Suburban renewal, change, death

Before
Last year
After
This year

YEARS AGO, I spent hours in the hammock. Now, I rarely sit there, much less lie down with my feet up. Habits change.

So do neighborhoods. A year ago, I opened the upstairs bathroom window and snapped the top shot. I wrote about it here. That window is the sole spot in the Hacienda where you can look out back. The only other option to see in that direction is to climb to the roof, which is easy to do via the circular stairway on the upstairs terraza. Circular stairways are fun.

I like to peek out that window before I shave and step into the shower stall lined with black-and-white ceramic tiles. Lots has happened on my neighbors’ property this past year. The main thing, which you cannot see because it’s just below the photo, is a high wall that separates them from the street. They had been closed in on three sides, but now it’s the full Mexican four.

But due to our elevated position, I still see easily into their expanding homestead. The advantage of altitude.

At the back they added a room of rustic planks and topped it with plastic and tar paper. At the photo’s bottom right,  however, is a more substantial edifice of actual brick. It has a real door and windows and whitewash on the front. The roof is simple, wood beams topped with opaque plastic rectangles. Just outside the door and to the right, they planted a mimosa tree, a nice touch that will grow.

Essentially, they are camping out on a permanent basis.

A huge loudspeaker hangs by that front door, pointing the other way. God knows where that comes from. Mexicans are collectors. You never know when something might come in handy, when you want to play La Cucaracha  for the entire town at 5 a.m.

An interesting thing: Look at the rear property wall, there where a bit of plastic roof sheet droops to the left. Behind that hang various artworks of La Santa Muerte. Make of that what you will. In Mexico, many narcos are followers of La Santa Muerte, but non-narcos are fans too.

A few short miles from here, on a road around the big lake, there is a building — a home I think it is, but the people may actually live next door — that is a shrine to La Santa Muerte. It is open to the public and is chockablock with some very weird stuff.

Look at the property ground. Near the out-of-sight gate in the unseen wall is some stone laid in the dirt. The rest is packed earth, which gets swept regularly. How you can sweep dirt is beyond my understanding. Mostly, I imagine, it removes the chicken poop (there are chickens, of course) and provides an even surface. And it looks better that way, which matters.

Suburban renewal. Onward and upward, as it’s said.

* * * *

Habits change. Things change.

When I segued from The Zapata Tales in 2011 to this Moon thing, I wrote that this space would only now and then touch on Mexico, that I preferred other topics. My preference is fiction, the ideas for which usually came to me in those foggy moments of the mind while lying in bed at dawn. Hasn’t been happening lately. Dunno why.

(Plug pause. See the Pearls of Zapata.)

Fiction and the occasional jabs at politics, particularly the diversity and political correctness insanity gripping the traditional white man’s land of the United States and Western Europe. And, of course, its current most visible manifestation, the abominable presidency of Barry.

Diversity and multiculturalism are noble goals. Truly, they are. If only they were workable. Any good knowledge of human history clearly demonstrates they are not, people being what they so sadly are. But I repeat myself. What’s the point?

So I’ve been writing more of Mexico of late. Yuck. You can get that lots of places, mostly praises of sunsets, fiestas and margaritas. And, of course, we lovely people. We, I say, due to my having become one.

I recently opened a Google+ page, and resurrected my Facebook page after a few years of hibernation. If you know the name on my birth certificate, feel free to join me over there. If you don’t know, ask someone. We might have wonderful times together.

None of this is to say that I’m retiring the Moon as I did my previous website. I must at least hang on until my 70th birthday in August. I’m planning to publish my own obituary here, just in case. For me, especially, I feel writing my own obituary is the best idea. I only have two living blood relatives above the Rio Bravo. Here is what they would write:

Sister: He was an old white man. Good riddance.

Daughter: He moved to Mexico in 2000. Adiós.

I prefer an obituary with a bit more flesh, so to speak, so I’ll do it myself.

My child bride could write it, but it would be in Spanish, so few of you would understand. An obituary should be understandable.

I’ll likely keep on trucking past 70, but it’s impossible to know for how long. My father made it only to 75, but mother sailed on to 90, not too steadily, but she made it that far. One thing my obituary must feature is fade-out music. It might be:

 

 

21 thoughts on “Suburban renewal, change, death”

  1. Felipe, I turned 70 in April and have no intention of slowing down and hope you don’t. I just don’t know where the last fifty years have gone. Writing your own obit is good. At least it will have the truth, as you understand it.

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      1. “but I notice my mind changing.” I think this would be an interesting post if you wanted to share some details.

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  2. It is interesting to see the constructions of additional condo units on the property. Along with the large PA speaker outside which is probably used for safety alerts, I notice they have the foresight to include a video camera pointing at something for the security operation. Obviously they plan on subdividing the property since the new power pole is yet to be connected to the electric service on the new condo.
    I would guess than every year they will add a new floor to the site, obscuring your view at some point.

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    1. Tancho: The loudspeaker is not attached to anything. It’s just hanging there. They have a place just up the street, and it used to be up there on a pole for general racket-making. I do not see the video camera you refer to, but I seriously doubt it is connected to anything either. I doubt “security operations” are in their worldview. They have a dog or two for that. I imagine security is also left in the hands of La Santa Muerte. As for subdividing the property, the new house is occupied by young relatives, probably their kids and family. It’s hard to keep track due to looking in that direction so rarely.

      The parents, the original sole occupants, live in the place in the very back right corner where you see red roof tile. That was the only house on the property when we moved here 11 years ago. They used to manufacture bricks until they were shut down, I believe, due to pollution complaints.

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      1. It appears to be one of the common bullet cameras and it looks like it has the coax cable come from the back of it. Perhaps they make special videos there, of either type of cockfights.

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    1. Ms. Shoes: These are excellent pointers for my upcoming task. I have hit the like button on your comment, a feature I only earlier today added here. You are the first by me. The button, however, is there for all.

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  3. We were former Facebook friends until you bailed. Your name is quite common so I may have a hard time finding you, but I will make a stab at it.

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  4. I like the obituary idea. When I was about 8, during the era when I was enthralled by pageantry, I put together a funeral folder. My funeral, mind you. It included hymns to be sung and the full regalia of a good funeral procession. I have no idea where I thought anyone would find eight plumed white horses. It even had a eulogy — though, at 8, there was not much to say.

    Over the years, the contents of the folder has changed. Music, but no hymns. (I no longer care for hymns.) But the eulogy is still as brief as ever — probably, because I have this visceral belief that adding the last period may put an end to the life it tells. And I still have a few things I would like to do.

    Having said that, I need to sit down and finish what I started 57 years ago. It may be a good exercise in self-awareness. Not that I am lacking in that commodity.

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    1. Steve: More than where one would find eight plumed horses is that where an 8-year-old would find them. That you came up with this notion is not, however, so out of character.

      As for hymns, I have never cared for them either, especially hymns in Protestant churches. Real snoozers.

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  5. A good friend who died at 70 several years ago commanded that his funeral be only fifteen minutes. Total.

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  6. I’ve thought of penning a few acid posts on Mexico. It’s not all sunsets and margaritas, unfortunately. And for the people who grew up here, it’s unfortunately even less so.

    Yesterday we went out to get stuff for Edgar’s new house. Paint. Masking tape. Garbage bags. The like. Unfortunately, the dark side of “inexpensive” is “cheap.” Which is to say that we spent real money on a lot of crap that wasn’t worth a dime. The paint was the worst I’ve ever seen. As we painted the ceiling, it streaked and smeared, and mostly didn’t cover the pale yellow beneath. It will require about 17 coats to cover, which I think more than offsets the inexpensiveness of the initial purchase. Another can of better-quality paint is probably in our future. And then the masking tape was barely sticky. I think it clung to the wall for a good five minutes before helplessly falling to the ground. And the garbage bags? Ripped to shreds the minute we filled them with garbage and picked them up.

    This kind of thing really needs to be figured into the whole “cost of living” calculation. Because if you have to buy stuff twice, it turns out to be more expensive.

    So you could easily write some dark posts on Mexico if you tired of sunsets, margaritas, and mariachis. Of course that might give the impression that things aren’t so bad in Obama-land after all. You’ll have to carefully weigh the pros and cons.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Tehuacán, Puebla
    Where we will never buy Chedraui’s house brand of paint (Meridian) ever again.

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    1. Kim: Mexico has a chain of paint stores named Comex. It is excellent paint, and the only thing I buy. Next time you — or Edgar — need paint, head to Comex. Excellent trash bags are also available, particularly in CostCo, Home Depot, etc. Mexico, like the U.S., has quality stuff, and it has crap. Buy the good stuff.

      We have good stuff, and we do not have Barry. We win, hands down.

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      1. I’m glad to hear about Comex’s quality. That’s where we bought the colored paint. I have to say, after we paid 2x per liter at Comex vs what we paid at Chedraui, I began to have doubts about Chedraui’s paint before we even got home. Paint, I realized, is one of those things that isn’t going to be cheaper in Mexico since it’s mostly made of internationally-traded chemicals whose price is set in world markets.

        I think we’re going to abandon ship on Chedraui’s paint and get something better to finish the job. Thanks for the tip.

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