Home alone

macMY CHILD BRIDE has gone off and left me, at least till Monday.

She hightailed it this morning at 8 a.m. to visit Guanajuato with two sisters and three nephews. I could have gone, but decided not to, so here I am, abandoned.

But I’m not completely alone because the house painter is here. If I fall down and break a leg or have a heart attack, he will haul me to the hospital, I hope.

The first thing I did after she departed was to enter the downstairs closet, climb atop a frayed, wicker-top stool and clean off the top shelf which harbored junk from many years ago. I’ll toss that trash into a dumpster this afternoon.

I found a machete up there. I bought it years ago, put it on the top shelf and forgot about it. Machetes are scary. Don’t remember why I bought it. Not going to throw it away, however. You never know when you might want to maim someone unpleasant.

At 1:30 I have a dental appointment downtown. I’ll leave the painter here alone while I do that. He’s applying red, waterproof paint to the roof of the kitchen and dining room. After the dentist, I’ll do lunch at a restaurant, then come home.

About 5 p.m., I’ll head out again with the aforementioned trash, pass by the dumpster, which is actually a parked truck, then head to the plaza for my usual afternoon café Americano negro and some down time with the Kindle.

I’m reading a bio of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Don’t tell Antifa.

Later, as the sun sinks beyond the Yuletide-festooned plaza, I’ll hop into the Honda for the drive back to the Hacienda. Only then, I suspect, will my abandonment hit me hard. It will be dark and solitary. I’ll likely eat an egg sandwich instead of the usual salad.

The king bed will feel like a soccer field where I’m the solitary player.

I prefer a team of two.

The pear’s downfall

pear
Abel the Deadpan Yardman cuts the pear down to size.

WHEN WE MOVED to the Hacienda in 2003, there were a few trees on the property — a fig, a loquat, a peach and God knows what else.

As a housewarming gift, the great Al Kinnison surprised me with a load of fruit trees he’d purchased in Uruapan in La Tierra Caliente. Leaving me no option, bless his heart, I planted them. There was a pear, an orange and something else I still don’t recognize, maybe macademia.

Like other plants I’ve allowed here, they’ve turned on me, become evil, and I’m sick of them. Last month, I had the monster nopal removed. Today, it’s the pear that just this past summer started dropping a colossal quantity of fruit which I had to scoop up and dump into the ravine down the street.

I mentioned the problem recently to Abel the Deadpan Yardman, who said he would happily remove the pear. According to him, if you cut it into pieces and let it dry about five years, it makes stupendous firewood.

He arrived this morning with a wheelbarrow and machete, nothing more. I offered him my big pruning saw, which he used instead of the machete. After downing the pear, he proceeded to machete it into smaller pieces.

This has come with a price to pay. My child bride was quite angry in spite of my having told her previously that the pear had to go. Abel’s arrival with his machete and wheelbarrow caught her by surprise.

If she had her druthers, the yard would be limb-to-limb fruit trees of every imaginable variety. My druthers would leave us with a parking lot of stone and concrete. We’ll have to settle on a sweet spot in the middle.

In a few weeks, workmen will be removing more grass from the yard and installing stone and concrete. A part of that will entail removing the peach tree, another trash-tossing pendejo, which abuts the Jesus Patio.

I have told her this too, but I will have another sourpuss spouse on that not-distant day. And then it will blow over. Peace will reign.

New Image

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(The Unseen Moon has a new face. Hope you like it.)

Separate summers

Datura outside our bedroom window yesterday. There’s also aloe vera.

MY FATHER DIED a quarter century ago when he was just three years older than I am right now.

He was a sad man, but he loved summer. He worked evenings, which gave him days free to labor in the yard where we lived in Northern Florida in a ranch house.

He loved the Atlantic beach, sand and saltwater, and he loved tending the yard. Neither interfered with his drinking, however. Heat stirs well with highballs.

I don’t drink — well, not anymore — and maybe that’s why I don’t like gardening, and I don’t live near the beach though we can get there in three hours down the autopista.

And I loathe heat, the lack of which makes my mountaintop home wonderful in summertime. But things really grow here, much better than they did in my father’s yard.

Gotta be the latitude.

Every winter I blaze through the yard like a machete-wielding madman even though I actually use a small saw and branch trimmer. The golden datura is slashed back to basics, leaving the trunk and some nubs. It’s soft wood.

It booms back in June once it feels a touch of rain.

My father had a pink-flowered mimosa of similar size in our Florida yard. It was the only thing of any height. The rest were pansies, petunias, such stuff, all planted in rows.

Here I have a Willy-Nilly Zone where things grow, hemmed in by rock and concrete, in any direction they desire.

And for things of size, there’s monster bougainvillea, the towering nopal, a gigantic fan palm.

I was pressed, as a boy, into yard-mowing duties, and I received a small sum. I forget how much. And I once cut the Hacienda lawn too, years ago, but not anymore.

That’s why the Goddess invented pesos for me to pay Abel the Deadpan Yardman.

About a decade back, after I moved to Mexico, I drove a rented car slowly by the Florida house. The mimosa was gone. Everything was bleak. The grass was spotty due to cars being parked on it, just like a rack of rednecks would do.

There were no flowers at all. Nothing.

In the 1950s, the area was the middle class moving up. Now it’s the working class barely holding on.

Summers separated by half a century of time.

Mexican ingenuity

truck
How the van left the Hacienda.
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How the area was left, nice and clean.
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How the area looked a few days ago.

HOW ABEL the dour yardman (and neighbor) got that mountain of green garbage into the back of his decrepit minivan is a mystery. He used a machete.

He lumbered off just as you see in the first photo, sweeping the street in his wake. He did not have to go far, about three blocks to a ravine where all was dumped.

He left the area clean, as you see in the second photo. Next week a couple of workmen will cut those banana tree stumps down even farther, and a rock-and-concrete “table,” 60 centimeters high, will be built there.

A second area where another stand of banana trees once lived, up against the house itself, will get the same treatment, and that will leave us with just one banana forest.

And its survival is in doubt too.

If you’re arriving late to the show, here’s the original post on this gardening epic, from earlier this week.