Look-about in late July

Even ceramic fragments add to decor.

THIS IS SUNDAY, the day of rest according to Christian belief, but I am not a Christian, so I stepped outside this morning after black café and bagels to attend to mounting chores.

I swept. I watered. I wiped and refilled the birdbath. I doubt the birds care, but I do. Appearances matter. I chopped some green detritus and dropped it into a big trash bin. I wiped the Jesus Patio table, and I swept the veranda.

Oblong pot of something or other.

We wake every morning in the low 60s, temperature-wise, but by afternoon it’s warmed to the low 70s.

He scares the snails.

A niece and her 1-year-old daughter moved to town yesterday from the nearby state capital. Her boyfriend left her, so she’s coming here to work in the coffee shop. To complicate the matter she discovered this week she’s four months pregnant, a gift from the same boyfriend, but he’s still gone.

One of my child bride’s brothers drove his truck here from his home in Querétaro and moved the niece’s few and quite humble belongings to the mountaintop. We’ll see how this plays out.

Her mother, my child bride’s sister, has four children and has never been married. I think I see a repeating pattern.

Highlands Mexican life is great weather and nonstop drama.

Most of my chores this morning are behind me, so I’ll shower, dress and slip into a Christian-like Day of Rest. It will be nice. We’ll eat in a restaurant.

Two nights ago, lying in bed reading our Kindles, the both of us, a big storm began outside, coming down from the mountains. The bedroom window was open. As wind whipped outside, it pushed the sweet smell of golden datura into the bedroom from the big bush just beyond. It covered us like Chanel.

That sort of thing can deliver sweet dreams.

32 thoughts on “Look-about in late July

  1. An enchanted life. Until family, no matter how distant relationship-wise or geography-wise, enter the scenario and their problems become your problems. Buena suerte.


    1. Carole: I try, and almost always succeed, to keep their endless problems at arms’ distance. My wife cannot do this, however, and there’s the rub.


  2. Meanwhile, here in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we needed the heat on until July 1, and are now existing through the hottest and driest summer in my memory. Using the split unit on a daily basis, whereas in a normal summer we used it only for a few days in August.


      1. I lived there for 1-1/2 years, at first renting from a landlord you gave me the name of. I then moved to a newer subdivision, where we were the only Gringos for about two miles. We enjoyed it, but the air pollution from burning fields overcame my wife. Really enjoyed it though. At one point we investigated going to Zihuatanejo. Went there for a week, but only lasted five hours and returned.

        Wish your area had worked out. We were learning Spanish because we wanted to enjoy actual Mexico, and had made some good friends in the community. They really helped us and introduced us to a lot of local food and customs. It didn’t hurt that the second landlord had spent 10 years in the U.S. where he had gotten his plumber’s license.


        1. Kris: I think I remember that about you and the burning fields. That’s just in springtime, and I’ve never noticed it being an issue at all. Different strokes, I guess. Some folks find the altitude trying, at least at first. That’s never bothered me either, breathing-wise.

          You’d have to be a masochist to live in Zihua. Anywhere on the coast, in my opinion. Oppressive heat.

          Mexico’s not for everyone, a good thing. Keeps the faint of heart above the border.


            1. True, Steve! 3-1/2 years in Puerto Escondido, no air conditioning in the house or car. One month in summer got a little sticky, but we tended a friend’s house with a pool in summer and would go there for a couple of hours a day.


  3. You know in Mexico you marry the whole family, and you have adapted quite well. Some I know not so much. Your post made me smile … thank you.


    1. Peggy: Truth is that I have not adapted well at all. I am an observer of the drama. I participate as little as I possibly can get away with. Thankfully, due to being older than all of them, and a Gringo to boot, they simply accept me as an oddball to whom most of the rules do not apply.


  4. The entertainer Penn Jillette came up with Ten Commandments for atheists or agnostics. One of the Commandments was to have a weekly day of rest. It didn’t have to be Sunday. Some other day might make more sense, depending on your occupation, but you had to have one. Of course for us retirees, this is mostly moot.


    1. Creigh: As you note, moot for us. All my days are days of rest. The exceptions being when I have too much to do, and that happens.

      You look too young to be retired.

      Got no idea why your comment went to moderation. A glitch. I didn’t do it. FYI.


      1. For some reason WordPress asked me for a new login. I think that’s why it went to moderation.


  5. Felipe,

    Good to see your post. Was beginning to think you had fallen ill; no posts all week. Glad to hear all is well with you. Sorry to hear about the family drama. Every family has it more or less. My family has more.

    Best Regards,


    1. Troy: Yep, still alive and kicking. At my advancing age, one never knows. Our trip to Mexico City got postponed till next week, so maybe there will be another dry spell. As for family drama, I wish I could wish it away.

      Best regards to you two too.


  6. I suspect La Familia is relieved that you keep your distance from the drama. More than you might imagine.

    As for my Sunday, it was typical. Walk to the fruteria for some vegetables, pick up La Voz de Michoacan, because Sundays deserve a real newspaper, a friend dropped by for coffee and to harvest, and then I initiated the new Instant Pot that I’d picked up earlier at Amazon’s Prime sale and made chuck roast. Yes, you heard that right: chuck roast. And I got it at Walmart.


    1. Ms. Shoes: Whether they are relieved or not, I’m holding my ground there in the far corner.

      Sundays deserve a real paper? I used to think that, but I quit reading real papers years ago every day of the week. If it doesn’t happen online, I don’t know about it.

      Never heard of instant pot, so I found them on Amazon Mexico. First I looked on Amazon U.S., but none shipped to Mexico. Then I found them on Amazon Mexico. Looks like an interesting item. Maybe I’ll get one some day. Doubt I’d do chuck roast, however. I’m more of a chicken man, sometimes pork.


  7. Once again, señor, you show your exceptional wisdom. Staying apart from family drama is no small task wherever in the world you place yourself.

    Buena suerte!


  8. Family dynamics of the Mexican household are always in a flux. There is no end to the drama. Us Anglos are like the furniture; it all goes on around us, but we have no say in anything. If we do dare to voice an opinion, we are told “shut up, it is none of your business.”

    That is, until they need something, to borrow a tool or a ladder that will never be returned. Or, someone to co-sign for a loan or come up with money for the party or baptism. Never loan them your car. If something happens, it was your fault anyway. The damn car was dangerous.

    Conversation in the Mexican family is somewhat akin to a coyote is a chicken coop. They all talk at once, and volume outweighs logic. Don’t try to say any thing; keep your mouth shut.

    Just my two cents on the issue.


    1. Señor Gill: We gotta find you a new Mexican family. When I voice opinions, nobody tells me to shut up. On the contrary.

      As for co-signing anything, no way, José. I would never do that. And you’re right on loaning cars. Again, not a chance.

      It’s a very different world here.


  9. Most of them have already passed on. Their kids are essentially Gringos now. I don’t think any of them speak or understand Spanish. “Gringos con las nalgas negras” is what my father-in-law called them.


  10. My wife’s niece just squeezed out her first child, I notice that the family is not handling it as a big deal. It’s just a common occurrence, something like having a cold or a bout with the flu. The family just continues on like nothing happened.

    So what if there is no marriage, no job, no big deal. I am glad that your hacienda is large enough to be able to accept close family guests and screaming children. Maternal compassion changes a lot of families. So stand strong, my friend. Don’t allow any guests, especially crying young ones.


      1. Just don’t want to see an albanil’s tools outside your tall wall with materials for an additional room.


  11. the something or other are succulents-so pretty and easy to grow. just got back from a family reunion-talk about drama-and none of it was from the only Latina in the group-moi 😉

    have a great week senor!



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