The dawn of August

blooms
Out in the yard, a’blooming.

AUGUST DAWNED chill and gray. I like the chill part.

The first day of any month brings chores. I pay my Megacable bill online. I do my monthly car checks — air, water, oil, etc. And sometimes the first of the month falls atop other chores unconnected to the first of the month. That was the case today because I had to drive downtown early — to avoid heavy traffic — and check my post-office box, which I do every second Saturday. Only one item in the box, which is about par.

Often there is nothing, which I prefer.

I very rarely get mail these days from above the border, and 99.9 percent of the mail in the PO box comes from above the Rio Bravo, invariably pension stuff.

And since it’s Saturday during the rainy season, Abel the Deadpan Yardman came to cut the grass, something he’s doing at this moment as I write to you.

August is the month when the incessant rain becomes obvious in the yard, which gets very beefed up, so to speak, greenery thick and abundant. It looks nice.

We’ll be having beans, rice and sausage for lunch today, and this afternoon we’ll drive to another small burg abutting our lake to look for some religious thing to attach to my mother-in-law’s tombstone in the not-distant town of Taretan.

My child bride and some of her sisters had the tombstone renovated recently because it was in bad shape. She died over half a century ago at the age of 31.

Where water comes from

cistern
My child bride, sporting her Kung Flu mask, does the mopping.

THE MONTH OF MAY means the cistern must be swept and mopped. It’s the underground tank where the municipal water arrives daily and waits to be pumped to the roof tank from where it is distributed to the faucets inside the house via gravity.

We do this every year. Many people never do it, but we don’t live like that. This became doubly important a couple of years ago when we stopped using bottled drinking water and installed a filtration system under the kitchen sink. It has a separate faucet, and that’s our drinking water now, straight from this cistern.

The water that fills the cistern comes from an underground spring.

The tank, which is concrete, was built about 12 years ago, replacing a “modern” plastic job that was installed when the Hacienda was constructed in 2002-03. The plastic one collapsed in time because it was installed incorrectly, the only error the builder committed because he was “old school” and had no experience with plastic cisterns.

And by pure lousy luck, the day he installed it, we were in San Miguel de Allende. Had I been here, I would have noticed and corrected the bum installation. It was the only time we were out of town during the entire nine-month construction.

But all’s well that ends well, especially when it’s an actual well. This big baby — 9,000 liters — has never given us any problems.

You may be wondering, if the cistern is empty, where is our water coming from? There’s a separate, above-ground tank about half this size, just beyond the photo. We switch to it when the cistern is empty which only happens in May.

We have five tanks in all, but the cistern is the largest.

To empty the cistern, I shut the valve on the pipe from the street, and it takes about two weeks to empty. After the cleaning, the valve from the street is opened again, and it takes three or four days to refill. It’s quite low tech. Old school.

The nonstop knitter

knit
Morning in the bedroom.

QUARANTINE FOR my child bride presents no problems. She knits. Hours and hours and hours of knitting sitting bolt upright. Women are strange.

Her days pass with knitting and calisthenics, the latter being quite time-consuming too. Her gym being closed has been hard for her. She has been going to the gym regularly for more than 30 years. These days, she tosses back a rug in the living room and finds gym classes on YouTube. She props up the Samsung tablet in front of her.

Then it’s bam, boom, bam, boom! On and on and on. Every freaking day.

After I shot the above photo this morning, I did a Hacienda walkabout, and came up with the photos below. I don’t knit or do calisthenics. Old boys gotta stay busy.

To date there has been just one Kung Flu case officially reported in my mountaintop town, and that person died. In the last two weeks, no further cases have been reported.

Amusingly, on an internet forum dedicated to Gringos in our area, the old coots, which is what most are, are chomping at the bit to get their “Economic Impact Payments” from Uncle Sam, in spite of virtually none of them having jobs or having suffering economically in the slightest due to the Kung Flu. They want their cash!

And that, mis amigos, is what’s wrong with America.

bones
Ms. Bones has stood 17 years in the living room.
toro
Wall on the downstairs veranda. That iron has a history.
hat
Sombreros in the hallway.
chairs
Rockers, of course. At times, I’m off mine. Allegedly.

The new normal?

masks
Posing on the scarlet sofa. It is scarlet. Trust me.

WELCOME TO our living room in the Plague Year.

So, okay, we’re just having a bit of fun. We don’t wear masks inside the house … or outside either. These tissue ones I bought in a 10-pack for 20 pesos two weeks ago are next to useless. However, I have a couple of good ones en route from above the border that I purchased on Amazon, apparently just in time because now they’re unavailable.

Amazon tells me they will arrive here between May 14 and June 11, which means we can use them for the next pandemic, not this one. And there will be another because the Chinese Commies are intent on world domination by hook, crook or virus.

Note my new buzz cut, a more convenient hairdo in these troubled times. Something you cannot see is that I quit shaving about a week ago. If I keep it up, I’ll resemble a svelte Santa before this is all over. But I will not bear gifts.

My child bride did something wacko with her hair this morning. That’s a housecleaning hairstyle. She would never hit the streets looking like that, I promise.

We’ll be dining in a restaurant this afternoon, so our quarantine is half-assed.