ON THE ROOF recently to wipe the rods of the solar water heater, I took this video and snapped the photo below.
I’m a sharing sort of fellow.
At about 10 seconds into the video, you can see what I call the Garden Patio down there with the red water tank. It’s where I keep yard gear. And then at about 23 seconds you can see the solar heater at the left, briefly.
In the photo below, the brick surface is the roof of the kitchen. Farther along, the red tile covers the downstairs veranda.
In the upper right corner is the home of our grumpy neighbors, the ones with the horse, pigs, dogs, etc.
It’s fun to go up on the roof because the view is spectacular, not just the neighbors but the mountains.
The only other video I’ve shot from atop the roof was made five years ago. It’s on YouTube, not Vimeo, and presents quite a different perspective. Plus, it’s got Hillbilly music!
The video was shot very early. That’s morning mist.
HERE I SIT on the veranda, just in from the morning walk around the neighborhood plaza, something I do most days to maintain my boyish physique and high humor.
I am an ideal object of envy. No job. No money worries. My health is good. My wife is young and beautiful. The weather is wonderful. Waffles and maple syrup (100%) await.
Birds sing. Burros bray. Horses neigh. Dogs bark. Hogs oink. All within earshot, night and day. And last night till 2 a.m., musicians howled on the plaza, so we slept with earplugs, something that doesn’t warrant envy, alas.
Hereabouts 11 a.m., the sky is blue and white. The temperature is 69. My utility bills are low, and my grass is high, green and damp. My wives are all alive and my daughter too.
I have no dogs, no cats, no outstanding bills, and both of our cars run smoothly though they could use a wash. It’s the rainy season, a constant battle for self-respecting vehicles.
The waffles are ready now, I’m advised. The maple syrup too, the daily second breakfast around the hour of 11.
It’s an enviable position in which to find oneself.
THIS MORNING, shortly after dawn, I stepped out onto the upstairs terraza, as I often do at that hour, looked at the thermometer and saw 60 degrees. That rarely varies a degree much of the year at that hour.
The moment brings the standard thought: I’m lucky to live here.
I pause. I listen to the roosters. I listen to the burros. I listen to the dogs, all distant enough. Sometimes I listen to a passing freight train. It’s music to my ears, as someone famous once said.
Almost every day I head downtown in the afternoons for café at a sidewalk table, and there are options for baked sweet potato, lemon ice, shrimp cocktails from sidewalk stands and hot fig bread from a woman with a basket on the small plaza two blocks away.
Truth is, I rarely am interested in going elsewhere. When you’ve landed in a sweet spot, as I have, why climb out of the bowl? I’d just as soon not, but sometimes it’s necessary.
We’re heading to Mexico City shortly for as brief a visit as I can manage. We have to air out and dust the condo, plus my wife is going to try to make a hair more headway toward getting the deed to that place.
We paid it off years ago.
And then we’ll come home. Bus both ways. And the following morning, just at dawn, I’ll step out onto the upstairs terraza. There will be sounds of dogs and burros and roosters, and the air will measure 60 degrees.
And the red sun will just be creeping over the mountains.
I WAKE UP early, go pour coffee from the machine that’s already got it waiting. I break off a touch of Bimbo toast and go upstairs to read the news and some gossip. This season it’ll still be dark outside.
As time passes, the day outside the window over the computer screen starts to lighten, turning from dead of night to dawn as the sun brightens the mountaintops. I finish the coffee and the touch of toast.
Sometimes I stand and walk out onto the terraza to get a feel for things. I’ll check the thermometer that’s nailed to the exterior wooden frame of the screen door. This time of year, it’ll be the high 50s. Sweet!
I take a look around, always liking what I see, the neighborhood.
Next door, of course, I see the horse in his makeshift barn. The street out back is where a house sits with its permanent dog up top. I doubt he’s ever felt tierra firma. He’s the stereotypical Mexican roof dog.
The horse and the dog are off to the right and behind. To the left is the sex motel, which is the building with the windows. The closer section is the corner of our upstairs terraza, here where I am standing.
Appears all of one piece, but it’s not.
The day is dawning foggy, as many mornings do these days. It will blow off in a couple of hours, and clear, sunny skies will emerge.