MOST EVERY morning following croissantitos and orange marmelade or Costco bagels and cream cheese lite, plus café americano negro, of course, we retire to the living room and sit on the red sofa.
The music machine is already playing. I turn that on before bagels or croissantitos. This morning it was Madeleine Peyroux who was serenading us. She’s been our morning music for quite a few weeks now.
And will remain so till we weary of her.
This is how the scene appeared this morning. It doesn’t last long because we are a very busy pair, but it lasts long enough to count.
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(Note: The rather loud tick, tock, tick you hear is my Aunt Ned’s (R.I.P.) antique wall clock which dates from about 1885. I date from somewhat later than that.)
THIS SUNDAY MORNING, I awoke and thought of Sundays of Long Ago, specifically when I was married to my second wife and living in Houston.
We had a routine. I’d retrieve the fat Houston Chronicle from the lawn, pour coffee for the two of us — maybe we ate something too, can’t recall — and back to bed we went for an hour or more, reading the newspaper. It was fun.
I wonder if the Houston Chronicle still publishes a print edition. The world has changed so much in the past two decades. Another former employer, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, does not. It’s only online.
Just like me.
But this morning, here at the Hacienda, a far cry from Houston and New Orleans in all aspects, after coffee and bagels and cream cheese (lite), I went out the veranda door to do a bit of yardwork.
Madeleine Peyroux was still singing on the music machine.
I deadheaded a few Birds of Paradise. I whacked back one of the small bougainvilleas. I picked up rotting golden datura blooms from the ground in the Willy-Nilly Zone. And I cut stalks of defunct aloe vera flowers.
The weather was wonderful, and it appears the rainy season, which long overstayed its welcome this year, may have retired till June. I pray so.
We have plenty of work planned around here,* and it awaits the genuine end of the rainy season because it’s outdoor work. Not work I will do, of course. Work that people I employ will do, guys who do cement and stone.
And colonial tile.
There are three arches in the veranda, as you can see in the photo. There are potted plants resting on the three ledges below. They sit on a dingy brick surface. In about a week, a guy will come and lay beautiful colonial tile. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this 15 years ago or even last year.
It will be a huge — Yuge! — improvement. I’ll post photos.
In the meantime, I wonder if my second ex-wife still reads the Sunday newspaper in bed. I almost emailed her this morning to inquire. But I didn’t.
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* More work than has been done by far since the Hacienda’s construction. Roofs will be razed. Stairs will be moved. Floors will be ripped up. The Jesus Patio will be destroyed. Fruit trees will fall. More on all that when it happens.