High and dry

High at over 7,000 feet above sea level, which is permanent, and dry because it’s Springtime, the most miserable season of the year. When one says Springtime above the border one thinks of lovely days, romance, the occasional shower and flowers, perhaps the end of snow. When one says Springtime where I live, we think dust and heat.

And no A-C.

Easter Week (Semana Santa) starts soon, April 4. (Correction: Actually, it starts March 28.) It normally rivals the Day of the Dead for tourists and traffic in these parts but, like the Day of the Dead last November, most of the hubbub is canceled because of the Kung Flu hysteria. No massive artisan market on the downtown plaza and no parades in the evening. This pleases me because I am neither Christian nor a fan of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

It is bad for the local economy, however, which is already suffering due to the previously mentioned Kung Flu hysteria.

The video freezes in time a few seconds from this morning as I stood on the stone sidewalk and pointed the Canon up thataway. The photo below is my very favorite yard plant, the bottle-brush tree. I don’t know what the Mexicans call it, but that’s what it’s called up north. It’s seven or eight feet tall now, and still growing. I planted it years ago when it was just a little tyke. I wish I had planted one or two more. It’s lovely, and often in bloom. The hummingbirds love it.

Though Springtime is here, it still gets chilly overnight, and we still have the wintertime goose-down comforter on the king bed, but that will come off soon, the bedroom window will stay open, and the tower fan I bought just last year will keep us partially refreshed during the nights. There is no perfect world.

Hey, did you see “President” Biden bumble through his first press conference a few days ago? I predict that will be the first and final press conference. He’ll be drooling before long. It won’t be a good look. As Trump would say: Sad.

The hummers love this tree with all their hearts.

Moments in Mexican time

HERE WE SIT, self-quarantining on the mountaintop this morning with time to kill. We’ll be self-quarantining for a couple hours more till we get into the Honda and head to a German-style restaurant that abuts the big lake nearby. With luck, it will be open. If not, we’ll continue down the old, curvy highway till we find an eatery that is open.

You gotta eat.

Meanwhile, for your entertainment because I know you too are self-quarantined, here are a few videos that I’ve taken over the years.

Sometimes we get hot-air balloons high in the sky.

There was also that day when we were driving the twisty two-laner with a great view of the lake near Ucazanastacua. Can you say Ucazanastacua? I know you can say Bob Dylan and Mr. Tambourine Man. There was lots of wind.

Every year during Easter Week, we get these people making tamales on one of the downtown plazas. It gets really smoky, and at night it looks spooky, the fires and all. But it won’t happen this year. It’s been canceled due to the Kung Flu hysteria. Sad.

A train passes just past dawn five years ago near the Hacienda. Trains rumble by six or seven times every 24 hours, day and night. You get used to it. Some are noisier than others. It depends on the engineers and their desire to honk the horn.

If the German restaurant is open, and I’m guessing it will be, I’ll order Bratwurst and sauerkraut. After packing it all in, we’ll return to the Hacienda to start that self-quarantine thing again with Netflix’s help. At least till tomorrow when we’ll likely drive to the nearby state capital to stock up on goods. Get some toilet paper and lettuce.

The sweet thing about self-quarantining is that you can decide when and if to do it. There’s a freedom about it, which I embrace. Stay clean.

The bedroom wall


RETURNING HOME late yesterday afternoon after sitting on the big plaza downtown, watching workmen erect metal scaffolds to support canvas roofs under which the yearly Semana Santa market will unfold next week, I walked into the bedroom and noticed this part of the wall in the light of early evening.

The camera asked for a flash, but I ignored it.

The lamp light did the trick, along with a little extra from the nearby window. Sometimes, you just gotta follow your gut instinct.

The guitarist

EASTER WEEK, or Semana Santa, brings tons of tourists to our mountaintop town. Tourists bring money.

And street musicians hope to score some.

I was sitting yesterday at a sidewalk table with my electronic book and a cup of hot café Americano negro when this old boy appeared and struck up a tune or two.

He got 10 pesos from me, and other tables also contributed.

If I’d had my best camera, the photo would be sharper, but I did not have my best camera. Maybe next time.