News of Springtime


IT RAINED YESTERDAY, which it should not have. April showers isn’t an expression that normally applies to our Mexican mountaintop. April drought is more like it. The forecast says it’ll do it again today, but the sky is blue so far.

I used to dread Springtime rain because it — unless brief — would rouse the lawn, and that would require mowing that big baby. But since I quit mowing a couple of years ago, it doesn’t matter if it rains. Our yardman, the dour Abel, just makes a bit of money.

Easter Week ended. That’s a big deal here, the resurrection of Jesus, so I mostly avoid it. Mobs of tourists arrive downtown. There’s a big artisan market on the plaza, and some of my Mexican relatives come visit. Fortunately, they stay downtown with my child bride’s sister or we let a chosen few stay in our downtown casita. The boozers, chain smokers, cheats, children and irresponsible can sleep elsewhere.

This year we gave the casita keys to a favored niece, about age 30 and married a year; her husband, a very nice fellow; and the niece’s papa, a good guy, and stepmother, whom I do not know. Four people, we thought. Of course, Mexicans often arrive with hordes of human baggage, and the papa and stepmother showed up, without warning, with their other two adult children.

None proved to be boozers, chain smokers, cheats or irresponsible, so it was okay. The casita has only a queen bed and a double bed, so God knows where they all slept. There was a small, fold-out mattress in a closet, leaving just one bedless. Probably snoozed on the sofa.

They were there only two nights, and they left yesterday afternoon. Later we passed by the casita and found it spic and span, which is how we like to find it after guests depart. There were neither cigarette butts nor dead bodies.

Next week we’ll be enjoying the Pacific beach at Zihuatenejo. Most Mexicans will be back at work or in school, so we should have the place pretty much to ourselves, which is how I like it. It’s a slightly late anniversary jaunt. We hit the 12-year point just two days ago.

This morning, under blue skies and enveloped in cool air and optimism, we walked our usual exercise laps around the neighborhood plaza. On returning, we sat a spell in the downstairs terraza with orange juice and grapefruit. That’s when I snapped the photo above.

23 thoughts on “News of Springtime

  1. Rain is welcome at any time of the year, because it means free water.

    On the whole, Mexicans who’ve stayed in my casita left the place in much better shape when they left than some gringos. (N.b., those gringos do not read your blog. Or mine.)


    1. Ms. Shoes: You bring up an interesting issue, inadvertently, I imagine. Mexicans normally do not trust other Mexicans. Turning a house (or car, whatever) over to unknown people is rarely done here. This has rubbed off on me. A few years ago I toyed with the notion of listing our Hacienda (this was before we had the casita) on a home-exchange website. My wife thought I had lost my mind. Let strangers stay in our house while we were elsewhere?! It was beyond her capacity to grasp, such an insane notion. Most Mexicans, I am sure, feel the same way.

      As a result, we do not rent the casita to Mexicans. Only to Gringos. And, this not being the United States, we will not be sued for discriminatory practices. It’s our house, and we rent to whomever we feel like. We also would bake wedding cakes for whomever we wish.

      Interesting, however, that you’ve had good, perhaps better, experience with Mexican tenants than with Gringos. We have had so few paying tenants that we cannot make any judgments just yet. These people who just left, of course, were relatives, not unknowns.


  2. Funny you should bring that up. In our travels we have often stayed in motels which are not frequented by Gringos. Mexicans will rent the rooms designed for two or four people, then later add anywhere from four to eight, ten more people to the mix. It’s always funny to see a car with two people registering, then about 1/2 hour later a van pulls up and empties out another six or so. Especially on holiday weekends the love to party and make noise to all hours of the morning. Gotta love these fun-loving people.

    We’re off to Zihua next Sunday also, so we may run you over there.


    1. Tancho: The culture, as you know, is very different here. It’s really fun, for instance, when you invite a couple to lunch, and they show up with six more people.

      All the better folks go to Zihua after Semana Santa. We were going to go today till it dawned on me that the official holiday is a two-week one as far as schools, etc., are concerned. Things should have settled down by next week.


      1. “Tancho: The culture, as you know, is very different here. It’s really fun, for instance, when you invite a couple to lunch, and they show up with six more people.”

        Yes, and often 1 to 4 hours late.

        Don Cuevas


        1. Don Cuevas: My favorite example of that happened some years back. We invited Sergio Luna (R.I.P.) whom you may know, who used to run the tourist office and a coffee shop before that, which is how I met him, and his wife to lunch. We told them 2 p.m. They arrived at 4. We had already given up on them and eaten. Turns out they thought it was a party, a group thing, and that they were simply two of the people on the guest list, thus no big rush. Fact was that they were the sole invitees. They were mightily embarrassed, which they should have been.


  3. Dime-size hail followed by rain. Nice break from the garden chores. Plus good smells from the kitchen oven!


    1. Patzman: It hailed and rained where we are too. Rained more than yesterday. The forecast calls for more tomorrow and the next day too. Wonder what is causing this. Too early to be the usual rainy season, but maybe Al Gore switched the schedule.


  4. April is a drought month in Alabama, too, but not this year. We’ve had a wet month, but at least it washes some of the pollen out of the air.


  5. I’m thinking that I’m lucky to have spent Semana Santa in Mérida (for many reasons), and that now I’ll have cheaper, easier hotels for the rest of my trip.


    Kim G
    Mérida, Yucatán
    Where we are really enjoying the heat.


    1. Kim: You are one weird dude if you are enjoying the heat. Guess it depends on what you’re used to. Boston winters could make a heat lover of one. New Orleans summers made a cool lover of me.


  6. I’m the only member of our condo board living here year-round, so holidays like Semana Santa are a little stressful for me. We have people come to stay, 20 or 30 to a unit, sleeping on the floor, pitching tents in the common area, having drunken parties in the parking lot. We brought in four security guards to patrol this time and it seemed quieter. Maybe everybody was down at the newly posted nude beach.


    1. Hola, Bliss: Long time, no see, as they say. Why don’t you update your Gravatar profile to direct folks to your current blog, not the previous one?

      As for Semana Santa where you live, I must chuckle. The locals can be such great fun.


    2. P.S.: You touched on an interesting and often very annoying result of a large hunk of the Mexican culture, which is “mind your own business.” Minding your own business is so ingrained in the Mexican world that it has opened the door to all manner of bad behavior. Keep your neighbor up all night with blaring music? No problem. The neighbor will say nothing. And he does say nothing. This taking advantage of the “minding your own business” mindset is widespread. Mostly, it’s the rude and inconsiderate who do it, but the criminal element takes full advantage of it too.

      Certainly, if you had not been around, no security guards would have been hired, nothing would have been said or done at all. The neighbors who wanted to sleep would have simply sucked it up, minding their own business.

      Above the Rio Bravo, of course, cops would have been called and fists would have flown. I prefer the latter method, which makes me, in some ways, unsuitable for Mexican life. But there are so many other positives, I stay put.


      1. I much prefer the Mexican MYOB attitude. Mexicans have a healthy wariness about calling the cops for good reasons. Vindictive neighbors are not welcome in Mexico.


        1. We’ll have to have contrary opinions on this matter, Señor Andrés.

          Of course, vindictive neighbors can certainly be an issue. And you know why? Because not minding your own business (for instance, complaining when the neighbor’s house sounds like a Kiss concert at 4 a.m.) is so unheard of, when somebody actually speaks up, it shocks the culprits immensely. Complaining is simply not done! And they get angry and indignant. It ain’t good.


Comments are closed.