JANUARY IS THE time for annual chores, but the chores are done before a backdrop of beauty here at the Hacienda. Well, at least till the first overnight freeze clobbers us.
That likely won’t be long in coming.
The chores include paying for our post office box for another year. Paying for water at the Downtown Casita for another year. Paying property taxes for our three places. For the Hacienda and the Downtown Casita, we go to City Hall. For the Mexico City condo, which continues to be rented to a nephew university student, I do that online.
I won’t even mention that property tax amounts because it would shock and sadden those of you who live above the Rio Bravo and pay through the nose. The water bills too.
The Hacienda’s unmetered water runs 720 pesos annually, about $38 USD.
January is also a great time to begin outdoor renovations because the annual monsoon is on hold till June. The Hacienda is almost 17 years old and, like aging people, is beginning to sag. That includes the Romance Sidewalk, which was sagging at one spot, literally.
So the guy who was painting here for a couple of weeks — he finished painting — turned his attention to repairing the sidewalk. First, he ripped up the sagging section.
There was a little cave below, empty space caused by Lord knows what. Were there bears living in there? Wolverines? Rats? I neglected to snap a photo. But here’s how it looks after the cavern was filled with sand and concrete detritus.
And here above is how it looks this morning. Ready for romantic walks in a level manner for another 17 years. We’ve now finished this season’s renovations at the Hacienda. However, there will be more work at the Downtown Casita. We’ll hire a blacksmith to install a circular stairway from the balcony to the roof and a handrail for the stairs inside.
A homeowner’s work is never done.