Remains of the day


THIS DAY DAWNED gray and cold. Upstairs, reading the morning’s ever-grim news from above the Rio Bravo, I shivered, and it was not simply the weather’s chill.

I heard the approaching freight train, so I picked up the Kodak Easyshare and stepped out to the terraza on the second floor and snapped this shot.

After doing exercise on the gym set across the room, the hour of 8 was upon me, so downstairs I went, calling out — as I always do — Let’s eat!   The cry is echoed back to me from the bedroom where my child bride is either still in bed, reading, or making it. The bed, that is.

I serve everything at that hour. The bagels, the cream cheese, the coffee, plus I set the plates and knives out, napkins too. I do it all, not being a real Mexican man who simply waits to be coddled.

After my child bride gets pinto beans boiling, we bundle up a bit, and walk 20 minutes around the nearby plaza. On our return, we sit on the downstairs terraza. I drink fresh orange juice squeezed before we departed, and she peels and eats a grapefruit, unsugared, which is just one step shy of sucking a lemon.

Women can be hard to figure.

Sitting there, we phone the propane company down the highway. Our tank is near empty. We’re told the truck will be here ahorita, which literally means pretty soon, but which actually means someday before you die.

Chores begin. I sweep the upstairs terraza and the service patio off the kitchen. I do some updates on the computer during the sweeps. I take a shower and dress. The propane delivery still has not arrived, but then I have not died yet. No matter. We have enough for many days more.

It’s almost time for Second Breakfast, which arrives at 11 a.m. I am scrubbed and installed in fresh clothes. My hair is combed, and I smell pretty good.

The ninth of April has not arrived at noon, but that’s all you get today. The remains must remain a mystery. I will say this much: Pinto beans and roasted chicken. Espresso on the plaza.

And the sun is now shining.

12 thoughts on “Remains of the day

  1. That was a great post! A slice of another life. It lifts my spirits to read it. Why? I cannot say.


  2. You are LIVING THE DREAM, Felipe! So when did the propane tank arrive? (or has it yet?) LOL! I remember waiting around for services like that. ALWAYS have a book or something to do. (As you know.)


    1. Hi, Mike: The propane truck showed up about 12:30, not so bad. They usually are among the more punctual. If I had phoned late yesterday, they would have had me on the schedule first, and they would have been here at 8 a.m.

      I have no land-line phone, so that’s never an issue. I pay my electric bills automatically from my bank account, so I never really get involved with workers there, but when I have it’s been fine. Back before I connected with the municipal water supply a couple of years ago, the tanker truck almost always arrived promptly. I have an electrician who arrives promptly and a plumber too. All told, I get better-than-average service almost always, as good or better than in the United States. I think I live right. Good karma and all that.


  3. The sun is no longer shining but it is still a good day. Faint hints of thunder and an arriving rainy season. I love the drama of the thunder and lightning when the rainy season comes full blast. Where I hail from we only get the rain… lots of rain.

    Full propane tank, pinto beans and roasted chicken. Cafécito on the plaza. Netflix waiting to view with your lovely wife. Not sure it’s karma, but you certainly have been enjoying one of the better slices of your life.

    Culinary question: Does your wife always put up pinto beans overnight or is it just an on occasional entrée? I’ve noticed many of the traditional households have started using presto cookers for the beans. Not quite the same taste.


    1. Larry: Yes, it rained a bit. More noise than anything. This is way too early for the rainy season to even think of beginning, so … a fluke.

      As for enjoying myself, yep, I do.

      My wife puts beans to soak every Tuesday evening because every Wednesday we buy a roasted chicken for lunch. Wednesday is one and a half chickens for the price of one, so we take advantage of that weekly. She uses a pressure cooker Wednesday mornings, but then finishes it off in a clay pot with some additional efforts. It is very good, and lasts more than one day.


  4. Beans and chicken? Waiting on the propane truck?

    This is not the Mexico we hear about in the U.S. media. Up here we hear about the constant struggle between the loppers and the denogginators — heads rolling and the constant chatter of AR-15’s.


    1. Ray: Beans and chicken, etc., occupy much more of a Mexican’s time than does worrying about what the hysterical Gringo news media say about us. Most of what is said about us is grossly misleading. Or just plain wrong.

      Loppers and denogginators. I like that.


  5. These posts about simple pleasures of benign daily routine help bring me back to the possibilities of a Mexican life, when they otherwise might drift away, ever more remote. Thanks.

    I’ve observed and sampled that life a bit several times before always retreating to the dull but familiar NOB experience. I’m grateful for the help keeping alive the possibility of a civilized life in Mexico, enjoying more of what you bring to life with your writing.


    1. Thanks for the ever-kind feedback, Stan. You make me blush. As for living down here, it is indeed better these days. As for your embracing it full-time, more than anything it’s a matter of money. Can one afford it or not? One can work for a wage down here, but there are lots of restrictions for non-citizens, which is why so many of us are retired.

      But it is highly recommended.


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