooped out of energy, so now I have to wonder why even start them?

    After all, at best we have what may be 15 or 20 years of life with any shred of quality to which to possibly enjoy the outcome. Seeing how fast our last 18 years since we started our house project here, I doubt anything will make much difference.

    All I need is a little more time to read without falling asleep, more time to enjoy some tasty meals without drooling or having acid reflux or other conditions and a little more time to cuddle with my child bride and our wiener dogs, understanding of what is really important. And just a little cognizant time to enjoy it all.

    Another season and other show, as they say. Saludos!


  5. It’s called aging gracefully. And you’ve had a pretty good start at it those years ago when you landed in MX. I seem to have acquired a bad spot in my spine which hurts like hell when it acts up. But I have pills for that 🙂 Otherwise, I am 16 in my head.


    1. Carole: I have noticed that little niggling physical problems come, but then they go away, which is the nice part. I have yet to have anything come and stay. Let us assume that your bad spot will vanish in time. I hope so.

      I would like to be 16 in my head, but too many things have passed through my head.


  6. I’m quite a bit younger than most of y’all, but still, not as young as I used to be. Now in my early 50’s, I’m blessed to be retired so young. Part of me can hardly believe it. I still feel pretty young, better in 2013 than before. I modified my diet this year to include MUCH more fresh leafy greens, other vegetables and fruits, and less dairy, processed wheat (pasta, bread, crackers, etc), and less meat. I think that helped a lot. I don’t feel “creaky” any more.

    But time is catching up with me. I now need reading glasses, and my recent truck project initially had me very sore, rolling around underneath it and wrestling with wrenches and gas tanks.

    Still, I thank my lucky stars that I’m still here. I intend to live life to the fullest, and should have plenty ahead. My grandfather on my father’s side lived to 101, my great aunt on my mother’s side lived to 100, and my grandmother lived into her late 90’s. All of them had what we would now consider bad health habits (smoking, etc). So I should have a good shot at 100.

    That said, do I want to live to 100? I’ve always admired the character “Maude” in the film “Harold and Maude,” who decided that 85 was enough, and ended her life on her own terms, just as she had lived it.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where in January 2013, a friend’s mother committed suicide at age 95, despite having driven to Boston herself from lower Connecticut the prior Thanksgiving.


    1. Kim: It’s a rare person who should wish to be alive at 100. My mother made it to 90 because, I am convinced, she had a pacemaker since she was about 65. She was, in effect, on life support for 25 years. Her last few years were not good ones, physically, even though she remained sharp as the proverbial tack to the end. Might have been far better had she been in la-la land. In short, be wary of pacemakers.

      Don’t know what brought this to mind.


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