Where’s the onerousness?

Felipe runs a butcher shop in the next block. He’s a good guy.

I WAS READING yesterday on the blog of an old Gringo who lives in the sticks outside the touristy, Gringo-infested burg of San Miguel de Allende that the old Gringo in question — his name is Alfredo — was finding life in the Plague Year “onerous.”

I am not finding it onerous, just a bit inconvenient at times, but mostly I’m doing just fine. I read, I watch Netflix, I fix lunch, which is the main meal of the day in Mexico, I power walk around the neighborhood plaza every weekday, and I tend to the  yard. With some exceptions, it’s what I did before the Kung Flu tossed everyone into a tizzy.

I don’t garden every day — not the lazy days — but I do what needs to be done, and Abel the Deadpan Yardman does the heavy lifting, so to speak, and there’s rarely much heavy lifting. This morning, I hosed the yard plants for the first time in a couple of weeks, just the plants, not the grass, which fends for itself.

Then I rested on a downstairs veranda rocker and shot this picture of myself. That’s me in a good mood. I already had the camera at hand because I planned to photograph the butcher minutes later during the power walk. The butcher is named Felipe too.

That young man is a red-meat entrepreneur. I like him. He has a wife and a young boy, and they are all well-behaved.

Grinning from ear to ear.

I’m a little scraggly, but I tidied up later. One must maintain standards of appearance and deportment. I learned that in the Air Force decades ago. Or not. Just after snapping this shot, I grabbed my mahogany cane — to thrash unruly dogs — ushered my child bride through the big, red gate, and we powered around the nearby plaza.

Perhaps there was a bounce in my step. She detoured to a little store to buy peanuts for  cookies this afternoon. They are tasty cookies and go great with coffee.

The plaza was empty, so we didn’t have to maintain social distancing. The space was all ours on this lovely, blue-skied, cool-aired, carefree day.

The neighborhood plaza was wide open today.

We’re not letting the Kung Flu get us down. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting a guy named Miguel at the Downtown Casita, and he’ll do some renovation in the carport that will entail removing plants — one of my preferred activities — and installing ceramic floor tile.

Faux brick. It will look sweet.

To date, the Plague Year has prompted two cancellations for the Downtown Casita, leaving just one in place, a couple who’ll arrive in late October for only two weeks. I don’t much care for two-week reservations because the income is hardly worth the effort.

There’s plenty of time for them to cancel too. I rather hope so.

19 thoughts on “Where’s the onerousness?

  1. Very nice-looking butcher shop. Looks nice, clean and tidy. I like that in a butcher shop and fish market. Our plazas still have police tape around them. I’m hoping that changes Monday, at least somewhat. The only place not taped off is one sports field, so that is where we do our walking.

    We are starting some renovations here today, removing all the roof tiles, and repairing and cleaning the roof, and then painting the outside of the house. The workers say they can get it done before the rains start. We will see.


    1. Kirk: Yep, that’s a nifty butcher shop, and the butcher, Felipe, too. Our neighborhood plaza has never been taped off, but the two main ones downtown are taped still. Our neighborhood plaza is huge because we used to be our own town before we got swallowed up by the bigger, neighboring burg. Good luck with the renovation work and getting it done before the monsoon season arrives.


  2. Estimado Felipe: The times we’ve visited your quaint little village, it’s struck us as a somnolent, borderline catatonic, place, where the biggest event of the year, tellingly, is the Day of the Dead. So it’s not surprising that life, before and after the lockdown, feels pretty much the same. That is a nice-looking butcher shop, though.

    I’m glad you and your wife have adapted well to the changing conditions.

    And thank you for the (probably unintentional) plug of my own blog, which readers can find at:


    Stay well, and keep washing your hands!


    1. Señor Lanier: Yep, you’ve got us pretty much down pat, and I hope we stay that way. I sure do not want my mountaintop town to become like San Miguel, and there are increasing numbers of people here trying to steer us that way. Almost all are foreigners!

      Of course, that was a plug of your blog. Put your specs on, old boy, and you can see there is a link where I mentioned you. That’s why it’s a different color type. That almost always indicates a link.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great news from this end, I think. Most San Miguel restaurants are supposed to open on Monday, though I don’t know under which restrictions. Also the number of active Covid-19 cases remains at zero, supposedly. Eight or nine people have come down with it, but none have been hospitalized. Still no deaths. I met a young nurse who works at the public hospital here and he said they have two or three ICU beds ready and some ventilators, but so far no takers. On the other hand, in Queretaro the number of cases and deaths continues to climb, and CDMX remains a hotspot. I don’t know if these figures are correct or reliable, and I wonder too, if some of those COVID-19 buggers may not travel in our direction sooner or later. So we remain cautiously optimistic but also cautiously cautious. Not tossing our face masks yet. That’s the report from here.


        1. Señor Lanier: The government website I use that tracks Kung Flu in all corners of the nation say that, as of yesterday, SMA currently has one active case, 11 confirmed, 10 recovered, 5 suspicious cases in the last two weeks and no fatalities.

          So, don’t worry! Be happy!


  3. Felipe’s life in the Village of the Darned and mine in a tenencia of La Capital are rather similar, and I suspect our vidas cotidianas would be the same even if we were relocated to a place like San Miguel de Allende, where, even in earlier times, chamber music concerts, avant-garde theatre, and the Met at Cinepolis beckon and where foreigners eat their main meal after sunset. During ordinary times, he may observe English being spoken more frequently than I do, given that I can go days without hearing a word uttered in English, at least live, by native speakers. Today at Costco I saw an Estadounidense, who was, and I am not making this up, the first one that I have witnessed in about six weeks.


    1. Ms. Shoes: Now where on earth do you think I hear spoken English these days? And I’m not referring to the Kung Flu situation. Not from my wife. I normally go weeks without hearing English, possibly months. Were it not for my writing hereabouts I might have forgotten my native tongue long ago, and that while my Spanish is far from perfect though likely it’s better than I think it is.

      San Miguel is for sissies.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You go to your sister-in-law’s coffee shop and various locations on the Plaza Grande where passersby are frequently native speakers. My pueblito and Altozano are areas seldom traversed by native-born speakers.


    1. Ms. Shoes: Here is an informational tidbit you likely did not know. Something like 99 percent of the Gringos who live in my fair town are out and about in the morning hours, almost never in the afternoon. I do not know why. I suspect they’re at home in the afternoons getting plowed. I could be wrong. Well, anyway, I am out and about almost exclusively between 4 and 6 p.m. I rarely see any of them. And there’s also the fact that they do not patronize my sister-in-law’s coffee shop. Can’t say I blame them.


      1. While I did know your schedule, more or less, I didn’t know that about the gringos’ habits. I’d mistakenly assumed that they were out and about at all hours. I knew that they tended to gather at La Surtidora instead of your sister-in-law’s coffee shop, but I thought they at least would’ve had to promenade past.


        1. Ms. Shoes: I know this about their morning habits because, on infrequent occasion, I have to go downtown in the morning for some chore. And I see them all over the place, walking in the plaza, eating at La Surtidora, up and down the sidewalks, etc. They’re out in droves.

          But when I return in the afternoons, poof! Vanished. Rarely even one in sight anywhere.


  5. I am interested that your plazas have not been taped off. All of ours have been here on the beach. Not that it matters much to me. I do my walking on the street — and they are almost always people-free.

    As for hearing English during the day, if I am in one of my don’t-leave-the-house moods ( and that is a majority of the time), I can go for days without hearing a word uttered to me — either in Spanish or English. If someone did, it would almost always be in Spanish. And I may, or may not, understand it. Maybe that is why I post so many wildlife episodes. They are simply pleas for much-needed conversation.


    1. Señor Cotton: Our plazas downtown are taped off and have been for weeks. But out here in the sticks, we fly under the radar. We don’t rate for government attention, at least in some matters. We are an afterthought neighborhood which, in this instance, is good. I imagine part of the reason is that our plaza is empty most all of the time except for Thursdays when it’s quite busy due to a street market. Then there are lots of people. We are, after all, the Pueblo of the Damned.

      As for your posts (er, essays) on bugs, it’s part of your wacky charm, whatever the cause.


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